by Stephen Bradley
The Beard is starting to look good; at least I think the Beard is starting to look good. I no longer look unkempt and scruffy as if I just haven’t bothered shaving for a day or two. I now look like I’m growing a beard.
Opinion however is divided on the subject of the Beard. My sister in law says it suits me, but my father asked me tonight when I was going to shave it off. And my old Mum just hates beards – beards and tattoos. Well I don’t have any tattoos, I hate them too, but I am now the proud owner of a beard.
I find myself trying to catch glimpses of the Beard in mirrors, driving in the car, stopping at traffic lights and surreptitiously checking in the rear view mirror to see if it’s still there and if it still looks as enigmatic and rugged as it did an hour ago when I last checked it and hoping that no other motorists happen to glance my way whilst I’m partaking in a little pogonophile vanity.
That means the love of, or attraction to beards, by the way. I looked it up on the Internet. It’s my new word, even if the spell check on my computer doesn’t recognise it.
I justify my narcissistic actions by telling myself that I see women checking their makeup or their hair at traffic lights practically on a daily basis.
The Beard has thickened up quite well; a nice even covering with no obvious unsightly bald patches that some blokes get and thankfully it doesn’t itch too much yet either. A lot of grey in the Beard though, much more than I anticipated, especially below the jaw line and on the chin.
Can you get two-tone beards?
Still, I am fifty years old next month so I guess some grey is to be expected.
Jeez, I’m still trying to work out how that happened. I mean, I know I’m older. I know time has passed by and often passed me by and it seems to pass at an ever reckless pace the older I get. I’m of an age now that when I glance at the celebrity pages in a newspaper I have no idea who most of the so called celebs are.
Still, I don’t feel fifty which I guess is half the battle in this aging thing. On some days I still don’t feel grown up.
That little stray brown hair is still there, growing on top of the left ear with not another hair near it. I pull my ear away from the side of my head and give the hair a flick with my finger as, not for the first time, I wonder how a solitary hair ended up growing up there on top of my ear in the first place.
I run my hand over my face. I’ve been doing that a lot of late. I like the feel, the texture of the beard, its coarseness. Men with beards I’ve noticed seem to run their hands over their face a lot. Sometimes I give mine a gentle tug between my finger and thumb. I don’t know why I do that. Maybe it’s a subconscious thing. Perhaps subconsciously I fear it’s not a real beard, so I give it a gentle tug now and then just to make sure it’s real and that it doesn’t come off in my hand like a novelty shop wig.
I turn my head a little to one side to view the Beard in profile.
Yeah, it looks pretty good.
It’s going to be a bastard to shave off though.
Stephen Bradley works for a conservation charity.