Moments Before

I never meant for this to go so far. At a certain point, it felt like things got out of control and I was powerless to do anything about it. What started as laziness had grown to a point where it had a life of its own. I was supposed to be in control, but now I was a passenger. Then on March 15, I grabbed the wheel back. I empowered myself. Took control of the situation.

It wasn’t easy to say goodbye to a close friend. We had become inseparable. It was a relationship that had started in June, possibly May of 2018. It is hard to pinpoint a date, but I know the whole affair started before leaving for the mission trip in Vidor, Texas.

There was no plan. Nothing was building towards anything. There were many times I felt like just cutting things off and walking away. There were times I looked in the mirror and told myself that I can’t do this any more. But I would cave and walk away.

Initially I was going to say goodbye on January 1. New year, new beginnings. Even though the stinging encounter with a parade Santa had left a wound that had just days before been ripped open by a little girl at the Chinese buffet, I wasn’t ready to pull the trigger. I needed some documentation. Proof of what I had become. I was going to take some pictures before finally walking out on this toxic relationship.

Then, the weather changed. A polar vortex ripped through the area. Some days the wind chill factor was below -40. Some days it was below -20 without the wind chill factor. The temperature stayed below freezing for six straight weeks.

Rather than committing to the change that needed to be made, I used the cold as an excuse. As a crutch. As a reason to hold on.

But the cold weather receded and my resolve strengthened. A new date for a new me arrived in March. The first day of spring. New life. New beginnings. Time to say goodbye. Place this friend aside and walk away.

I still needed the pictures. If I ever saw that old friend again I could remember the pictures and remind them, we were good together, but even the best things come to an end.

Moments before my beard got shaved off, I sat down for a photo shoot. Jay took the following pictures:


Moments Before

Moments Before

Moments Before

Moments Before

Moments Before

Moments Before

Moments Before

Moments Before

Moments Before

Moments Before

Moments Before

Moments Before

Moments Before

Moments Before

Moments Before

Moments Before

Moments Before

Moments Before

Moments Before

Moments Before

Moments later, I would look like a corporate sellout. My old friend wanted to punch me in the face, but there were quite a few moments between the glory of the beard and the shame of being a dirty nakedface.

8 thoughts on “Moments Before”

  1. #BeardStrong #Integrity #ChaChaChaChaChaChia #WinterIsComing Love ya man. I have to admit, the beard was mighty and will rise again, but the pure art that occurred on the way to dirty naked face was pretty great.

  2. Linda, thanks for acknowledging that with a great beard comes great responsibility. Taking on such a beard is very courageous.

    Tamara, I’ll be thinking about that when it is snowing on Thursday.

    Jesse, but the beard will actually rise again. Unlike the racist stain on history known as “The South”.

    Angie, The problem with second from the bottom is that implies that the beard is scratchy. It isn’t. It is a thing of beauty, And a thing of beauty:

    “A thing of beauty is a joy for ever: Its loveliness increases; it will never Pass into nothingness; but still will keep”

    You know who said that, anybody that saw that beard (except the old men in my church who hate it) and John Keats said it and that guy from WHITE MEN CAN’T JUMP said it as well.

    But all that is neither here nor is it over there. The point is that a well maintained beard, one conditioned on the regular with oils and washed with the finest beard shampoos the world has to offer, is not itchy. But a joy to behold and to hold.

  3. Ah, I remember that line from White Men Can’t Jump. I believe it was the white man who said it. And Rosie Perez illuminated men everywhere about sympathizing when she’s thirsty.

    It was a beautiful beard – even if it was “weird-looking,” though that may not be the precise quote. It’s hard for me to remember when she was cutting you off at every turn.

  4. Actually it is Wesley Snipes friend in the Jordan jersey that says it. The same guys that sings:

    “We going to Sizzler. We going to Sizzler.”

    I’m not sure that was the lesson that most men learned from Rosie Perez’ character though.

    Don’t worry about your matriarch badmouthing the beard. It is good to know she still loathes me. It is the bass note that I can build the sympathy of my life upon.

  5. OH YEAH! The Sizzler guy. I think he was also the hype man when Woody was choosing which basket to shoot at to get Wesley’s attention? It has been decades since I have seen that movie or those parts of Rosie.

    She is consistent and predictable, if nothing else. One of her defining characteristics?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*