Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Shaving Face

The haggard visage stared blearily back at me. It’s face- if you can call it that- the slashed, torn, gory remnants of a nightmare, wince wearily. Trickles and spurts of bright red blood flow over older blood- caked, coagulated, and cracked.

In my right hand, I hold a bladed implement, razor sharp and dripping with crimson.

I am responsible for this vision of horror, this specter of disfigurement.

I am the one who- once again- has brought this ghastly mutilation to the features bleeding in the mirror.

It isn’t that I try to have some twisted masochistic ritual- though, in a sense, it is. It isn’t a desperate cry for attention. I would like nothing more to avoid it. No, to cut to the chase, the cuts on my face are a part of that futile war against my facial hair.

You can beat it out, you can cut it, you can pull it, you can burn it off, but STILL it comes back for more. Each time, it is stronger, quicker, savvier. The hair force quickly learns the lessons of their fellow fallen follicles. They can change, adapt to whatever I throw at them.

I have a dastardly combination: Black, coarse, quick-growing hair and a wussy face.

I can go from clean-shaven to Fidel Castro to ZZ top in a matter of minutes. As soon as I’ve shaved, even while my blood is still fresh, then you know my friends, I got Stubble. Stubble in razor city.

Back in Prehistoric times, this would have been an evolutionary benefit. If the ice age hit, I’d be warm and cozy in my insulated coat of fur. I could even keep little scraps of food in my beard, in case a famine hit.

Nowdays, however, the Cro-Magnon look is out, while the PeeWee Herman look is in.

So I have two choices: The Electric Razor… or THE BLADE.

The problem with the Electric Razor is that, while it doesn’t cut me, it also doesn’t, technically, *cut hair*. Oh, it makes a lot of noise, it puts on a nice show, with a lot of whirring and scraping. But when the dust clears, the Before Picture and the After Picture look exactly the same. Even if I really dig in, if I shave for hours, violently, still a legion of octopus-like facial hair juts out through the red razor burn, smugly blowing in the wind.

The problem with the blade are obvious. I can clear the weeds, but it looks like I’ve used a WeedWacker. I can shave my entire face, and it all looks clear. For a moment, it looks like I’ve succeeded. Then one by one, a hundred minuscule pinpricks of red appear. And then, like Moses’ Second Plague, here comes da blood. Sometimes you have cuts in places you don’t even remember shaving (Wha… I don’t remember shaving my forehead.)

The ironic part of it, is that you only shave with the blade when you really want to look sharp, clean-shaven, professional, and dashingly handsome. So it’s always right before important events that you reduce your image to shreds. It’s always ackward, during a job interview, that you start bleeding all over your resume. Most career services recommend against this. I’ve gone to many classes with large wads of Kleenex bonded to my face. Nobody seems to notice.

There are ads, of course, for better blades: “Try the Dodecahedronra Techno-Razor! Our laser guided technology actually seeks out hair follicules and fries them at the source! Our patented terrain-mapping GPS system in the handle prevents nicks and cuts! Only four easy payments of 47.95! Good for up to three uses!”

Unfortunately, as a College Student on a Top Ramen Budget I can only afford Western Family’s Generic Razors. A single blade! Not all that rusty! Can also be used for shearing sheep! Two complimentary band-aids in every package!

Now if you’ll excuse me, the Kleenex on my face needs replacing.