(A recent night after work, standing in the kitchen and watching the Beast wash the dishes.)
Beast: I can’t believe you forgot to include our lunch at Schwartz’s in your Montreal Post.
Foodie: I’m just as disappointed in myself as you are.
Foodie: Both true.
Beast: Do you remember how the waiter took our order before we even sat down? And how the food showed up before our coats were off?
Foodie: And how lucky we were that two spots at the counter opened up the very moment we walked in?
Foodie: When you toss your head back like a lady would and shake it all out.
Beast: My hands are all soapy!
Foodie: You do it all the time now. It’s just so, so feminine. Aren’t the bobby pins you asked to borrow from me working?
Beast: Not as well as I had hoped.
Foodie: You know, if you got a haircut you wouldn’t have this problem.
Beast: Never! I Googled, “How to have beautiful long hair.”
Foodie: (Pause) What did you find?
Beast: Did you know you shouldn’t brush your hair when it’s wet? That’s when it’s at its most fragile.
Foodie: What do you do then?
Beast: You comb it.
Foodie: Well, I keep a wide-toothed comb in the shower for when I want wavy hair. You could use that.
Beast: It’s not the best kind.
Foodie: What’s the best kind?
Beast: I don’t remember the name but I put it on my Amazon wish list.
I don’t know if he was joking or being serious, but I wouldn’t be that surprised to find that along with a gazillions stupid CDs of throat-singing and jazz-playing nut jobs there’d also be a fucking comb on that list.
You may be shocked to learn that the next day I received an email from the Beast saying he was going to the barber shop around the corner from where he works
and he was bringing this photo.
When I got home from work, I found the Beast curled up on the couch sporting his new haircut and a moderately trimmed beard. He looked so handsome that I gasped out loud. Every day since I’ve told him how lovely he looks, now that I can see his face. But I feel a little sad about the whole thing. I don’t know if I can explain it. I guess the Beast’s long, unruly hair became in some ways a symbol of who the Beast is: a free spirit. And despite me, not to mention his boss, telling him to cut it all the time, and despite it looking absolutely atrocious some days, the Beast loved his hair. He’d taken to blow-drying it recently, and using all sorts of products in it too.
And now its gone.
I know you’re not supposed to want to change anything about the people you love–something about acceptance–but I would change a lot about the Beast: For starters, I would make him learn how to do laundry, I would make him not randomly dink around on his guitar while I’m trying to watch Friday Night Lights, I would make him eager to cook dinner one or two nights a week, and I would make him be not such a fucking A.D.D. spaz when it comes to buying books and CDs and bring those things home and leaving them in every corner of the house.
But I’m not so sure now if I really would embrace such changes because you’d just never know at what cost you got them. What if the Beast stopped wearing women’s sweaters? What if he took over the cooking and the laundry? What would I do with all that spare time? What if he became average? What if his hunger for learning was finally satiated? What if he stopped playing all those instruments? What if the Beast cut his hair for me? Or, heaven forbid, because somebody made fun of him?
It breaks my heart to think about it.