I Miss You: A Love Letter to My Beard
Beards come and beards go,
But this beard will never know,
The love that burns for him;
The loneliness beneath my chin,
This beard will never know!
Penning this letter to you, Beard, has been no easy task. You have been on my face for so long that it feels like forever. You have been a steadfast companion in the most memorable moments of my life, and I believe that it is you who keep them alive in my mind.
When I first met you, I wasn’t sure that things would work out between us, but you grew on me. I’m sorry for cutting you off again, and I want you back.
Even though you were just stubble at the time, you were there for my first kiss. You made me look strong, virile even, and we both know that’s what women love. Your presence on that blissful day was a scratchy sensation for my partner.
Now, the energy that was used to grow and groom you must be channelled into other, less important things, like humour and wit, cleanliness and bigger biceps, in order to attract the ladies. If I ever had motivation for such things, I don’t have them anymore, now that you’re gone.
A teary smile spreads across my face, as memories of our special moments alone surface. I’m not ashamed to let the world know of how wild you could get. It scared most people, but it didn’t scare me, Beard. Your rapid growth was irresistible to touch. I would run my fingers up and down the length of you, stand you up on end, flatten you, twist you round and round my finger, and penetrate you in ways only I knew how, ending with a quick brush before we went out. I saved this treatment for you alone, Beard.
What will I stroke now, when I contemplate the banality of life, and think of sardonic ways of depressing my fellow man in Facebook statuses? What will protect my childish nature from becoming obvious to mature people? I have nothing to ward off the insecure, who assumed so much of me because of you. Now, everyone will see me for the barefaced liar I really am. You have given me so much.
If you can remember, we lived together on Bushe Street, St Augustine for nine months, thereabouts. Sometimes, we’d walk home after long nights of exciting meetings that I really wanted to be a part of. I regret that I never told you this when you were with me, but I would feel so safe with you around. It never crossed the mind of any thief to jump me, because they probably thought I was one of them. Now I’m truly afraid that my empty face would reveal my boyish, sometimes-good looks, making me vulnerable.
But you must admit, we had our rough patches didn’t we? Sometimes you would grow out of place and irritate my skin! The last time we broke up, it was over the same thing, and I just had to cut you off for some time.
I see now why you were so rash with me, when we got back together. I’m ashamed of breaking up with you for a job, this time. I promise. If my boss can’t accept our relationship, he’s just jealous that his moustache is nothing compared to you.
Our break-up was not all your fault. We were both to blame – I for my careless grooming, and you for your wild growth. And what have I gained for it? The tears that now roll all the way down my cheek, unchecked by you, makes me count them as nothing.
What is it for a boy pretending to be a man to gain a dapper look and lose his beard? The furtive winks from the opposite sex, the higher number of private messages, and the increased probability of online conversations starting with “heyyyy” (note the 4 y’s) are nothing to propitiate my pugnacious, now lonely, jaw.
Please take me back. On this third day, you are beginning to rise again. At 3 o’clock, I carelessly passed my right hand across my face – surely a subconscious attempt at re-living a memory. I felt you, Beard. You’re not your full self yet, but I wait patiently in sure hope, that one day we would be reunited, face to follicle, and full of life – young, wild, and intimidating. But if you grow out of place again, I’ll cut you.
PS – Remember our Muslim friend? The one who greeted us “As-salamu Alaykum” in Port of Spain, and asked for money? I happened across him yesterday. He noticed you were gone, and asked if I was now a Christian. You were missed, as I thoughtfully stroked my beardless chin for that conversation.
Image credit: beardedandblack.tumblr.com