The Facial Hair of Emotional Recovery continues to grow in, with its attendant Itching of Well-Being and Scruffiness of Eventual Acceptance. Last Sunday night, the seven-day anniversary of the FHOER, many family members complimented the facial hair, though I suspect it was because they hadn't seen me in a while. You can't criticize too severely your prodigal nephew, or his pathetic attempt at a beard, when you have no idea whether it represents a whim or a conscious lifestyle choice.
My father Dennis expressed approval, but then laughed when he heard I hadn't shaved in a week. "It's been seven days?" he guffawed, incredulous, and my hairless cheeks burned with embarrassment. Dennis displayed the arrogance that comes from having successfully maintained a full, hippie beard for over a decade, and then a mustache for ten years more. He was polite enough not to explicitly mention my lack of testosterone, expressing only the wishful belief that the "patchiness" would eventually fill in.
"Patchiness" is a kind word for the goatee, which mostly looks like my chin has somehow been magnetized, and then dipped into a bowl of iron filings. It is fuller on the right side than the left, which could indicate a parietal lobe injury, or a rare case of beard-based dyslexia. Most likely, it's due to my own sloppiness. I never know exactly what shape the goatee is supposed to have, or where to stop shaving. Like Reepicheep in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, I am curious to find the edge, but I know not where it is. Perhaps Aslan could help, but you know he'd just tell me to grow out the whole thing, along with my hair. Also, he'd roar at me about going to church, and I just don't need that from the magical Jesus-lions in my life right now, OK?
More goatee here