The problem with body hair is that it always comes back. Having settled on waxing as the best method of controlling my pubic hair, maintaining my baldness became a cyclical concern, like plucking my eyebrows or getting my hair cut. But I quickly realized that I couldn’t justify spending even $35 (the cheapest Brazilian I could find) when I had a little feeling deep down inside that I could do it myself.
The little feeling grew as I became more determined, and curious. I could do it myself. Why not? I’ve had serious injuries and operations, I should be able to take it. The deciding moment was when I read a magazine plug for a European waxing kit that promised “fast, easy, no mess” removal. “Just press on and pull off.” I bought the kit. It cost a lot less than the Russian woman who had stripped me the last time. It made me feel virtuous. I was doing the right thing.
The kit stayed on my kitchen table (where I put things I really have to do, but am avoiding) for a week. We looked at each other out of the corners of our eyes. When the weight of the unaccomplished task became unbearable, I went home, cleaned my apartment, took out a bottle of vodka, and stripped. My pubic hair looked thick and coarse. It looked tough. Tougher than me. After a couple shots, I decided to think of it as jumping into an ice-cold lake. Just a few moments of shock and it’s over.
Two hours later, I was still at it. The short task had become Sherman’s march through Georgia. There was always another field to be denuded, but I was determined to leave bare earth behind. I had wax everywhere—on my face, on my arms and legs, in my hair, on the kitchen table, and all over the vodka bottle, which was now about half empty. Somehow I was enjoying myself. The experience was just too intense and weird. I had my shirt on, but my bare ass was on the edge of the chair and my legs were precariously balanced, one on top of the kitchen table and one on the stove. Thanks to the vodka, I had become an observer at my own waxing; the pain had become somewhat distant and fascinating.
The next day I was hung-over and had problems getting my underwear on and walking. But I was a warrior. I had the battle scars to prove it. I had survived my own self-inflicted torture. I felt a sense of pride and accomplishment. It was possible. And I had just saved at least $35 plus tax and tip! I had proved once again that doing things yourself makes you a stronger person and saves money. I was the walking fulfillment of Emerson’s belief in self-reliance. I was a transcendental Godzilla.
A few weeks later, just like in a Stephen King novel, all the little soldiers that had been killed started coming back. I went shopping for vodka.