The Unibrow Story


Istanbul, 1979

Dearest Zissy,

I am writing to you with sore feet and a bruised ego, for today I learned that in spite of my often depreciating view of myself, I am further depreciated by age and a growth of hair between my eyes. Lost on the Anatolian side of Istanbul, I met my first evidence of discrimination in this country when I found myself unable to obtain directions because of my appearance.

With my smattering of Turkish and English speaking persons unwilling to engage me in conversation, I found one individual who glared cruelly at me and stabbed angrily at her own head with her pointer finger until her nail opened a small wound exactly between her eyes. I turned from her, frightened, only to meet another woman who clicked her tongue and stared darkly into my face.

It was then that a helpful gentleman with a goat took my jacket and pulled me into an alley and began assaulting my face with shears. It was an agonizing few seconds under the knife of a man who can shave 100 pound animals faster than a normal person can tie shoes, but instead focused on just a square centimeter of my face.

Without a word he stood up, leaving me in a heap on the dirty floor.My patch of unsightly hair had been replaced by a patch of chafed skin that bled slightly. The kind faces that met me thereafter made me happy for my injury, and I was able to get fast, accurate directions to a place where I could meet the correct bus to take me home.

I shall stop writing now, it is getting quite late and I need to take Edmund to the hospital after trying to recound to him exactly how I got my injury.


J. Ozawa