31 July 2008

Zap that Beard!

It's hard for me to believe now that I had a beard, on and off, for about twenty years. Just as there are people in my life now who have known me only as Justine, there were people in my previous life who never saw my face: only the reddish hair that grew from it.

It's probably been seven or eight years since I last allowed my facial hair to grow. Until the other day, that is: I had to refrain from shaving until this evening. And it was an odd sensation to feel fuzz on my face, and to feel that itch I hadn't felt in so long: I felt as if my cheeks and chin had turned into nests for mosquitoes.

Do mosquitoes have nests? Don't ask me: I may be an etymologist of sorts, but I ain't no entomologist!

It didn't feel good, but I'm not sure that any of the few people I saw today noticed--except for the ones I saw tonight. I could hardly see my fuzz unless I held my face only a few inches from the mirror.

So why did I have to turn my face into a blonde Chia-Pet? It was for the people I saw tonight. Three young women, specifically.

No, I haven't gone back to the boy's life. And my "date" with those young women didn't involve drinks (which I don't do), dancing or...well, you know. (I promised to be faithful to Dominick, after all!) Hey, we were in Forest Hills, not Soho or Tribeca.

What was I doing with the young women? The answer is what they were doing to me.

This evening, those women gave me my very first electrolysis treatment. Actually, two of them did the work, and one looked on. They are all students at a school of electrolysis on Metropolitan Avenue. One of them, Tanya, is a southerner with a voice of slowly melted vanilla fudge that conveys her warmth and empathy. I just hope no one abuses those qualities in her: She is a reflexive nurturer, and men and women can find their own ways to take advantage of her. On the other hand, being a very intelligent and attractive young woman, she will attract enough people to her that she'll find at least a few good ones.

She is just the sort of person you want yanking hairs out of your face and zapping the roots with an electrically charged needle (I hear Wall Streeters pay good money for this sort of thing! ;-) ), especially if you're having it done for the first time. She's very encouraging: I could easily imagine her as a physical therapist or a counselor of some sort.

She could advise people like me who are complete wimps about pain and who are about to undergo the procedure for the first time. For the uninitiated: If you've ever tweezed your eyebrows, remember what it felt like the first time you did it. Now, imagine a spot is still throbbing, and someone dabbed it with a needle that injected a mixture of rubbing alcohol and lemon juice for a fraction of a second.

Certainly, it's not the worst pain anyone can experience. But I have no idea of what that feels like, so all I have are experiences like my first electrolysis. And, I'm sure, I'll get used to it: I will probably go back every week until I have my surgery.

You see, Barry, who's in charge, explained that it's better to do the procedure gradually. Most people who have scarring either had the procedure done too quickly or with the machine at too high a setting. And, if not done gradually, the chance of hair regrowing is greater.

And, before a facial procedure, you have to allow the hair to grow for at least two days beforehand. So, for the next year, I get to be a guy again, sort of, for two days a week.

Hmm... Maybe it won't itch after I let the lawn grow a few times. Still, I look forward to not needing a shave again because, well, now I have even bigger things to look forward to.

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