Somewhere around the middle of July, I found myself eyeball-to-eyeball with a Dhabi man-beast. We’re talking flesh and blood, here – none of your Maritime Museum waxworks nonsense. There he stood, bare-chested and pale, his waxen face hidden beneath deep facial foliage; his eyes yellowed with the manic look of something that’d ruthlessly kill for food or company. Looking about the room behind him, it quickly became evident that there’d been a scuffle. Dirt and sweat blackened his brow. An LG washing machine stood triumphant in the corner.
The man-beast whimpered now – a low bleat with no discernable words; the lone, mournful cry of a creature beaten by superior intelligence. He turned, sloped from the room and fell back into his bed – a self-sorry pit of filth and depravity encircled with stale coffee cups and expanding dust growths. Why was I present to witness this display of feral misery? Forgive the depressingly sixth-form literary device, but the man in the mirror was obviously me.
My regression was in no way unusual. It’s a little known fact, but most men start sprouting excess chin hair within seconds of their wives and children boarding a plane. With nobody to voice their complaints, men let their freak flags fly, often openly proud of their ability to sprout. It’s the city’s barbering community I feel most sorry for.
There’s more to bemoan beyond the realm of the shaving mirror, if only their wives were around to protest. Days-old washing up eventually grows legs and comes begging for a scrub down, and food becomes the stuff of legend. The man-beasts would sooner sprawl on the carpet in their underpants, hacking at a can of baked beans with a rock, than venture into the neon lights of Carrefour and peruse vegetables. It’s a sorry state of affairs to be in – zombified and mute, only venturing forth at night and always forgetting to take the garbage out.
But, just as this moronic state takes them over like a sudden fit, they snap out of it as quickly. Thousands of miles away, wives and children board return flights. The man-beasts claw at their faces with blunt razors and begin sweeping and purging, banishing lime scale and wood rot like creatures evolving from a darker age. By the time they line up at the arrivals gate, it’s as though nothing ever happened. No tangible proof exists of their horrific descent. It’s between the men of Abu Dhabi and their financially strapped barbers, and that’s the way it stays.
Originally blogged on Time Out Abu Dhabi