I was a teenager. I don’t remember the exact age. We used to go to Saudi every summer. This was nice at first, because we were returning to where we once lived. A homecoming of sorts. But as time passed I didn’t like it because it kept me from developing friendships during those summer months.
When in Saudi, family would come visit us. On and off we’d have uncles, aunts and cousins in the apartment. Some would live in the same city, some even in the neighbourhood. But others would come from afar. Two of my uncles were doctors and they lived in remote parts of the country. That’s where their hospitals were.
One of the doctor uncles had come to visit with his family. My cousins were in the range of 5-9 years old. One of them had his hair combed super proper. I was amused at how someone so small and young was so invested in the precision of their hair. Specially given how imprecise I was about such things.
So to tease my little cousin, I ruffled up his hair as we were playing. He got flustered, ran away and combed his back into place. I hid the comb and ruffled up his hair again. He got upset, of course, and was able to find another comb. I was increasing curious what his recourse would be if he wasn’t able to comb his hair into perfect alignment. I hid the second comb and ruffled up his hair again.
Unable to find another comb, he started crying. I had not expected this outcome. I wasn’t sure what I was expecting. I felt so cruel in that moment. I returned the combs to him but he kept crying.
It’s interesting how curiosity without consideration can turn into cruelty.
Anyway, I’m bald now.