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Watching paint

April 4, 2020

In 1975 I spent about eight months selling paint. Indoor and outdoor house paint, you know the stuff. It wasn’t a bad job. Mixing colors was pretty fun and putting the can on the paint shaker was a lot of fun. The worst part of the job was unloading cases filled with four gallons each of paint from the delivery truck. Paint isn’t something that a lot of people buy every day so for the most part the job was a lot of sitting around watching paint.

Watching paint dry is an idiom for something that’s boring. Like, “Hey, I’ve got an extra ticket, you wanna go see Train in concert tonight?”

“Train? Seriously? No, man, I’d rather watch paint dry.”

I’ve never watched paint dry, but sheltering/working at home I’ve discovered something equally as boring and that’s watching my beard grow. The first day working from home I woke up and started going through my regular routine. I even made my lunch. It wasn’t until I started to shave that I thought, what am I doing here? I’m not going anywhere and the only people who are going to see me for the foreseeable future are work colleagues on daily video meetings and the occasional grocery store cashier, so why shave, you know? It’s not like razors are as valuable as toilet paper or disinfecting wipes, but why waste them? And then there’s that lifelong worry I’ve always had about having an uncontrollable sneeze when shaving and accidentally slicing my neck wide open. Why take that risk when health workers are tied up with more important things than a slashed jugular vein?

So I watch my beard grow. I watch it in the morning and I watch it when I brush my teeth and pretty much any time I wash my hands. When I went to the grocery store 12 days ago I watched it in the reflection of the automatic door. And when I was out for a walk yesterday I watched it in the reflection of my mp3 player. Yes, I still use an mp3 player.

Realization: watching my beard grow is boring.

It’s also a little bit depressing because this isn’t the reddish brown beard I grew 1985 or again in 1996. This beard has a lot of white in it. What the hell?!

My beard doesn’t scream agony from clinging ice like that Aqualung guy, and it’s not rustling like Glen Campbell’s was when he sang about things that were gentle on his mind. And no, there aren’t any stars in my beard like in that T. Rex Mambo song (which for what it’s worth, is one of the best love songs out there).

No, it’s just a regular beard.

It’s nondescript.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. April 4, 2020 7:43 pm

    Hey! I was expecting a YouTube link to T.Rex Mambo song! 😰😝

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michael B. Fishman permalink*
      April 6, 2020 3:02 pm

      I should have done that, I don’t know what I was thinking. Blame it on the mind-numbing sheltering at home.

      Better late than never…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. mrmacrum permalink
    April 5, 2020 8:17 am

    I eat pot brownies and sip excellent sour mash in the evening. So far, sheltering in place has been great. No comment on the beard. Mine has been part of me for 40 years at least.


    • Michael B. Fishman permalink*
      April 6, 2020 3:04 pm

      It sounds like you have the right idea! Hopefully there’s some good music added in there somewhere?!


  3. April 5, 2020 2:39 pm

    Pictures or it isn’t happening 😉


    • Michael B. Fishman permalink*
      April 6, 2020 3:04 pm

      🙂 I’ll see if I can work up the nerve!


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