*this is part 1 of my own struggle beard life*
It’s the most unwanted time of the year. The time of year that brothas like me dread. Ladies and gentlemen…it is now Beard Season. Y’all thought I was going to say cuffing season didn’t ya? Nope. It just so happens that they coincide.
It’s a time of upheaval in the lives of some men because frankly, we can’t grow beards. You’re probably thinking “so what, get over it.” I’ve tried, and it’s not that easy.
When I was a little Darrk(ie), I used to marvel at the swath of hair that covered my father’s face. I had no idea what it was, but it looked kingly. He, and it were darker than the pictures I had seen of
white Jesus, but I knew that facial hair made him like a god. All the pictures I saw of Jesus had Him with a beard, and if my dad had one, he must be a son of God too. It’s amazing what kids’ imaginations can come up with.
Of course my father wasn’t the only man, or woman, I saw with a wooly beard, but his was the most important. The older I got I couldn’t wait to have a beard. Everybody told me I looked like my dad anyway; the beard would add to it. I hit puberty, and life changed. I remember I was singing a solo in church and my voice cracked. I started getting the “peach-fuzz” mustache, but no beard yet.
A couple more years go by, and now I’m in the midst of full-blown teendom. While in high school, I remember learning about genes, hereditary traits, and the like. None of it made much sense, but I did know my beard hadn’t grown in yet. My best friends both had one, but not I. I wondered when mine would finally come in.
Senior year rolls around, and still nothing. I decided to help my genes along and took a razor to my face. That was pretty dumb. Slight case of razor bumps developed, so I got smart and decided to shave off all my facial hair. To me, logic dictated that it would all grow back even, including a beard. Wrong again.
I made this move around prom time. What was I thinking?!
Y’all already know. My pops saw it and asked me a question.
Dad: do you trust black men?
Me: uh, yeah sure. Why do you ask?
Dad: have you ever seen one without facial hair?
Me: not that I can recall.
Dad: never trust a black man without facial hair. Ever.
Dad: you’ll understand when you’re older.
Well, I still don’t, but he doesn’t know that. Anyway, prom was, interesting. I hit my 20s and finally came into my own. Sort of.
To be continued…