To Beard or Not to Beard

Thursday, June 30th, 2005 | Food, Friends

Should I grow my beard back or not? This is the kind of aesthetic dilemma that I grapple with these days. I’m a little weary of the Late-30’s Metrosexual look that I’ve toyed with since shearing my whiskers, and am thinking about repositioning my corporal identity. Again. The thing is, I’ve gotten really gray, with sideburns that are almost completely white. When but a wee homosexual entranced by all things over 40, I yearned for the day when I, too, had white streaks tumbling from my ears, but now, on the eve of 40, I have them and have exhausted all conceivable sideburn configurations to maximize visibility of the few remaining non-gray hairs. I’m left with the alternatives of looking like either your cool high school history teacher, or a nerdy geologist. Having always been attracted to a type that is quite my opposite, the gap between what I desire and what I look like is narrowing. Just narrowing, mind you, I don’t think I’ll ever have the cute little hairy belly and stocky legs that drive me insane. Narcissism is something that I’m not familiar with, as I’ve never thought of myself as particularly attractive, being drawn to such a completely different kind of creature, so hence the heart of my dilemma: do I embrace a slimmed down version of what I find I attractive (the nerdy geologist with a beard), or a regular late 30-something that continues the tradition of being detached from what people find attractive in me (your cool high school history teacher, senza beard)?

You decide for me, okay?

Last night, Philip came over for dinner and a movie with me, BC and Megan: mussels steamed in wine, thyme, tomato, onions and saffron, and mixed greens. Philip astounded us with his homemade maraschino cherries over ice cream for dessert, and we ended up drinking too much and ditched the movie.

Since I last made any real art work, photography seems to have died. Eeek! (I’m talking about photography that’s about an engagement with process.) This raises some challenging new questions for me similar to what I should do with my facial hair: do I continue to embrace an archaic form of capturing my experience, and have the process dominate the expression? I chose to work with the grid at the beginning of all this, when the internet provided a new and unparalleled access to the naked body. The structure of the grid organized the images like pixels. Nobody got it, though. Sigh. Anyway, it’s a beautiful day, with much to think about and no pressure to do anything about it.

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