Chin hair. Having one of those increasingly rare glances in the mirror, I saw not small, fine hair-you-can-barely-see scattered along the periphery of my face – but big thick ones, curling out like the bed springs of an old mattress.
And inevitably – they’re grey.
So, after a life of hard work and putting up with just about all manner of crud, Mother Nature has decided I should grow a beard.
But I decided I couldn’t go down without a fight. I started plucking, but after several weeks, noticed they just got thicker – sort of like pig bristles. So I switched to waxing. But then my neck looked like a red windsock – or, you know that floppy bit under a turkey’s neck? Yeah, like that.
And people notice. I’m mid-conversation when I see their eyes wander just a touch south, and bam! they just can’t look away – ensnared as they are by the horror before them. And as the conversation stumbles, they know I’ve clocked them. And I know they know. So we awkwardly stand, conversation tapering, until we eventually smile tightly, nod, then back away from each other.
And I go straight to the mirror. And there it is, snaking from my chin, taunting me like an evil serpent – a curl. Long and grey, waving softly in the breeze.
So I get it. If it has already been decided somewhere in the vast cosmos by whatever beard-loving entity exists out there, then beard I shall have. I will embrace my facial manliness and start riding a motorcycle wearing leather pants. And when the hairs get long enough (and they will, because I’m old and blind now and can’t see to pluck them), I will plait them. Small girly plaits at first, then big thick Viking ones once the hair really kicks in.
I will ride on my bike and feel the wind in my beard, one fist in the air. And I think that’s what Mother Nature intended.