I shaved today. All of my facial hair is now gone. As you can see in the photo of me, I had until now been rockin' the classic goatee which I'd had since the age of 18. But in the two years which had passed since this picture was taken my goatee had grown out to a glorious 5+ inches in length and was usually kept in a tight braid. Or sometimes just loose and fluffed out, which, due to the unusual curliness of my facial hair, would cause it to puff out like a chin-Afro.
The decision to abandon this beloved hairstyle was not one reached without extreme provocation. My beard has been too kind to me for me to just forsake like a maggoty chicken gizzard. You see, in two months I will be tried in federal court for a very serious crime which I am innocent of. I mean, seriously innocent. And as it is I've got about as much faith in this country's criminal justice system as I do in General Motors stock. Facing an uphill battle already, walking into a courtroom with a chin-'fro just doesn't exactly scream "innocent."
Resolved by necessity to do what must be done, I tied my beard together with four small rubber bands. With eyes closed and scissors held to the base of my chin, I used the pulling-off-a-Band-Aid approach and let one lethal snip sever all but the roots from my face. My heart winced as I heard the scissors clink together and felt the hair come free. Since I've had it, my goatee has become more than just a hairstyle. Both literally and figuratively it had become an extension of my body; cutting it off was like cutting off an appendage.
Because of this hair's value to me while still attached to my body, my intention had at first been to send the tied-up hair home or at least save it, thinking it would serve as some sort of nostalgic memento. But as I held that bundle of whiskers in my hand after doing the deed, what I saw disgusted me. Like I was holding the tail of some mutant sewer rat. The revulsion was not just visual, either. There was some sort of instantaneous mental stigma attached to this hairy abomination which I'm not sure how to interpret. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that the almost two years in which I've had the extended goatee have fucking sucked.
American consumer confidence is gone; Bush is gone; and now my goatee is gone. Not all the change we're seeing is good. But watching that rat-tail swirl down the toilet was to me not unlike getting front-row seats to watch W. walk out of the White House for the last time on 1/20 glumly clutching his moving box marked "Curious George books." The hatchet finally buried on 2008 and the end of a miserable era.