This morning I lost one of my oldest and closest friends. We met in junior high, but like many friendships, it didn't fully grow until years later. It really solidified in high school. I remember strolling the halls together at Forest Hill High School. We thought we were so cool - both just wisps of what we would later become. We didn't care how goofy we looked - we felt more mature just being together. As I got older, we grew more attached. In college, things really firmed up. And we've been together ever since. Sure, there were times when my friend disappeared. Sometimes it was my fault; sometimes it was his. And sometimes something else would come between us - sever the ties. But that never lasted. I felt better with him than without him. And he knew he couldn't exist without me. I don't think we have gone more than thirty days in the last twenty years without seeing each other.
But today, tragedy struck. It had been building for some time. I had some concerns that he was covering things up. I couldn't see the situation clearly as long as he was blocking my view by hanging around. I tried to trim back his presence, but I still was having problems identifying the true story. Heather and I talked about it a couple of days ago. She urged me to give it time and see if things cleared up. But they didn't. Finally this morning, I knew what I had to do. I had to make a clear cut of the situation. I feel weird. But it was a necessity.
I shaved my moustache off.
It is strange. Like most guys, I have experimented with different facial hair combinations. I've had a full-on James Harden hostage beard. I've gone with no beard and just the little moustache. I've had long 90210 sideburns. I have even on a couple of (misguided) occasions gone clean shaven. But for most of my adult life, I've opted for the moustache and goatee. I don't like my face without facial hair. My giant balloon head has so much real estate without something to break it up. My dad always had a beard or goatee - except for a couple of weeks when I was in high school. And I have always had one.
I noticed something the other day under my moustache. Some kind of blemish. At first I thought it was just a pimple. (Sorry for the graphic description) But then I realized that it looked like several pimples. And a big red patch. Weird. I trimmed the stache with my normal #2 guard. I still couldn't figure it out, so I dropped down to the dreaded #1 guard. Using a #1 guard on facial hair is a risky move. It basically transforms whatever hair pattern you have. There is a fine line between "unshaven" and "has facial hair." A #1 guard is that line. For some guys, it looks awesome. For other guys, it makes them look slobby. (Take a wild guess which group I am in.) I got a clearer view of the spot and showed it to my almost doctor wife. "I would have someone look at that."
Friends, let me tell you something, since I know most of you are not married to doctors. I always thought that having a doctor for a spouse would be incredible. FREE MEDICAL CARE!!! Now, my wife has firmly informed me she is NOT my primary care doctor. I still have plans to never see a primary care doctor again as soon as she can write prescriptions. There is a great comfort in taking one of the kids to her and having her check them out or asking her about something. One of my favorite questions (and her least favorite) is, "Hey, can you look at something?" So, this all is a great benefit. BUT... When your doctor spouse looks at something and immediately says, "I would have someone look at that," that is NOT cool. That is terrifying. Of course, it is well documented that I am a massive panicker when it comes to medical issues.
Anyways, the spot never cleared up so I shaved off the moustache to get a better look at things. The white points were not pimples. They were some kind of dead skin patches. Once the shower and shave were done, I was left with a neat pink patch about the size of a dime on my face right under my nose. Doctor Heather looked at it again. This time she told me to put some Neosporin on it for a couple of days. And then have it looked at. AAAAAAAaaaaaaaahhhhh! What is it? Leprosy? Cancer? Excema? An alien infestation? Only time will tell, I suppose. (It probably is nothing. Like I said, I like to panic.) Whatever it is, I already am angry at it. It cost me my friend.