Today’s theme: beards out of context.
One single stray hair was curled, umbilical, on the splashback tiles behind the bathroom sink as I absently scraped the day’s shit from my tongue and spat it down the plughole. I left the faucet running while my gut sucker-punched itself into submission, and I roared for air, the way kids do when they’re winded for the first time and they don’t think they’ll ever breathe again. I hated my hardest at that string of cells that made up that single dead strand of your beard hair, the same hair that had tickled my nipples on hot summer nights and caught the taste of my cunt on dozy sleep-in mornings, that mess of flattened flakes of keratin that crept past your upper lip and kissed your teeth even when you wouldn’t kiss me. I stared at it, black against the badly grouted tiles, with my stomach cementing and the toothpaste congealing. With the fluoro light flickering and the shower steam condensing. With the knowledge that I’d never clean it off, not until time and heat dried it out and desiccated it and sucked it up the exhaust fan and into the wind.