A few years later I was in a drug store and stumbled upon some cakes of shaving soap. I remembered that mug brush, bought two of those soaps, and came home. My wife gave me a coffee cup with a broken handle, of which the cakes fit into perfectly. From that day on I was fully old school. I have shaved with a mug and brush since.
I think I get a closer shave that way. My face feels better too. Wally, my old barber, said it was because of the oils in the shaving soap. I believe him; that's how he shaved customers. I'm at the point now that shaving with cream makes me feel like I just had a pie smacked onto my face. Even when I travel I just use soap for shaving.
We had a great relationship, that brush and I. Then the hairs popped out of the handle one day last week. I was beside myself wondering what to do. I didn't want to buy another brush: we had become too close, me and the old one. But fortunately the hairs came our in one big clump (I suppose I should have expected that) and my wife had some waterproof glue which she used to re-attach the bristles to the handle.
Now all is well. I still have my old friend, and I still have the best kind of close shaves.