Between bleeding and looking like a castaway

Between bleeding and looking like a castaway

Foto: Lina Botero

It’s not that I like to wear a beard, it’s that I don’t feel like shaving every day” used to say one of my teachers in high school when we asked about his beard. When I was old enough to grow a beard myself I realised that my skin was too thin in some spots, so shaving too often exposes superficial capillaries. As a result, I look like Homer Simpson after shaving: having small pieces of toilet paper attached to tiny bleeding points all over my face. The worst part is that every woman that noticed that told me exactly the same: “you should be more careful and stop cutting yourself!” spreading an unfounded reputation of clumsiness or recklessness. I quit shaving daily and decided to wait at least three days to shave again. After three days, my jaws and cheeks felt like sandpaper according to my girlfriend at that moment. In summary, no matter what I do, I end looking like Homer Simpson.

Years later, when I started to work as a freelancer I quit shaving at all, and felt much more comfortable just trimming my beard a little with an electric razor. My teacher was right. I didn’t like to look older with all that hair on my face, but it was much preferable to shaving every fourth day and looking like a homeless person between shaving days. In addition, I save myself from the itching when the tiny hairs are growing back and pinch the skin from inside.

A couple of years ago I went to Chile and the first thing I put in my luggage was my electric razor. However, the friend who was going to host me there convinced me about the futility of taking the razor with me due to the incompatible power outlets. So I spent about a month and a half in a foreign country growing a beard that made the locals think that I was a prophet or (more likely) a castaway just rescued by the Chilean navy. But I kept stuck to my policy of not shaving, so I decided to wait until I would be able to trim the beard with my own electric razor.

Finally I flew back to Bogotá but didn’t pass by my home town. I went directly to Santa Marta to join my family on vacation. Unfortunately, I arrived without a penny and depended completely on my mother to get back to Cali, so not being able to get back when it suited me was driving me nuts! People around me started to think that my messy look and uneasy behaviour were, undoubtedly, signs of a mental case, so they prudently gave me a lot of space around the pool where I tried to forget that I had to wait three more days until I get home.

When I finally arrived, I took a shower and shaved feeling an unexpected pleasure. I think most sheep must feel like that when they are shorn in hot summers.