I woke up last night on fire, dripping sweat. I had a terrible nightmare that someone had cut off my beard. To attempt to calm myself down, I went into the bathroom to get a glass of water. As I tipped the small, plastic cup into my mouth, I felt something. Actually, it was more the lack of something that I felt. I reached my shivering hand up to my face, and sure enough, my nightmare was true. My beard was gone.
Yesterday, I went to receive a haircut. The man, I can only assume in a fit of rage because he himself didn’t have a beard and was therefore jealous of mine, shaved off the majority of my face warmer. And now, instead of standing out as an individual, as a man, nay, as a beard, I’m nothing. I’m just another human being without a beard on their face.
It’s going to be a difficult day, I can already tell. I’ve lived every day of the last four years as part of something, as something greater than myself. But today I’m going to have to learn to live as nothing but flesh and bones… beardless flesh and bones.
I shaved my neck this morning in an attempt to accentuate what little facial hair I still have left. Hopefully this illusion will fool some, but it won’t fool me. Every time I lift my hand up to nervously fidget with my chin or to rub my mustache as though I’m deep in thought, I’m reminded of the atrocities of July 25, 2017.
But, I will survive. I will come out of this stronger than before. My next beard will be beautiful and glorious. It will be a testament to all beards that came before it. It will stand tall as a monument to its fallen brethren. But until that day… I shall remain humble in my beardlessness.