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Dark Endeavors

The Perils of Shaving

oh, and living in The Boulder Theater

Shaving, never one of my favorite activities, declined even more in my estimation with the advent of the ultra light plastic razor. A razor ought to be solid and weighty. After years of complaints, alternating with explanations on why I do not use an electric razor (I hate them and most people who use them...), a friend gave me an all-metal, gold plated handle designed to use Trac-2's. I love it.

However, if the blade is not put on precisely right, it will - when patted against the side of the sink - vanish down the drain. This is merely annoying to the average man in the average home; but I have never been called average and my home most definitely is not. I live in the Boulder Theater.

Recently, I had been threatened with the remote possibility of working for a Denver television station and, never averse to throwing something in the way of a goodie before the gods of fate, decided to break hallowed tradition and shave before my interview. With the left half of my face revealed to be as supple and smooth as silk and the right still covered with foam, the Trac-2 found further camaraderie with the handle impossible and departed beyond reach. Normally, one would just slide on another blade. But my blades were in the bedroom three floors and a long walk across the auditorium away. I started the trek.

Being early on a weekday morning, the normal sounds of the city slapping itself awake were clearly audible as I climbed the stairs from the dressing rooms. There was, however, the clear resonance of someone pounding on the metal fire door at the head of the stair. Disgruntled and holding on to the rapidly loosening towel around my waist, I opened the door. "What d'ya want?" I asked a rather startled young man and his friends.

"Um. We were just wondering if the Theater was opened." Please.

"No, it hasn't been for four years or so.""Can you tell me who owns the building next door?" He pointed vaguely up the alley. "That one right there?"

I stepped out and gazed squint-eyed in the selected direction, nearly blinded by the sun. A garbage truck edged us close to the building, trying to pass through the alley. The young man's friend shut the fire door. "Arghhhhhh!!!" I suggested to the young man. "I'm locked out!"

"Sorry," he said. "So do you know who owns that building?"In bare feet, with a purpling face half covered with shaving cream, and draped in a ripped towel, I turned to the enquiring mind next to me. "I am locked out of my home. I have no key handy.""Sorry. I said I was sorry."More or less fortunately, I have kept a key to the Boulder Theater taped in the mail box at KGNU, the radio station two blocks distant. I turned and walked away, dripping from my shower, sucking in my gut, wincing at each pebble eating into my feet.

I march as smoothly as possible west on Spruce St., my foam covered half facing the Boulderado Hotel. Fortunately, there is little traffic. Unfortunately, what traffic there is is heading north on 13th St., forcing me to stand on the corner trying to look arguably sane. Mothers driving their children to school or function stare as if they are weighing the probability of hydrophobia among Boulder's transients, one of whom is ambling towards me. We pass at the middle of the street. "Hey, man. How ya doin'?""Just fine, thank you," I say, trying to look composed. I get to Broadway. North-South traffic is on the red light. First car in line is a pick-up truck with two painters in the front seat. The man riding shotgun visibly starts when he sees me. I give my best I'm OK, You're OK smile, tainted somewhat by the sub clause expressed in my eyes, which said Say Anything and Your Genitalia Sleep with the Fishes. The various greetings his mind entertains pass like a cyclorama across his face. Just as the traffic starts, he blurts out "Good Morning."

I run up the stairs at KGNU. I get my key. There is someone in the air studio, but nobody in the lobby. They'll never know.

I catch the crossing light on Broadway and 13th. People going to work at the County Courthouse follow me. I am at the door of the theater. I am inside. I am safe.

Trying to put the best face on it, I described the fiasco to a friend. Far from laughing or saying, "You old idiot," he nodded mildly. This was not the response I expected.

"Well," he said. "That's not as bad as the time you showed up for a meeting with a comb still in your hair, or gave a tour of the Theater in your underwear, or went on a date with toothpaste around your mouth like Bozo, or..."

I need new friends.