With Viv home on vacation for the next several days, I have the opportunity to flop about the house languidly. I have no cares about homework, school drop-off times, pick-up times, or communications with teachers, aides, or administrators. Viv is pulling kid duty. I'm free, baby. Like the wind. On the loose.
Loose is good. I haven't been loose in a long time. Me like loose. So, in addition to being an actual lazy boy recliner, I've also been Vespa Boy About Town, zipping out to buy fresh darkroom chemicals and the occasional spur-of-the-moment dessert item. Sometimes I just cruise. Newly loose men are entitled to such things. I scoot along the main drags. I scoot along vacant by-ways. Scoot scoot scoot. Woot woot woot. Car drivers flash the thumbs up. Dogs and small boys bark at me as I whoosh by. Women, smart women, sense my power. Anything beyond three seconds of direct eye contact with them and they start quivering. They may try to deny that it's lust, but, hey, c'mon. This takes an extraordinary amount of discipline on my part.
There was a brief scare two days ago when a trial balloon went up suggesting a whimsical trip to the Great White Northernness of Idaho for Christmas with Viv's parents, but a check of airfares got us all thinking straight again and I was able to reacquire the looseness which had evaporated so suddenly under the threat of travel.
Also, I napped today. Really. True story.
Well, I suppose now is as good a time as any to tell you about... the thing.
You remember the goatee. I've had it almost a year now, and in that time it has undergone several transformations, most having to do with length, and sometimes width. Its latest incarnation has introduced me to the dizzying world of accessories. I've reduced the beard's width to about an inch across at the point of my chin and let its length grow to somewhere beyond four inches. To keep my rakish looks while scooting, I've bound the thing with elastic bands, often in colors to match the Vespa. You can imagine how irresistible this renders me.
This irresistibility spills into my non-scooting life as well, as demonstrated by the scads of people who ask me why I've done this. More than half of the folks who make note of it want to know its purpose, and they seem to have profound curiosity about what drives a man like me to such shenanigans.
My honest answer is -- I don't know.
Most inquirers who dare to offer a reason usually suggest that the roots of my whiskers are firmly planted in a mid-life crisis. I don't dispute their theories, nor do I concur with them. I think I am having a mid-life crisis, but I've been having it since I was about four.
"Playboy's Theme" -- Cy Coleman -- BACHELOR PAD ROYALE: MIDNIGHT MUSIC FOR COOL CATS
"Nothing so soothes our vanity as a display of greater vanity in others; it makes us vain, in fact, of our modesty."
- Louis Kronenberger