• Vol. 10
  • Chapter 05

A little wax dummy

I only shave when I can't stand the feeling on my face anymore. This happens every six or so weeks. Whenever I shave I think about whatsisface in 1984, or is it 1985, the Orwell book, who's saving his one good razor for a rainy day, only ever using a rusty blade to scrape his face clean. I don't know if you're allowed to grow a beard in 1984, or if it's just that he can't stand the feeling of his cheeks, like it has creatures running over it and he would rather the pain every morning of little hairs nicking against a blunt edge.

After each scrape, I rinse the razor in a blue enamel bowl of warm water. There's always this waxy residue on the blade that doesn't wash off. Is it skin? It's the same stuff I scrape off my face with my fingernails in the shower. Does it gather under your nails too? It's grey and smooth like putty and I can see my fingerprint in it. You can't eat it though, it's not marzipan. It's your oil, mixed with skin and dust. Keep it. Keep it in a jar by the bath until you have enough to put a wick in and turn into a candle, or mold into a quince, or a puppy.