by Eric Payne

I placed my tools on the cold, white porcelain of the pedestal sink in my bathroom: a tub of lavender scented shaving cream from England, a badger hair shaving brush, and a diamond-sharpened straight razor with a nickel-plated handle. As a boy, I learned the mechanics from watching my father, although he never actually taught me; and as a man, I mastered the finesse from six years of daily practice. But this day was different than any prior to it - I applied the warm cream to my head more out of necessity than whim. As I relieved myself of the burden of comb and brush I watched the already sharp lines of my perfectly trimmed mustache and goatee grow sharper and the expressiveness of my eyebrows become more pronounced. After the heat and steam and cold splashes to close my pores, I saw the man God intended when he made me. The regular dude I had been was rinsed down the drain, leaving in his place a pharaoh in the mirror staring back at me.


Eric Payne, author of World Traveler, has had pieces in Spindle Magazine and DiddleDog. He blogs here.