Friday, August 22, 2008

Razor's edges

No, not Somerset Maugham.

Every time I shave, I think of this passage from William Gibson's Virtual Light:

"The razor is old," Yamazaki said. "You do not throw it away?"

Skiner looked at him, over the plastic razor. "Thing is, Scooter, they just don't get any duller, after a while."

Truth. Sometimes I get a blade that'll get a nick or imperfection in it that's annoying, but most of the time, blades get to a certain point of dullness and stay there. As long as I'm comfortable with their sharpness, I can use one for quite awhile.

Allegory for life?


Gail said...

You bet it is. And knowing when the sharpness turns to dullness so one can change has a lot to do with growing old. Oldness comes faster to those who insist on dullness.

MarcT. said...

Speaking literally rather than philosophically, as one who razor shaves his skull weekly, I've been extending the life of my blades radically in recent months. It's not the cutting that dulls them, it's oxidation between uses. Keep water and air off (i.e. keep from rusting microscopically) and they stay way sharp. After using one about 20 times, I finally just replaced it just because. See for many ways. I use olive oil.