I don’t really have a beard. Instead, I have this whispy collection of bald spots and bristles erratically sprouting over the real estate on my face upon which real men grow their beards.
Not me. I have never attempted a beard of any sort. Not during the earthy demands of hippy life, the tyranny of the Castro Clone gay look, nor the tragic hey day of George Michael. I’ve always known it would just end in tears, so why bother.
I have, however, occasionally, just stopped shaving. I hesitate to say everyone hates shaving, because I know if I do, someone will say, a little too breathlessly and fervently, “I love it.” But I believe I speak for most if us when I say, breathlessly and fervently, shaving absolutely sucks. It must be the only task that is both tedious and nerve wracking. Let your mind wander off for even a millisecond and suddenly you’re in a remake of Saw. I have been shaving for 50 years and apparently I still cannot do it right since I emerge from shaving bleeding and weeping regularly.
So every now and then, I will declare a holiday from scraping my face. For the most part, it is no big deal. Since my beard is not only thin, but recalls my blonde childhood by being a pale, mousy beige, and thus ups its see-through quality, it can be hard to tell that I have stopped. The hairiest I ever get to is that dashing got-any-spare-change? look.
I go merrily along, appreciating the relief for a few days until abruptly, I CANNOT STAND IT ONE MORE SECOND. I will be minding my own business, thinking deep thoughts, and suddenly realize that I can feel my own follicles, curling around the corner of my mouth, trapping god knows what. I scurry to the shower and scape away, sort of sullen and relieved at the same time.
Beards, and the men who’ve got ’em.