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Lions Roar : November 2011
62 SHAMBHALA SUN NOVEMBER 2011 The Purple Wig Alexander the Great swaggered around, claiming no part of his body was without a scar, but he never had to battle uterine cancer. Twenty-three-year-old CALLIE BATES on the cheap wig and lots of love that got her through chemo. M Y DOCTOR DIDN’T KNOW how to react. “You like purple?” he asked. “Well, yes,” I said. I wanted to explain that it was supposed to be funny. Dr. M is a dear, small Italian man, but he does not know what to do with humor; he excels at tragedy. Give him a tear and he will be holding your hand, telling you that everything will be fine, that you must ask yourself, “What am I called upon to do?” and through this calm, this insight, you will prevail over all the challenges leveled at you. Purple wigs are a little out of his league. I turned the bright bob-cut acrylic thing inside out and stuffed it back into its plastic bag, feeling rather sheepish. Meanwhile, Dr. M’s resident winked at me behind his back. “That was excellent,” she mouthed. Despite the relative popularity of toupees and men’s general anxiety over bald spots, it seems that wigs are a girl’s thing. Perhaps when you have less hair to start with it is not as disturbing when it begins to come out in handfuls. But I cannot believe this change is easy for anyone. ILLUSTRATIONS BY HILDE THOMSEN