I hate to impose any pretentious flower child symbolic resonance on my appearance, but I transformed myself yesterday: I pulled a Richie Tenenbaum. The only difference was that after I cut off my hair and shaved my face I didn’t slit my wrists, wake up and write a suicide note. Instead I freaked out and thought the cat disappeared. I couldn’t find her in any closets or under the bed or the couch, and when I stuck my head out the window it didn’t look like she’d fallen out, and then there she was in her regular spot under the coffee table.
I had thought I’d clean house after my renewal ritual, but I was too pumped up from the abyssopelagically cold water on my face, the long process of shaving off beard hairs that keep clogging a razor, the excitement of chopping off head hairs to myriad lengths and the terror of thinking Sheba was dead.
So I turned on the World Baseball Classic and did crunches and push-ups. Yeah! How you like me now! I hadn’t done working out in at least as long as I hadn’t shaved, which is about three years. It felt so good I popped in Wii Sports and did some boxing. Yes, that is exercising. At least the way I do it. Plus I did jumping jacks whenever my opponent or I was on the canvas. Work it! Hit it! Punch it!
Now that I don’t have a beard, I’m not trying to be a grown-up illustrator. Instead I’m a baby comic book artist. And if we make plans to meet somewhere, and some really pale 16 year-old kid starts coming at you from the crowd, it’s me.