Edward Yellow, re: Beard 1.0
Edward Yellow spent his first year at college experimenting with various different types of facial hair. While it was never exactly clear to Edward (his friends call him Ed) what it was that motivated this adventure, other than his newfound ability to grow something approximating a beard, a neutral observer would be quick to notice that Edward’s new best friend, who he had met during those first few days of college when everyone was still nervously introducing themselves and trying to discern each other’s respective cool and with-it-ness, sported a fairly thick and full goatee which to Edward seemed the height of sophistication and fashion.
At this point, it is almost unnecessary to point out that Edward had up until this point had a limited exposure to both sophistication and fashion.
So perhaps it was that. Or perhaps it was the outward manifestation of the inner chaos that was beginning to stir in Edward’s stomach, as he first made those fateful decisions to skip class and stay all bed in day, staring across his bed and over his toes at the little 9 inch television his parents had bought him.
His parents did not know of his truancy – his high school had been so small and mothering that cutting was only a option for the most daring – a red-haired girl comes to mind, rumors of drug use, an art class with a excess of giggling – who could tell, back then, the whole high school had been a bit of a free-for-all, the students sharing some private joke with the teachers, always left unsaid, as if everyone was fully aware they were playacting.
But now – in the real world – where Edward was only answerable to his self (or so he thought, never seeing the tuition bills his father dutifully paid or the loans he himself was being signed up before – did he sign? He must have signed something) – now Edward happily made left and right decisions, and flipping various coins, found himself often enough in front of his television when he should have been in class. Did he gain an education from this alternative form of media consumption? Unlikely. All he remembers from those time is the movie American History X, which contained a particularly heinous scene involving a curb, and Princess Mononoke, a Japanese animated film about a strange warrior in a strange town, something about an evil fairy magic forest queen, and a wolf, and, presumably, a princess.
What did he miss this first semester? Mostly Shakespeare, which had seemed to him to be too much poetry, not enough plot. Ed had always loved Shakespeare’s masterful plotting. Strong bones make strong minds.