WinterWalk by Mark B Hill
The clinic where I work has begun requiring all of us, even the support staff such as I am, to wear protective masks. This is due to not only an increase of Covid-19 but also of Respiratory Syncytial Virus aka RSV. I get irritated when I look at myself in the mirror. The daily mask wearing has made a mess of my long beard, causing it to tuck under my chin. It looks a little ridiculous, to be honest It's like if you parted your hair the wrong way and then put on a knit cap, leaving it there for a few days.
Irritated. Yes. I have worked so hard at not fussing with the beard. Not clipping or snipping the wild hairs. And now, at this very moment, I am considering trimming it down to a goatee. This is the wrong time of the year to have these thoughts. Usually, I consider this action when the weather warms in the Spring. But it's the end of January, in Wisconsin, and the Winter is far from over.
I lay this directly at the feet of all those dismal anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers. I firmly believe that they are the reason that Covid-19 has not been completely eradicated. They are the reason that the variants came, with the resulting extra boosters. All this because of some fucked-up sense of freedom, but without any responsibility.
I blame them that I will probably have to trim my beard. Jerks.
I think to myself that it's also a mixture of ego and a weird since of materialism. Isn't that why people who are initiated into being Buddhist monks shave their heads? A gesture of letting go? I am more inclined to cut my hair short, I wear a hat anyway and it gets thinner as I get older. I resist shaving or trimming short the beard.
Yet, I am not impulsive. Tomorrow morning, a Sunday, I might look again in the mirror while I brush my teeth and say to myself, "I'll leave it one more day."
Monday may present a different frame of mind. It depends on how early I get up to get ready. Shaving in the morning, before I've had coffee, presents a few obvious dangers. I try to avoid sharp objects before my morning coffee. It's not that my hand is unsteady, it's that my vision is blurred.