Ugh. The perfect shave party is over. Now what? Is my overly-hydrated vow, never again to shave away the stratum corneum, binding in the cold light of morning? "I love you, man. Hic! Brothers forever! Hey... hey -- let's streak through the library!" Now my posh, but completely respectable girlfriend, Coconut Stirling, is glaring at me from the foot of the bed. She does not look happy.

I rise with the hair of the dog, a little baking soda in water, and take a long shower. I'll try, one more time, to shape up. A couple dips of the boar, some skillful stroking, and the friction is dissolved. But there's something missing, and I know it's a fraud. This shave is just a quickie, not a proper reconciliation.

"It's not you, it's me." Glycerine tears leave me burning below the jaw. It's better to have ended it now, before making a committment I'd live to regret. I think we might even manage to see each other again, from time to time. As I upend a bottle of blue alcohol, spilling the last drop, mixed feelings of resignation and freedom mark my entry into adulthood.

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