The Pluck


Sometimes I catch myself brushing my fingertips along where it grows. I’m anxious of course; always am. Anxious that it will come back, while also anxious that it never will. My feelings are torn between love and loss. But, to my surprise and relief, that one hair on my chin continues to return every few weeks. 

It’s fairly small and barley even noticeable. A light blonde whisper that lives on my face for only a few days a month. I even have a designated pair of tweezers I use just for the occasion. They’re pink and smaller than my thumb; travel size. A dainty little hair deserves a dainty pair of tweezers. For precision, obviously. 

I’ve had this little hair for years, though recently I’ve been much more aware of her. I had to do some investigating. 

I asked a couple of my girlfriends about it, curious if they share a similar experience or similar strands living alone elsewhere on their body. We went out for “yappy hour”; I figured it was the perfect setting for this kind of conversation. You can’t question a girls night conversation when there are multiple martinis flying around. Though, I did promise not to use names for this story. 

“I have one but it’s not on my chin,” she said. “Mine’s just above my belly button, right in the middle of my stomach. Jet black and kinda looks like it’s stranded on an island.” 

“Huh, has your boyfriend pointed it out before? Sometimes I point my chin hair out to Alex, so I don’t need to bear him pointing it out to me himself.” 

“Well, he likes to tug on it.”

“Tug on it?” I asked, slightly concerned and a little uneased. “Why on earth would—” 

“He a guy, thinks it’s funny.” 

I went home that night and inspected my skin. Got lost in my mirror that sat on my vanity, right next to the orange juice carton pencil holder I got a few weeks ago from Five Below. I starred at my chin, at the very spot where that one hair grows and felt myself actually missing it. Missing that little friend with whom I’d fidget with during class. Now, with her absence, I rub my smooth chin and become immediately distracted, the way one would think I’d be distracted if it were still there. But she wasn’t that little hair had been plucked just the night before out of frustration, forgetting that I’d for some reason miss its presence later on. I focus on my smooth chin and think to myself, I should probably go get my eyebrows done. I’ve been telling people I’m just growing them out, and apparently, I have been since last June. 

The next morning, I wake up the same way I always do; I have an alarm set for 8 a.m. but will be woken up by my cat much earlier once he sits on my neck and starts yelling.

I roll out of bed and head to the bathroom. My eyes barley open and they cringe from the yellow light that pours out from the light-fixture over the sink. I huddle my legs towards the floor heater as the morning chill awakes goose bumps from my knees, down to my ankles. 

I look across at the reflection that stared back at me through the little mirror hanging on the wall. My morning eye bags hanging low, and my shoulders curved in, savoring any little ounce of heat left over from my warm covers that continued to call my name from the bedroom. I wash my face, brush my teeth, maybe even put some makeup on. Then, I check to see if the little hair has started its return. 

This feeling of loss resurfaces every so often and its main source of grief stems from that little monster that sprouts from the depths of my face. I think about other things in life that I’ve lost. Family members, friends, memories I’ve now since forgotten. Everything that told me it would leave one day, did. They never returned with a jukebox over their head blasting 80’s rock from outside my bedroom window. No one who’s left, has actually come back. 

Except the hair on my chin. At least I can always have some trust in its consistency.