Many men know this moment,
When an ordinarily gentle, skillful hand
Pushes too hard, or
Moves too quickly—
And the keen-edged blade digs too deep.
Then comes the point of no return:
The essence of a man’s mortal being spurts to the forefront.
“OUCH!” he cries, and perhaps
“SHIT!” he exclaims,
As did I this cold winter morn.
What happened in a brief, private moment
Becomes a tell-tale sign of a certain incompetence for at least
An Entire Day.
(My father used an electric shaver, a Norelco with those famous floating heads
And finely honed cutter guards which absolutely positively precluded
The bloody event which I witnessed this morning.
I am not that sort of man.)
Let the world see my blood, know my ineptitude—
Let the world judge me as it will,
For I know the beautiful bright red of my mortal essence, and
I will survive.
Even such a man as William Shakespeare must have cut himself in the act of shaving,
And drew upon his mistake when he wrote these words for Shylock:
“He hath disgraced me, and hindered me half a million, laughed at my losses, mocked at my gains, scorned my nation, thwarted my bargains, cooled my friends, heated mine enemies; and what’s his reason? I am a Jew. Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions? Fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer, as a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?”
Shylock, I’ve got your back, man.
And thanks, Bill. You know we still love you.