Youth and Rebellion

They say you never forget your first time.

We were driving across country from Denver to Boston. Sure we had dated briefly, but it was the summer after high-school graduation and it only lasted a matter of weeks before I headed out to Denver for college. Two years later, and one and a half semesters of college credits under my belt, I was moving back to Boston. On a whim I had invited her out to share the road with me. I needed someone to keep me awake, and she was just crazy enough to agree to fly out and drive three quarters of the way across the country with a guy she hadn’t really spoken to in over a year.

Sitting there in a dumpy little hotel in South Dakota, I nervously clutched the edge of the bed as I waited for Amanda to come out of the bathroom. I was nervous, and she knew I was nervous as I had never done anything like this before. She had gone into the bathroom to prepare for the experience, and possibly to give me one last chance to back out of this.

Mile Hi Motel

With a dramatic flourish, the door opened and she stepped into the small room we were going to share that night. The motel room was dim, and she was back-lit by the flickering florescent light over the bathroom sink. At that moment I knew that my life was about to change forever.

“You ready for this?” she asked as she snapped the rubber gloves on her hands. I nervously stood up, took off my shirt, and walked over to the chair that she had placed in the middle of the room, and sat down. I closed my eyes and Amanda started rubbing bleach into my hair.

Two hours earlier, slightly lost and hungry, we had stopped at an exit to get some dinner. We were close to where we were going to stay that night, but I knew that I would need to get something to eat or I wasn’t going to make it. I had just spent the last hour trying to get us back to the highway after yet another detour to see one of those tourist traps designed to suck the last five dollars out of your wallet. The exit has home to a massive truck stop, and miles and miles of corn growing in the field. I decided that the 24 hour diner would be a better use of our time than running through the cornfields reenacting a section from Children of The Corn.

After some pancakes at the diner, we were wandering the aisles when we stumbled into the hair dye aisle. This was a full service truck stop, where you rent a shower along with pretty much anything else you might need while you on the road. Strangely enough they had a box of bright metallic blue dye.

Throwing me the box, Amanda grinned and said “You should dye your hair like this”

I looked down at the box and saw a guy like this on the front:


Image from

Blue Hair Guy

As a card carrying member of the straight laced, never do anything crazy club this was quite a departure from my usual self. I had never dyed my hair before. I was on my way back to the East Coast, and it was time for a change.

“Sure.. Let’s get it.”

I bought the box, threw it on top of my pile of crap in the back of my car, and we continued on.

That box of blue hair dye became the third passenger in the vehicle for the next two hours. While Amanda sang along to her collection of musicals that she had brought along on the trip to “educate” me with, I couldn’t stop myself from glancing back at the plastic bag in the back seat. With the windows slightly down, the bad kept moving and flapping in the wind. It was like it was taunting me, or perhaps I was just torturing myself.

In an effort to break away from my past, I was willing to do something that every fiber in my being was telling me was really wrong to do. After a traumatic couple of months, which was the root cause of my move back to Boston, I knew that I had to change. I had heard that if you are trying to make a massive change emotionally or physically, it’s easier to do if you make an external change to start the process.

The blue hair was my beginning of my journey to who I am now. I really wished I had taken a picture of me with my blue hair. It was a symbol of my rebellion against my past, and in hindsight was probably one of the best impulse purchases I had ever made.

The hair made me feel cool. It helped break the ice when I was meeting people for the first time. As an extremely sheltered person, it became my shield to hide behind. It was also the thing that caught the eye of my wife, and what made her want to come over and introduce herself to me.

So I’m pretty happy I dyed my hair. It was a complete 180 from who I was before and it felt really good to something crazy and stupid. Sometimes you need to do something “just because”.


Until next time,


The Duke.



——————————————————————————————————————————————-This post inspired by the Daily Prompt:
180 Degrees