Tommy Perez, the curly-haired, Diet Coke-loving, goofy, gay Cuban Boston journalist character from my books Boston Boys Club and Beantown Cubans whom I interviewed last year asked (ok, more like begged) me recently to let him be a guest blogger here on Beantown Cuban. (I'm easy that way especially after he offered to buy me lunch at my local favorite Subway.) So in that spirit, I am allowing him this one entry. So folks, heeeeeere's Tommy....
Gracias Johnny! So I was putting my contacts on the other day when “it’ came into view. Like a weed in a bed of flowers, it stood out, tempting me to yank it from my small forest of hair. But then, I wasn’t sure what to do. I’ve never had a gray hair – on my chest.
When did this happen?
I’m 31. My Twink days are behind me and I’ve got some sprinkling of salt on the sides of my mop of curly dark brown hair to prove it. But that’s up north, near my ears. I can live with that. It’s expected.
This….this…this is in the middle of my chest and I don’t know what to do, tu sabes. If I pluck it out, will more follow as a Tommy payback and then turn my chest into the top of Anderson Cooper's head?
If I leave it there, then others might notice when I hit the gym or wear tank-tops in the summer. They may see that (big gasp!) I’m turning into my Cuban dad who has a chest full of gray, formerly a coat of black. Did the grays on my head fall onto my chest and start pollinating that area?
I don’t have a problem with the slivers of silver. It’s part of growing up. My mom tells him “You’re almost the age that Jesus Christ was when he died.” I don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing but I tell her, “Gracias Mami,’’ anyway because she usually means well. (She also does Santeria but that's another story or blog entry if Johnny allows me again. Si, Johnny?)
Anyway, I’m proud of being gay and I'm just as equally proud of my gray. (I couldn't resist the rhyme.) I wear it like a badge of honor, gravitas on my head! (You have to look pretty close to see the silverlinings.) I just don’t want it on my chest. Can you blame me?
Folks, sorry to interrupt Tommy here. This is Johnny again. As a guy who has some grays on his chest, it's not the end of el mundo. There is life after gray chest hair. Ok, back to Tommy. Sorry.
Umm, thanks Johnny. Anyway as I was saying before being, ahem, rudely interrupted...
I’ve never heard of guys dying their gray chest hair and I don’t think there are products out there for this man problem. (Imagine: Just for Men and Their Graying Chests!) Other dudes just trim their hair there especially back in South Beach, my hometown, probably because they saw these little gray suckers invading their darker shades of torso hair. (You know who you are down there.)
And in our youth and good-looks obsessed culture, no one wants anyone to think they’re getting senior citizen follicles.
So for now, the gray stays until I figure out my next step. I’m kind of getting use to it. I just hope another strand doesn’t keep it company. Oh wait! Is that another…
Thank you Johnny!!!
de nada TP!