I’ve had a beard for twenty years. A russet autumnal waterfall of hair that cascaded down to my chest. There were shades of chestnut and rust, dark patches as deep and rich as coffee, mixed with highlights as light as caster sugar. It kept me warm in the winter and turned a wonderful blonde in the summer, but I woke up one day and decided to shave it. I picked up the shaver, that I use to keep my hair cut short and slowly began to plough into the mane.
First the sideburns went, and the hair fought me every step. The hair was long, but nothing the shaver couldn’t handle. I began to feel the cold on the side of my face, even as the warm sunlight streamed in through the window.
The air tickled my cheek as the skin tasted the world for the first time in decades. I decided to do both sideburns first instead of sweeping over my face from side to side, so now I had the bulk of the hair to tackle.
I went straight for the middle and went at it with relish. At this point I closed my eyes, as I could feel what I was doing and liked the idea of the surprise of seeing my face for the first time in forever. The shaver struggled with the entangled mass as I pushed through twenty years of rebellion. I could feel my head lift a higher, as the gravitational force of that weight was shed. When it was done and the hair congealed around my feet, warming them like slippers, I opened my eyes.
Before me, I could see the weak jawline of my father, the flabby skin hung off my cheek, just like my brother, and my lips were the image of my mother. It was then that I vowed, to never shave again.