When I was a girl, I dreamt, often, of putting my hand to my face and feeling the roughness of stubble. When I was an even younger girl, so young that I might have even been genderless, those years when all is permitted, no top at the beach, no difference between us (no, even then I was a girl), my father would let us shave with him. A puffy handful of Barbasol. My brother and I would dab it on our cheeks until we had beards of soft white nothing. Our father would remove the cartridges from two razors, the old kind, the kind they do not sell anymore, the kind even he does not use anymore, silver metal, round handle, single blade. Then my brother and I would sit on the counter, our father between us, the mirror barely big enough for our three faces, and proceed to shave. My empty swipes taking away lines of foam. The serious skrtch skrtch of my father’s strokes. Gradually, gradually, our faces would emerge.
Now I am a guy, and I dream, sometimes, of tucking my hair behind my ear.