Two Faces

David picked up the cylindrical can and popped the purple top off and set it on the counter next to the sink. He hit the plunger and sprayed the tight pressurized blue gel into his calloused hands. He looked in the toothpaste-stained mirror at his two weeks’ worth of facial hair, lengthy enough to look unkempt but wouldn’t render the razor helpless against the rough strands. He rubbed his hands in a circular motion, watching the blue gel quickly turn to white tinted with blue globs and he began to lather his face, spreading the newly transformed cream on both cheeks, his chin, and his neck. The cream looked like tasty blueberry yogurt, his favorite, although he knew the bubbly lather tasted bitter and sharp on his tongue, not at all like his favorite fermented dairy product. 

Once he had adequately spread the cream in a thin layer across his face, giving himself a faux white beard in itself, he ran the hot water and waited until he could see the steam rising off of it. He took his five-blade razor in his dominant right hand and held it under the scalding water for approximately ten seconds before he held it up above his right cheek just adjacent to his ear. With one swift motion, the hot razor pressed against his skin and slid down, listening as the hair crunched against the blade, erasing his sideburn and leaving a bare strip of tan white skin in its wake. He dunked and tapped the blades in the steamy water, watching the tiny shreds of hair lift from the razor and be taken away with the current. He repeated this process of guiding the blades down his cheek until the right side of this face was bare. He examined his work in the toothpaste-stained mirror and he saw two faces, one clean and another prepped for transformation. 

He then guided the razor to his neck and repeated the process, stripping the excess facial hair from the surface in multiple strokes. Now his left cheek retained the remainder of the creamy lather and it was the difference between his unkempt appearance and his clean new visage.

Reaching across his body with his right hand, maintaining a dominant grip on his scalpel, he carefully carved clean strips into his face, revealing the shimmering skin that had been shadowed by a small forest. Taking steady strokes, he stripped away the remainder of the trees and let the bare plains show. Satisfied with his work, David turned off the scalding water and cranked the spout to its opposite. Feeling the water gradually alter from scalding hot to lukewarm to icy cold on his fingertips, he then cupped his hands and filled them before splashing the frigid water against his bare skin, washing away any excess creamy lather, which sent a shiver throughout his body at the sudden drastic change in temperature. 

He reached to his left and gripped a small micro-fiber towel and dried his now fresh face. He let out a deep sigh, exhaling the stale carbon dioxide that had occupied his lungs, and examined his work. Satisfied, he returned the towel to its place next to the sink and shut off the supply of frigid water. David turned from the mirror, a changed man, ready to face the day that was sure to test him. 


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