Saturday, April 3, 2010

Three Times Three


Every year on Good Friday, the businesses in my old hometown used to close their doors from noon until three. It might have been warm that day, or a cold, dark cloud might have descended; a stranger would search in vain for a haircut. Once, on the day before Easter, I was waiting my turn in the barbershop, watching one of the locals getting an old-fashioned shave. He told the barber, and consequently everyone else in the shop, that he wanted to look his best for the Easter sunrise service at the little cemetery on the hill east of town. I didn’t know his name. But every time I saw him after that, I remembered his shave and what he said. I also knew that if my father had shaved the afternoon before Easter, he would have needed to shave again by morning. In junior high, the fuzz on my face was turning brown. It was time: Dad found an old electric razor that literally yanked the hair from my skin — not the shaving experience I had admired and imagined. I stood at the mirror like him, growing tougher by the minute. Before long, I’d earned the right to a grown-up razor, mug, and brush. I still have them, and the mirror. These days, I scrape around the edges, as if I were tending a roadside field. Some days are warm; on others, a cold, dark cloud descends. I am not the way, or the life. Have never been. But the road, I must say, is a cross I love to bear.


Recently Linked: A hearty welcome to two new followers: Wine and Words, who is recovering in a state of Quiet Commotion from her recent run-in with martinis; and Diane Dehler, who blends art, haiku, and urban aesthetics in her life and in her blog, Princess Haiku.

Update:
In the Forum: Barbaric Apps.

8 comments:

ALeks said...

Hi William you made me laugh reading again,you wizard of words you,what a lovely story about father,growing up,love,crossroads and fields again,I love the part of the road is a cross you love to bear,I love roads too for some unknown,mysterious reason, if a careful bystander in my lives gallery should look closer he could see in most of my sketches there are roads to somewhere or to nowhere!! Wonderful!!
Have a peaceful and beautiful day!

William Michaelian said...

Thanks! And I’m glad you mentioned the roads, because I’ve seen them in your drawings....

Rachel said...

Lieber, guter William,

lächelnd war ich wieder mitten in deinem Leben...

und ja, du hast so recht, ein jeder hat im Leben sein Kreuz zu tragen, das ist einfach so...

Dir ein gesegnetes, glückserfülltes Osterfest

herzlichst, Rachel

William Michaelian said...

Happy Easter, Rachel, and thanks for walking a little further with me on this strange, familiar road. You’re always so kind!

Elisabeth said...

I have not long considered the state of growing whiskers and what it must feel like from the inside. I only know about it from the outside, particularly as a little girl.

The feel of my father's stubble was horrible. It might have been better had he grown a beard, which he did once I had grown.

William Michaelian said...

Elisabeth, your observation feels like part of the disturbing, moving poem you posted a few hours ago.

Of course, I was a boy, and maybe that’s why I used to marvel at and admire the stubble on my father’s face, both in feel and appearance.

At the same time, though, each memory we have is so bound up in other memories; I don’t know if a memory can possibly exist in isolation.

Just thinking aloud. Thank you.

ALeks said...

From my own life I can tell that the memory can exist in complete isolation,our brain does marvellous tricks on us sometimes,or better to say,my little brain did!!Cases of major traumas lived trough to unveil those one day! If this make any sense to you I will be very happy!

William Michaelian said...

Oh, it does, Aleksandra, it does.