The California high desert sky was clear and full of stars.
It was time. A bit overdue even. I have grown and did not need to hide anymore. I had gotten so used to hiding, that it became a part of who I am.
But I am not who I was.
I am Robert Day and I am the Wolf.
On the flight out here, I met this amazing lady. Sitting in first class talking and imbibing in a few adult libations, we spoke about who we were, perhaps what effects that gods have on us and the most likeliest of outcomes.
But she said something to me shortly after we started talking. She asked me why I was hiding.
That scared me a little.
Yes. I have been hiding. After thirty plus yes of wearing a beard just so I wouldn’t look like my dad. But I had let go of that a long time ago. Then a twenty-seven year slog through hell with an ex-wife that was in all likelihood committing Munchausen by proxy. My daughter in therapy trying to rid herself of the pain and destruction caused by that evil person.
And me still hiding in plain sight.
I don’t make promises lightly. But I promised this stranger that was quickly becoming a friend (if only for that three and a half hours flying) that I would cut off my beard.
That I would be me.
This morning, I stood before a mirror in my mother’s house in southern California. The clipper trembling in my hand, I began to cut. Slowly from beneath this large dark beard came a face that I had never seen before.
A face that carried a few lines that I had earned through this long life of pain. I did not relent nor pause. Not until all of it was gone and there was only me left.
Looking in the mirror, I could see my deceased brother Ron, my deceased sister Darlene, my brother Steve, my mother Ilene and at last a bit of my dad.
Looking at this me I had never seen, I realized that I liked me.
Peace my friends.