My facial hair is three to four days long, just beginning to soften after its rough brillo phase. Stray cat hairs and random dust cluster in the velcro hooks puncturing my epidermis like a cheaply constructed lint roller. I keep picking at my face, pulling away nothing, still feeling begrimed. A phantom feeling like a cellphone buzz signaling nothing. I palm my face. If your hand is bigger than your face then you’re going to get cancer. It’s not true, but kids would tell that to each other so when the other one, confused and fearful, attempts to discover if he/she is doomed to be a cancer victim, the other one, waiting for the perfect moment, pushes the kid’s hand full into their face smashing them in the nose, bewildering them. And laughing.
It’s all a big joke. Like unbreakable watches, unbreakable hearts and Unbreakable*, the movie starring Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson.
*Actually, that one was good.
I’m from the north. Years ago during lunchtime, a colleague (he was from the south) dropped some food on the floor. He picked it back up. He held it to his mouth, preparing to eat it. I asked if he was going to eat it. He said, “God made dirt, it won’t hurt,” and ate it.
I laughed hard. Excessively so. I laughed like this guy I used to work with at Blockbuster Video. He laughed really hard. The dumbest, lamest jokes had him doubled over, splitting a gut. If he laughed at your joke you earned nothing. You had no idea if you were being funny. And when he inevitably laughed at someone else’s pathetic offering, you hated him.
I laughed like that. First, it was the rhyme. I appreciate a good rhyme. Second, it was the simplicity of it all. Third, I’d never heard that expression before, and I laughed at how sheltered I apparently was in my northeastern enclave.
That colleague also said stuff like, “He was on her like a duck on a June bug.”
We never said such fun things in my home, growing up.
Last night I went to brush my teeth. There was an inch-long hair poking out from the bristles. It wasn’t mine. It was too short to be my wife’s. There’s something inherently disgusting about any thing being attached to your toothbrush. It’s holy ground. The hair was too straight to be a pube. It was probably the cat’s hair.
I pulled it out, flicked it away and brushed my teeth.
God made dirt.