I’ve heard of people not noticing the effects of lactose-intolerance, depression, allergies, even schizophrenia until later in life, but I was sure that by twenty-four, I had escaped any late-onsetting of anything. I was prepared to move into my Saturn Return, sloughing off cigarettes and late-night red wine, all the while gaining deep deep perspective. As if the gauntlet of 20-something isn’t dreadful enough, suddenly there are whiskers in the mix.
I spend so much time shaving these days, that there’s no room for any of that self-reflection mumbo-jumbo that I was (secretly) looking forward to. It’s hard enough to wash my face and brush my teeth, remember to floss, and re-apply lipstick after eating, but now I have to run this stupid razor up and down and up and down my cheeks before I can even think about going outside. Last year, I was loose-lipped and whisker-free, all I really worried about was the occasional pimple, pepper-tooth, muffin top, drunk text—amateur stuff, really—but in the blink of an eye, everything’s changed. Not only did I morph into this unholy, hairy, blood-sick creature—something that fits in better on Game of Thrones than in Northern California—but I also had to move back in with my parents. The room I grew up in is now a reptile room; I sleep in the basement.