Yesterday I got my hair cut and my lazy beard trimmed and slimmed. I didn’t get a haircut to persuade the baseball gods; the Brewers are doing well. And the Crew didn’t lose against the Cards because I shaved a magical beard…they were already blowing up by the time my beard came off.
No, I lost hair at my trusted local barbershop because I wanted to shed some shag and encourage some nice, livable weather to spend some time in the Midwest, maybe hang around a few months.
The winter was a brutal slog that had me questioning my sanity and the pragmatism of living in the snowy, icy, frigid upper Midwest. Seriously, it was the kind of winter that breaks people, saps them of their smiles, nutrients and happiness to be alive.
I usually weather it pretty well and there’s something fortifying in winter too, but there were several occasions when I came through a door from the outside in and frostily exhaled a filthy stream of expletives that would make a drunken sailor blush. Then there were the days I loathed getting up and going out at all.
Though spring has teased us at times, we remain encompassed in cold and wet far too often. I have uses for sunshine more than a few hours at a time. For its part, Miller Park has been shuttered like a cocoon waiting to release its butterfly.
At the haircutting, my barber and I discussed the idea of shaving a beard to usher in a warmer new season. Kind of like how superstitious ballplayers will either keep something the same or change it entirely in an attempt to evict a slump or seduce a winning streak.
It was decided that the shaving of my beard would officially bring about the change for which we’re all looking. Suffering winter intoxicates the sense of humor, most likely.
But then again today this notion came up in a new conversation with a different person and it rings in the air like a bell: a common, repeated wish to perform some simple ritual which will turn the key on the sun and its pleasant gifts. The human body needs it. We are not meant to shiver in caves all our lives.
Solution: shave your beard, shave your head. Maybe you can donate the hair to charity. Ladies and gents, shave something, somewhere. Lop off your locks and make a rope. I don’t care, just cut it. We’ll flip this script somehow, by hook or by crook.
Is everybody in? Is everybody IN? The ceremony is about to begin.