Goodbye Beard, You Were a Good Friend
In about 10 minutes, my beard will be no longer. Well, maybe in 20 – it takes awhile to hack through all this mess. It’s a slightly sad thing, parting with a beard. You wouldn’t know unless you committed for months to letting a itchy nightmare turn into a soft, fluffy beard. I’ve been experimenting with beards as long as I can remember. I grew my first goatee in 8th grade and never looked back and have rarely been without it (if memory serves me correct I have only had two instances of a completely smooth face since the beginning of high school).
Back when I was touring, I regularly grew a beard while we were on the road. It had less to do with fashion and more to do with not liking to shave under a trickle of cold water from a rusty sink in some dilapidated backstage room with 13 other guys. Simply put, the sinks in those places were gross. Since I was married or dating for quite a lot of that time, I would always cut through the thick beard on the last day of tour, revealing soft shiny new skin. One of our crew guys always waited to see me fresh faced before he would exclaim, “It must be the last day of tour!”
Typically, I start my beards these days somewhere around the beginning of hockey season and take them until the Philadelphia Flyers get knocked out of their run to the playoffs. It’s an old hockey tradition to grow a “hockey beard” once a team has made the playoffs, but I always took it a step further.
This beard has been around since early October and has been a wonderful friend. Anyone who knows someone with a beard knows they are a comfort zone for those of us with them. We stroke them as we ponder deep topics and often use them to punctuate our sentences. I will miss it quite a bit, but something tells me it’s time for this one to go. When the gut speaks, I listen.
So farewell old friend, perhaps I will see you down the road – maybe next October or perhaps even earlier if I come down with a good fever (fever beards are an excellent way to begin the process). I’ll miss you, but we’ll meet again soon.