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10 February 2009 @ 11:35 pm
The Pride of Beards  
Haircut today. My beard is thinned down to almost nothing and my haircut is boyish and clean. The barber took liberties like always but I let him. It is me being a women in a novel, like what I was reading today in the diner, a feminist novel Pig Tales, which made me feel gross so I had to switch to my other new book. It felt good to cut my hair. To have my hair cut. Beards have pros and cons, sometimes they are the tangible evidence of sloth and filth and insecurity. Though mostly it is purely functional-my winter sweater. I wonder often about people's comments: "Nice beard" "It suits you" "I wish I could grow one like that." Do you really think that much about beards? Do you want one that much? Beard is something to be grown between twenty-one and thirty.

I bought a bunch of stocks recently and now have to check them incessantly. It is time for another internet fast. This technology is creeping forward too quickly recently. A bunch of people sitting around an apartment, it is only a matter of time before the laptop is taken out. How many iphones are whipped out in bars? Rising on par with the weather for conversation filler is the latest youtube phenomena. (I don't get the Christian Bale one. I have played through many sides but it is still weird and pointless. I prefer Alabama Leprechaun or Otto the Cat anyday. Guilty as charged.) It's all fine but I wonder if its penetration is too viral, too quick, too fast for the losses to be noticed. I think about the very deep loss of literacy and focus. Of course this is the story of the past century but we had that whole postmodern dash which in some ways acted against it. That was a constructive self-consciousness which is no longer active, shot itself in the foot. At least I think it did. But we must be always vigilant.

Pop culture and the co-opting of it is sort of the answer but I am the least knowledgeable person in the world when it comes to this. I can't remember the words to any song-To Happy Birthday. I am a very blind man. It leaves me quiet at parties with geeks that I like.

There is dangerously little breathing room between the baby-carriages and me. There is the mass of rich people in Park Slope who have slowly but surely taken over Prospect Heights and there is just the few blocks of Carribeans mixed with Yuppies between me and them. I felt this today when I was assaulted at the closest coffee shop to me by a number of small German-speaking children. Small children. My stop, Franklin Avenue, is the last for white people. It is embarassing. Segregation is rotten.

Took the train to Bay Ridge because I was already drifting out into that part of Brooklyn to get my haircut. The black barbers in my neighborhood would surely make a disaster of my hair which is straight as spaghetti. One day I should try it for kicks. Southwest Brooklyn is nice. The idea of being in a corner, of it being a neighborhood with a more permanent family-centric feeling, and the lack of any dominant ethnic group or race. That place, at least, is not segregated. But there are no blacks, though many Arabs. Recently, I have consciously tried to lay off the driving and it pays off. To sit and read and stare at people and figure out what books they're reading themselves leaves me much calmer than driving down the same streets alone even if it takes much longer.

I will take the bar of Norwegian chocolate I bought in Bay Ridge out of my jacket pocket and get a glass of milk and take myself to bed and finish reading Kavalier and Clay, which I got today at the library. It is so good and soothing because it is pure fun and well-written. I will do my best to wash away the chocolate with the milk but I will still go to sleep without brushing my teeth for once because today is the last day on earth. I go back to work tomorrow.
thejunkpit on February 12th, 2009 03:57 am (UTC)
this is good.

Jamespseudo1 on February 12th, 2009 04:58 pm (UTC)
You should reclaim Bay Ridge for the wayward Scandinavians.
It's weird I had a dream once a long time ago when you revealed to me that you stuffed your beard and picked big clumps out of it to show me and I was most stunned, and like "you think you know a person." I can't imagine not having at least a five o' clock shadow, I feel like I can't turn back. My sister and her fiance have pleaded with me to shave for their wedding, and I'm going to. Maybe I'll change my ways.
Yeah, the Christian Bale rant is out of control, but really, who cares? Alabama Leprechaun is without peer. I've pretty much weaned myself off YouTube. If you want to do another internet fast let me know. Hopefully we can still get to Massachusetts to see Leo Kotke and then we'll have a little de facto abstaining session.
Sucks about not being able to download files while you're on the boat. I forgot about that. The Milkman will have to wait.
With a long E, as in Evilevelynnash on February 13th, 2009 12:34 am (UTC)
I love a beard. And I do think about them often. My dad had one nearly my entire life, so naturally I am attracted to them because of my severe Electra Complex. The day he came home clean-shaven, he appeared out of the shadows of our kitchen and walked into our living room as if he belonged there, but he looked like a stranger to me, and I was traumatized for days. I think he shaved because he wanted to appear younger. He dated college girls as soon as my mom died.

I have asked Kamran to take me to Bay Ridge, and he has refused.
bootsinrain on February 13th, 2009 09:00 am (UTC)
Plunging deep into the Electra Complex
This story about beards has a sharp tragic edge to it. I am putting together a brief magazine "Beard Stories." Do you wish this to be your contribution?

I will take you to Bay Ridge in my fast car. We'll get egg creams at the diner. You will fondle the remnants of my beard.
With a long E, as in Evilevelynnash on February 13th, 2009 03:41 pm (UTC)
Re: Plunging deep into the Electra Complex
I love the idea of a beard-related magazine. If there is a magazine about meat, then there should have been a periodical for beards long ago. Use my story as you wish.

I have only had two egg creams in my life. Both of them were horrible, but neither of them was from Bay Ridge. I read that as "remnants of my bread" and was excited, but your beard will do, too.
Mr. Milkmanmistermilkman on February 13th, 2009 06:46 pm (UTC)
straight as spaghetti, yes. lovely, tory.