But to shave, I refuse

I first began to dress in dresses when I first was forced to wear long pants. I liked my lower legs, the bulge of my knees, with its dimples either side, the smooth line of my calf bone and the angled arch to my foot. I liked the breeze that blew around my thighs, and oh, how I hated those long pants and how they covered my legs.

Grey, they were. Hard material that chaffed me when I walked. When I sat, it refused to move. It stayed rigid. I wanted to get that scissors my mother had and cut the pants in two. No, I wanted to cut the pants to shreds. I recall mornings of furious battle with my mother. She screaming at me to keep my long pants on, not to go out in my underpants. In tears, I would go to school, wailing and walking mechanically along with my legs concealed by that offensive, grey material.

My sister had it all. Dresses, pinafores, skirts, short pants, long pants, dungarees, tights, knee-high socks and stockings. I hated her.  Colours, so many clothes of so many colours. The material soft on my skin. I danced in front of her mirror dressed in her floral skirt. Her mirror. Her mirror I escaped to undressed from those wood-like pants, I would meet my eyes and promise myself: When I grow up, no long pants will I wear. No, I will bear my legs and wear dresses and skirts.

And here I am, a man. A man of my word. I dress as I choose. But to shave, I refuse.

to shave, I refuse