Have Hipsters Ruined the Mustache?
MY WEEKEND WITH A MUSTACHE
I’ve been fairly stressed out lately. Underemployed, grandfather who I was taking care of died back around Christmas, bills piling up. I’m not good with stress, I have bad anxiety, and I feel overwhelmed very easily. Anyway, getting to the point, I’ve found that doing something silly tends to help me in times of turmoil. That’s why I decided to try having a mustache for a weekend.
When I think of people with mustaches, I think of my dad, Burt Reynolds, and cowboys. It all started as a joke, trimming up my beard and I thought what the hell, I’m going to visit friends this weekend, it’ll be funny. So, I shaved everything but the ‘stache off.
I picked up a friend, and drove up to New Hampshire from Massachusetts. I suppose I made too big of a deal about the mustache, saying things like I don’t normally have a mustache and it’s weird having a mustache. I also have a GPS with Burt Reynold’s voice on it, so I was vibing out with my mustache. I caught my reflection when we stopped to get lunch, and thought “huh, this actually looks alright on me.”
This is what the mustache wants you to think. It’s insidious that way.
We made it to the house about 5 or 6, and again, I tried to emphasize my mustache, and its hilarity, which to my surprise no one found funny. I reflected that perhaps hipsters had ruined the shock of the mustache in recent years. I remember back in the 2000’s when a mustache was still a funny thing to see in New England if it wasn’t on an older man.
Of course, that was when something else hit me. I’m in my 30’s now, and I’m starting to be seen as “older.” And seeing the mustache, and how normal it seemed to everyone, I realized that older men get them because literally no one gives a shit anymore how they look. Not really. Men have it much easier with aging. We get older and it’s all “ah, go mow the lawn and play golf, you distinguished older gentlemen,” while for women I assume it’s something more like “oh, how old are you? Yeah, we’re not letting you into this club.”
And it was strange, the more I had a mustache the more right it felt. Like I’d been meant to have a mustache all along. The whiskers sang their siren song of masculinity, and with each day that passed, I thought “yes, this is rather excellent.” By Sunday of the weekend, when I’d planned to shave the thing off, it said:
“No, Sean, you know you want me.”
“But mustache,” I said, “I’m not Walt from Breaking Bad. I look ridiculous with you.”
“Ridiculously awesome,” my Mustache replied.
I stroked my pet, and the ‘stache cooed, and continued.
“We’re meant to be together, partner.”
“I’m not that guy though,” I said to my mustache, biting my fist dramatically.
“You know you felt it, Sean,” Mustache said. “You love me, you’re just afraid to say it.”
“Mustache, I can’t do this,” I yelled.
“You’re just lying to yourself, hiding from your feelings,” my Mustache said.
“I can’t do this anymore,” I said to Mustache, crying now.
I picked up the electric razor, turned it on and heard the revving of razors meant to slice it in twain.
“TOGETHER WE COULD BREAK THROUGH TIME AND SPACE, TO A DIMENSION WHERE MEN AND WOMEN HAVE MUSTACHES! WE COULD CONQUER THE COSMOS IF WE STAYED TOGETHER, SEAN! THE HEAVENS WOULD SING OF OUR EXPLOITS, AND THE PEOPLE WOULD BASK IN THE GLORIOUS RAYS OF OUR SUNSHINE!”
“I’m sorry, Mustache,” I said.
Mustache screamed in agony as I cut him slowly off my face. I got rid of his remains in the garbage by the sink.
Yet I feel another growing in its place. Even as I write these words, the hairs are growing, ever growing, attempting to take over the land above my upper lip. I fear it might take hold of me again. If you are reading this, please, make sure I don’t have a mustache again.
I don’t know that I could handle that kind of power ever again.
Sean M. Thompson is a writer from Boston. He has a B.A. in English from The University of Massachusetts. His novella Hate From The Sky was published by Eraserhead Press. He loves horror and anything weird. You can find him at SpookySean.com