I don’t exactly make it a secret that I’m slightly hairy (read: like the love child of Sasquatch and an especially Greek person). For the most part, it doesn’t really bother me. It’s not like I’d be the most sexually appetizing creature on God’s Earth if I didn’t have a hairy back, and I’m just kind of used to my body at this point. It’s not so much self-esteem as it is comfortable familiarity. We’re a best-case-scenario arranged marriage, my body and I.
But once every year and a half or so, I end up shaving it all off, just for the hell of it. It’s not a premeditated thing; I’ll just be doing my normal face-shaving routine in the shower, when the razor slips down my neck and takes a patch off of my shoulder blade. And then I’ll take a few more swipes, just to clean up that area, and then all of the sudden it’s an hour and a half later, I’m steadily plowing across my lower abdomen, and I’ve almost ruined a brand-new disposable razor. And I’m itching all over from the stubble. This will be significant later in the story.
“Landscaping” is an apt piece of slang: the intense concentration, and deeply compulsive satisfaction remind me of mowing my mother’s lawn when I was 15. Once you start, you simply have to finish the job. This, too, will be significant later in the story.
Anyway, so this phenomenon of personal grooming occurred yesterday, despite my knowing full well that today would be the coldest day of the year in Portland. My skin dries out very, very quickly when it drops below 35 degrees. Latter-story significance? You betcha.
Later in the story. You guys? I am so fucking itchy right now, I cannot even tell you. I stopped caring who saw me scratching my crotch about midway through the day, and I’m pretty sure everyone I work with thinks I have crabs now. My lower back looks sunburned, it’s been so thoroughly clawed. I think I’ve raised a couple of welts.
I seriously hardcore need to go buy some lotion, but it is 19 degrees outside, and the store is a 15 minute walk. So I guess I won’t be abandoning my post by the space heater anytime soon. Anyone got one of those tacky-ass novelty back scratchers they want to send me? You can bill me for the shipping, just don’t make me leave the space heater to come and get it.