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The Removal of a Soother.

Today I’ll get my hair cut in an actual salon for the first time in a year. (One stylist, one room, fifteen minutes between clients to wipe shit down, masks the whole time.)   My dear husband and daughters know the significance of this. As do my very close friends.   Fact is, I have been bound up tight in a compulsive habit since summer, since my hair grew from pixie to long-ish, long enough to grab and pull at a section on the top left side the way someone may pull at an unresponsive stop-chord of a bus. That plot of scalp-estate is highly abused. It is pulled, clicked, and splintered. A clump of hair emerges from the source as a distressed tassel, inches shorter than the rest, ends like frayed yarn. That spot is always a bit tender to the touch, a little burny to brush. Hair is much thinner up there, a sparse patch the crows have picked through in an otherwise fertile field.    I have attempted to stave off the habit with bizarre hair styles—multiple buns and pony tails to shield the

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