Beards of a feather flock together…

18 May

A magazine arrived in the office mail the other day, with a picture of Alan Jackson on the cover. His moustached mouth was curved seductively into a grin as he posed, leaning up against a haystack, (probably). It was out of the shot so I couldn’t tell it was a haystack, but I imagine it would be. I bet he likes haystacks. A lot. Anyway… it made me want to pinch his cheeks and snuggle up against his face. I’d be safe there, wrapped up in his hairy smile. I bet he smells like freshly reaped hay. I bet he has shirts in many shades of beige.

Something about men with moustaches has been strangely appealing to me as I’ve neared the middle of my twenties (oh alright, 30), even though I’ve never really been a fan of facial hair in any form. I had a teacher at school once who hated facial hair so much that she used to pencil in her own eyebrows. Well… I thought it was because she hated it, but I later learned that Mrs McManus had some weird disease, because her other hair fell out too. I felt bad about that.

Back when I lived in New York, my friend Ebeth had an ex in town who had a beard that would have made Jesus and all his disciples weep. This beard was amazing. This beard was the longest, most wiry, most incredible example of extreme masculinity I have ever seen. Other facially inferior men would stop in the streets, beard-envy brewing in their eyes as he strolled on by in oblivion. Glenn was the beard. It became more than a part of him.

Ebeth would often talk about the Glenn she used to know; the smile she used to love, the smooth skin of his cheeks that once would glow. Glenn would nod as he sipped his pint next to her, remembering the days when he too could look in the mirror and see his face. But my, how he loved his new look. He would twist clumps of his beard into little points that stayed on their own when he let go. He would stroke this hairy monstrosity into shapes like a pet he’d been training for years, and Ebeth would occasionally reach out into its masses, hoping for a part of it, like the relentless lady who lost her man to the tramp.

When Glenn left New York, we missed his beard. People would no longer have as much reason to talk to us in bars. You should have heard the conversations – ”So, my friend, how long’ve you been growing yours?”, “Do you find your pillow gets sweaty in the night when you sleep on your stomach?”

Beards follow beards it seems. Beards of a feather flock together, perhaps.

Glenn kind of ruined it for other people with beards though. I mean, you simply couldn’t top that thing. It really wasn’t worth anyone even trying. If a bloke was to say “Hey, ladies, do you like my beard? I’ve been growing it for two months,” any girl who’d been a part time traveler in Glenn’s thirteen month facial expedition would have to shake her head, shrug her shoulders and say “Sorry, I’m not interested. I’ve seen ‘beard’ in its truest form and I’ll accept no imitations.”

I’ve never really locked lips with anyone with a big beard. I’m not sure it wouldn’t feel a lot like practicing french kissing on your favorite teddy bear. They’re nice to look at though. I think, maybe, it’s a comfort thing with me. I’m attracted to people who make me feel comfortable and many bearded people are associated with such feelings. Santa Claus, of course is the main one. Then there’s my oldest friend Dave’s dad, who’s always laughing and pouring huge measures of alcohol into his tea cup when his wife’s out of the room. Then of course… there’s one more,…oh yeah, Jesus. So, hmmm,… maybe it’s more an inner peace thing I need to find, not a piece of beard.

Alan’s still looking mighty fine, though.

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