Yes, I like beards. Because my Chinese father and brother grow hair
like catfish-whiskered men. Nothing concealed. But my mother's lover
wore his long and scraggly, a carpet where you could hide gold-plated
molars loosed from Grandmother's mouth. She told me to save them, make
a necklace or ring one day. Worth money. Could barter for a new pair of
shoes, without duck tape. Okay, Grandma.
If I had a beard I could hide all the Hershey chocolate bars Uncle
Tommy gave me to keep quiet about him pissing in glass jars because he
was too lazy to go downstairs to the bathroom and me drinking his piss
like it was apple juice. Chocolate gives nose bleeds to children, my
grandmother said. I didn't care because I liked to paint my coloring
books with this pretty ink from nose. I'd dip a brush in my red
fountain and color lips of dull-faced dolls. Wanted their lips to be
red candy apples I could rip from page and eat.
One day my mother's lover shaved his beard and legs. Said he couldn't
fit into his tight jeans anymore. Hair too thick. Said my mother forgot
what he looked like. I was sad the day his beard could not hide all
that I wanted to treasure-chest.
Lisa LIm lives in Brooklyn. She has stories in or coming from Guernica, The Agriculture Reader, InDigest
To link to this story directly: http://wigleaf.com/201002beards.htm
Detail of illustration on main page courtesy of
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