Sunday, October 23, 2005

Stubble Trouble

The Photo Booth

“Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter.” ~ Mark Twain

No stubble.

That’s strange. I took a double-take in the mirror because my chin seemed oddly youthful this morning. Almost always, without fail, by 5 AM and 5 PM stubble rears its stubborn head. Around 8 AM at the gym and 8 PM at home, I shave in the shower, which gives my face 9 hours to grow new hair and show that “I am a man” and at least old enough to drive.

But this morning was different.

Eerily, I recalled Dorian Gray and Jitterbug Perfume, and presumed that what I saw was all but an illusion, a perceptual elision of the aging mind, and mainly a matter of not having had my coffee.

A few days ago I was asked, “If the aging process could be reversed what age would I revert to?” I responded with an earnest note, “I don’t play hypotheticals.”
For I usually don’t. I just know that getting all worked up over some fantasy is about as detrimental to one’s health as second-hand smoke. It’s the false hope that motivates millions upon millions of honest folks and hapless souls to whittle away their hard-earned pay upon the lottery everyday.

Of course, on occasion, because I am desperately human, I too will break down and throw a dollar into the pot.

“Why not?” is my usual absent-minded reasoning. For risky and rebellious optimism will always be the rich reserve of youth.

And so, I smiled in the mirror and said to myself, “Why not? I could actually be getting younger…”

It was a wonderful way to start the morning.

“. . . Years steal Fire from the mind, as vigor from the limb; And life's enchanted cut but sparkles near the brim.” ~ Childe Harold (canto III, st. 8), Lord Byron

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