Friday, May 07, 2010

A Mustachioed Tale.

In all my years as a man who has enjoyed growing hair on his face, I have yet to walk into a barbershop and ask for a mustache. At least I could have said that before the evening of May the 4th, just a couple days back. The recent history is written all over my face. I suppose now, in addition to calling me a mustachioed man, you could call me one of those changed men as well.

At the recently discovered Platinum Barbers, just a few minutes’ drive from where I work in Lake Mary, I was able to walk in on Tuesday and have Lou kill my beard for me right before quitting time. Just outright kill it. Put it right down. It was hard to do, too, as it was a good beard. I’d spent two wonderfully lazy months building something all kinds of salt-and-peppered lumberjack beautiful. And it’s not that I haven’t killed a good number of beards in my time—I have—I just felt like putting my annual traditional mustache into the hands of a professional this time around. I wanted to let skilled fingers, razors and scissors go where my bumbling hands and untrained eyes couldn’t. I also wanted one of those hot towels, a big vat of shaving cream and a straight edge razor to be part of my immediate future.

I guess one of the three beats none at all, right?

There was definitely a straight razor. There were also clippers and scissors and electric razors and some kind of a skin-softening lotion that made me smell impossibly shower fresh until bedtime. Sadly, though, some of those old barbershop traditions had been left by the wayside. Lou, who had absolutely no hair atop his head and only a bit of an odd goatee growing out of the underside of his chin, was indeed good at what he did. And, well, I should have expected he’d take off more than I thought he might, passing right by handlebar mustache territory and straight into a land I hadn’t known with my upper lip. That was okay with me, mind you, I just didn’t know he’d do what he did. I’d sorta allowed him free reign. How do I explain it properly, anyway? I can say that I looked like a Mexican from the top of that same lip to the bottom of my nose and that’d be okay, right? He’d carved out his version of a mustache and, to be truthful, only with the briefest hint of a hesitation. In fact, when I told him what I wanted, he looked at me for a second, paused and said, owning up to a fairly thick accent: “You’re gon’ look deefren’, man.” And, with that, he was all business. He did what I was paying him to do.

And, yeah, I did look different. Lou’d foretold my future. In fact, in addition to that Mexican mustache, he’d gone ahead and turned that blonde tuft of a soul patch below my mouth into an upside-down triangle. When I looked into the mirror afterward, I no longer saw what had once been a finely rounded beard. Instead, I saw Don Quixote without his suit of armor. Or, according to that artist of a man, Lou, I just looked ... weird. At least he recognized me as one who didn’t need that boost of self-confidence to continue on with the rest of my night. All’s I needed was his honest opinion.

It was largely due to this kind of honesty that I was willing to go above and beyond that $6 he had charged me and give him a 10-spot instead. With trumpet-ridden Latin music having had played the entire time my cheeks and chin were being properly re-exposed to the bright light of this world (with what can only amount to being a Farmer’s Tan, just on my face) and now owning one fine mustache, I was shaved and readied for Cinco de Mustache. With it, I could take on the world.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"with what can only amount to being a Farmer’s Tan, just on my face"

I've always wondered if that would happen!