I have a condition. Well, I probably have numerous conditions but this particular one is called…*googles*…Alopecia Areata Barbae. It’s apparently an auto-immune disease resulting in ‘bald spots’ in the beard. That’s right, this useless 31 year old husk has started to turn against me. Stroking my beard whilst in deep thought used to be a favourite pastime of mine but I’ve now taken to stroking the largest of the completely smooth patches on the underside of my jaw (which wouldn’t be as visible if it weren’t for my blossoming double chin) with my thumb. It actually feels quite nice but that doesn’t take away from the fact that I look like a leper (sorry lepers for making light of your situation). Why the Creator has seen it fit to curse me with this affliction, at the same time the hair on my scalp is thinning, is beyond me. Why am I losing hair from places where it actually matters? Take it from somewhere else! I’ve got more than enough to spare on my balls sac or you know…my palms. Intelligent design my ass.

“Why don’t you just go clean shaven then?” you might ask in the unlikely event we were having a conversation. Well apart from that sounding like a real chore, it’s actually a matter of principle…

The year was…(hmmm, 6th form, 6A? Could’ve been 6B, around the time Bush used controlled demolition to take out the Twin Towers)….2001 or so! The place, Campion College, a chemistry lab, maybe? Oh shut up alright, it was a very long time ago. The rest is accurate. I had gone into the lab to find a teacher to give her a message. As I began to relay said message, the old crone cut me off, asking, “what is that horrible growth on your face?”

Now, I knew she couldn’t be speaking about my perfectly shaped nose so it must’ve been all the hair. I resisted the temptation to slam her with the devastating comeback of ‘what’s that horrible growth on YOUR face?’ lest I get an academic career-ending second detention and instead just stood there with a puzzled look, pretending not to know what she was on about.

After ‘enlightening’ me, she told me the fuzz had to go because, of course, having facial hair was against school policy. Never mind that girls were waltzing around the place with their moustaches in full view. Well, I’ll tell you what, being something of a rebel with that single detention (and also deathly afraid of getting razor bumps), I absolutely did not get rid of it and have yet to fully do so after 14 years.

So, every time I stare into the mirror, razor at the ready and contemplate going with the grain, I say to myself, “haven’t you disappointed 17 year old Dominic enough already? He didn’t fight against high school persecution of the hirsute all those years ago just for you to try to hide the effects of a little disease that’s ravaging your face. The beard is a symbol of that fight against oppression and always stays, no matter how unsightly! Now, as for those stupidly big ears, maybe you could take the blade to them instead.”


I was told by a friend offering constructive criticism (now a former friend), that I should try to incorporate a photo or two in my text-heavy posts to make them more reader-friendly and in this case they would help you to see what I’m talking about. At the same time, you’d probably want to scratch your eyes out.