TURBULENCE

This beard I have is getting out of control. It’s becoming somewhat of a problem

Before I continue, can I interest you in a few choice musical morsels to accompany your reading?

If so, please dine here, and resume.

Settled? Good to go? Ready to read?

Excellent.

Currently, this beard is the longest I’ve had any facial hair, and it plays by a different set of rules than any I’m accustomed to. In the past, I’ve let a few months growth go unopposed. This time, though… I admit, I’m in over my head.

It’s curly. It’s red. And now, it seems threaded with… blond.

Fucking blond.

My hair was briefly blond as a kid, before it turned brown. My Mom’s got a picture of me as a toddler, when I had a full head of blond hair. Every time I saw it, I always laughed it off, because I found it utterly fucking absurd. Me? As a blond?

In the early 2000s, when dudes were frosting their hair, I always thought they looked super fucking trashy.

Now, I look in the mirror, and feel strangely disassociated with all these blond strands sorta fucking.. just.. encircling me? How’d it come to this? What the hell started this? Why’s it coming back?

The hair on my head is a benign, unremarkable shade of brown, which I’ve never thought too much about. I have an established accord with it. A truce, if you will. I know how to manage it, and how to keep it in check.

But this beard?

Some have said: “You just need to use some beard oil”.

And that just sounds… awful, to me. Use product? On my hair?

But it’ll… smell funny. And I’ll smell funny.

But then… I guess I’m starting to kind of look funny.

This morning I glanced down and saw one strand curling upwards away from my face. It momentarily confused me, and at first I assumed I’d simply picked up a stray passenger from someone else.

“Is that me? What the fuck?”

I always thought handle bar mustaches were something men groomed into place using bear wax and shit. I didn’t think hair would ever naturally curl up.

Anyway, moving on!

I’ve been on a number of flights the last three weeks or so, and while I haven’t seen the gnome-sized “laser nurse girl” again, I have snapped a few good pics in between pastrami melts, Moscow Mules and hurried trips to the men’s room.

When you’re a little over forty minutes into a flight, and can see the clouds stretching into the horizon, I’ve noticed you can sit forward in your seat and just let the rumbling of the air against the plane reverberate all the way up, and through, your whole spine.

With your eyes closed, it feels like you’re flying.

It feels like you’re flying… and nothing else in the world matters, or could matter.

Birds lead charmed lives, living so far above the world, and only descending to the Earth to fuck and to feast.

Well, and to raise their young, I suppose.

I was at Cafe 43 this morning, in Redmond, and a long distant memory came floating back as I took a quick picture of all the tables caked with snow.

Years and years ago, I was waiting on a calzone I’d ordered at a pizza place and idly sketching as a family ate nearby.

I looked up, and a young kid was standing in front of my table looking at me and my sketchbook.

Though timid at first, he quickly asked me what I was drawing, and then began making comparisons to things he’d seen himself, and what he liked.

According to my parents, one of the first words I ever spoke were to remark on a sunset.

“Skya pretty”, were my exact words.

I’m not sure how most people navigate lives of checkboxes and static purpose.

I need to see beautiful things, and I need to create beautiful things, or I feel lost.

Adrift, even.

I dream often, and when I take the time to log my dreams, I dream even more. To me, many people seem to try so hard to shape and define such rigid paths through the forest.

Life seems far more like an unruly mare than anything else. You can guide it, but it’s so much more fun to simply wait and see where it chooses to take you.

I’m confused when someone balks at a impromptu weekend in Florida.

I don’t get it.

I really don’t.

I guess that’s why I haven’t done anything about the beard.

To some extent, I don’t want to feel like it beat me. I suppose I want to see what happens.

I’ve got a new type of marker I’m experimenting with, made by a manufacturer named Windsor and Newton, who I’d thought only made watercolor paints. For now, I only have one, and in my opinion it looks like a shade of Cyan, though it packaging says it’s “Cornflower”.

I’ve done some sketch work with it, and observed quite a bit of… aberrant behaviour.

Like.

On occasion, it froths.

It really is like using a thin brush with watercolors, mostly.

But at a few thousand feet in the air, on a plane?

Tricky! I’m not sure it was designed to accommodate such altitudes. Things get real spicy, real quick.

And when the plane hits a patch of turbulence?

Sweet Molly, it’s a show alright.

But I just keep going.

“Use it”, I tell myself.

“Make it work”.

The music plays and the people around me tightly grip their armrests, and then they look at me like I’m a nutcase.

But, why stop? I mean, really, what’s the point?

Ride it out, ya know?

I just… don’t care, I guess.

I’m having fun! This is fun! Aren’t you having fun too?

On one such occasion, I looked down, and noticed something:

We’re in a 737? This is a 737?

Oh lordy.

Isn’t this the plane with… you know, the problems? Weren’t they all grounded? Is this some joke? Is the B737… a different type?

Fuck it. Whatever.

Despite the circumstances, the shaking, the wobbling, and the stares…

…I just keep on sketching.

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