It is 10:25 p.m., and I am shaving. I am doing it at night because I don't want to shave all this hair off at 7:15 tomorrow morning. An ungodly hour.

I shaved the right side of my face and turned my head to the right. Looked in the mirror. I see an old man ahead of me; that's not what I want.

I always feel glad when I am freshly shaven. Boyish. When I look at my shorn face I don't know how old I look. I never could. I still feel like an adolescent inside, and I just know that two days' stubble makes me look like something I'm not.

I don't like shaving. As I get older and older I am liking it less and less because I have to do it more and more. Interesting. This is what I was thinking about while shaving. I don't want to make symbolism out of anything, but this is too obvious to ignore.

I wonder what men with beards were thinking. Bet they decided to grow their beards because they got childishly sick of having to do this chore of shaving each day. But beards make these children look older, unrecognizable.

I am still determined to stay in my childhood. It is like shaving, my struggle. I don't want to look older than I am because that would send the truth ringing in my ears. Today I was supposed to read a bit, then do some studying, then read some more. Instead, I played Nintendo, read a bit, played a little more Nintendo, then read a lot.

I don't like chores. I can't stand essays. I'd do almost anything to avoid having to write an essay, even write something else, like this. The mind creates a thousand interesting things to do when the day's itinerary includes having to start writing an essay. I mean my mind, of course.

You adults can keep your beards; I'll stick with my Nintendo. And other things. I don't want to grow up. I've been saying the same thing since I was thirteen. I always figured that growing up involved automatic processes, like getting a girlfriend and getting laid, getting a job and some money, and being successful in life. But I realized -- maybe it was when I was sixteen and still didn't have either a girlfriend or a job -- that these things had to be had through risk and hard work. That growing up is work itself.

That's why I elect to stay young. I don't wanna grow up. I don't wanna grow up. Dammit, I don't wanna. I was happy then and I am happy now, doing the things that I did back then. You can keep your big wide worlds and your jobs and your beards. I'll shave my face each day to do that. I'll shave rings off my skin like a tree if it means being able to go back in time, to trim off some years just like *that*.

I don't like depression. The mood itself is adultlike. I never get bored anymore, just depressed. Boredom isn't not having anything to do. It isn't that for anyone, probably. Boredom is in having several things to do, but not enough interest in life to want to do any of them. Boredom is just embryonic depression. Hrrrghhhh.... I don't want to think like that. Depression is too mature. Youthful euphemisms for it?:.... um,... sadness. No. Glum. Being glum. Pouty. That's it. Thank god for synonyms.

But a large vocabulary is also of and for the adults. Damn my large vocabulary. Damn the words I've picked up. Damn the concepts. Damn symbolism, irony. sad. Happy. Kid. Damn. Mom.

--November 2000