by Michael B.
A swipe of the razor and a
tuft of hair vanishes. He grew it for weeks
because everyone knows the good ones have
beards, she said. A dip in cloudy water and
then a slash, but carefully. Black hair
floats and mixes with suds. Drops of blood ping
into the frothy sink. He grunts and grits his
teeth. His hair is tough and thick and every
swipe-slash digs deeper.
In college, he showed up to
audition for Hamlet, not knowing the part was
gone and the rehearsal over. They smiled when
they told him, but his cheeks still burned. He
hadnt had a beard then and no invitation
either. He wonders now, as another bit of beard
disappears and a steady stream of bloody drips
colors the water, if that set a pattern.
another. Foolish to grow a beard just because a
girl said something not meant for him. Slash.
A beard doesnt make a man good. Shed
laughed when he asked her what she thought. Slash.
His cheeks, visible again, burns in the
mirror. His friends laughed too, You look
He grunts and sobs and
lifts the razor again. One more and hell be
There slash - hes done.
Skin smooth, raw except rivulets of rust running
down his cheeks and his chin, heavy with dark,
gray-speckled hair that match his eyes. The razor
splashes, sinks and disappears into the foul
water. He practices his evil grin, tilts the
corner of his mouth. His canine teeth are sharper,
could be sharper. He winks; hell get by.
Everyone likes the
bad boys, he says. Hes heard that too.