The Regret of Shaving

No pictures of me exist online. You may try to find some but you will be unsuccessful. When it comes to social media I am a shade. Searching my name only brings up my Twitter. If the mood takes you, you may search my name on Google (or Bing or Yahoo if you’re a savage) in an attempt to find some image of my head. You will fail, for, as I have written above, no pictures of me exist. To prove this point I typed in Lovatt into Google and hit enter. Pictures that have been posted by me on this website appeared, pictures of other people with the surname Lovatt appeared (I have no relation to any of those so don’t attempt to click on those to find me), and, for some odd reason, a lot of pictures of Prince Charles appeared. Thus proving my point that there are no pictures of me. Thomas Pynchon is a media whore when compared to me.

While I would like to claim that this online anonymity has been planned to make me this ethereal, near-mythical creation, the reality is a lot more painful: it’s because I have no jaw.

Not literally no jaw—I’m not Darth Malak, or someone who ends up a far less nerdy reference. It’s just not very defined. The way I normally solve this issue is by having some form of facial hair adorn my face. By grooming it a little, I can create the illusion of a jawline. It’s not the most ideal of situations but it’s either that or very painful realignment surgery. I’m not doing that. I’m not vain enough and in any case I’m not going to waste money on that when I can keep squandering my wealth on books from charity shops.

Until recently I had what I could possibly refer to as my fullest beard. It was thick and coarse and had no bald patches, which as all men know is a tear-worthy thing to have. I had been maintaining this longer beard due to having agreed with my friend that neither of us would shave until one of us had made some success in the literary world.

As such, I was prepared to spend the rest of my days combing a beard, much like Alan Moore or Rasputin. But two things made me change my mind: the first, it was itching, and itching to such an extent that no oils or creams would soothe it and suicide was fast becoming the only conceivable way in which the itching could be quelled. And the second, it was about to become the first of the month, and I felt like having a shave to usher in the new month would be like some ritual to myself that this month would be a productive and profitable one.

I snipped away at the beard with some scissors to thin it out for the razor, lathered myself up with some shaving foam (I won’t say which one because when I do eventually become famous I will come back and edit this piece to make it a stealthy advertisement for some shaving brand) and went about carving the hair from my face. Incidentally I was never taught how to shave and I still think I do it wrong. What I tend to do is glide the blade up and down a portion of my face, almost as if I’m peeling the skin off a potato. It’s the only way that works for me, that one stroke down and repeat thing is an utter nonsense.

Once I was done I wiped off the excess foam, and prepared myself to look at the face that was going to begin the month with such aplomb. Now most people say they see themselves as a baby when they shave. I didn’t. What I saw was a thumb. A blending of face and chin and jaw and neck all the way down to the clavicle. And not an attractive thumb at that, a gross oversized thumb distorted and disformed by morbid obesity. In other words, my thumb.

Now I’m having to walk around wearing a bandana, lest I walk past any mirror and find myself fighting the urge to vomit as I stare back into the abyss. I don’t even have the luxury of regrowing facial hair at a fast pace. A friend, who truly defines multiculturalism by being of Italian, Saudi and Turkish descent barely has to wait until lunch before he’s sprouting a new beard. It’s going to be at least July before I begin to show any form of facial hair upon my own chin.

Let this be a lesson to you all: never shave. Even you women shouldn’t shave. Let’s all just be hairy as God intended and call it a day.

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