Earlier this week a co-worker looked at me and said, Hey, what’s going on with your beard? It’s getting pretty thick. He was right. I hadn’t shaved in a couple weeks and hadn’t had a hair-cut in nearly two months. I was looking pretty shaggy but I was digging it.

Jokingly I replied that I wasn’t planning on cutting any of the hairs on my head until the end of 2014. There were three responses to this, each falling neatly along divisions of sexual orientation. The straight guys all said, Hell yeah, that’d be badass! The straight women puckered their faces and turned away. The resident homosexual man cried, Noooo!, That would be disgusting, then turned and walked away in annoyance.

Work ended. On my walk home I stopped at the grocery store. When I stepped out into the parking lot it was nearly midnight. I was wearing a flannel jacket and carrying a six pack of beer. As I walked through the lot I noticed a mid-80’s truck parked ahead of me. In it was a woman eating a sandwich. As I took this information in she looked up at me and our eyes met. I smiled and nodded as I continued walking in a direction which, even though it took me toward her, had been decided upon well before I’d seen her.

The young woman smiled back at me weakly, as if doing so made her sandwich taste rancid. Without taking her eyes from me she reached over and depressed the lock button on the door of her truck.

Presumably, she felt safer, protected from this hirsute stalker prowling the parking lot at midnight. God-bless. For my part, I resolved right then and there that first thing I would do upon returning home would be to cut my hair and shave my beard.