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Last night I was standing in the shower thinking, I can’t believe I’m going to be 43 tomorrow. What an ugly number. At least when I was 42 you could imagine a one in place of the four and think of 12, but with 43 you automatically add the numbers and times ten: 70. 12 is cute; 70 is not.
Yup, one more year away from the Roaring Thirties, one more year towards death. Last year’s birthday was good: went out with my best friend for sushi, had a great time. Too bad she knocked the leftovers out of my hands when she went to hug me goodbye. That was a sight, raw fish all over the asphalt. She felt so bad. I love her so much.
What will I do tomorrow? I have to teach all day; it’s not like my students know it’s my birthday. I hope they’re not sarcastic or snarky or too critical with me—I don’t know where they’re picking that up from. I wonder how many people will call me. I know all of my siblings and my parents will call; that’s five calls right there. How many years do I have left of those five calls on my birthday? Which one of us will go first? I hate to think of it.
Look at my body. I can’t shake those five pounds I gained in Oman. Now I have a tummy—even my face is rounder. I guess it’s okay, maybe I was too thin anyway—the crinkles around my eyes were starting to look like prehistoric crow’s feet. My nose always looks huge when I’m thin. Speaking of huge—look at my boobs. That’s where the fat always goes. These look like flotation devices. But still, even with the Omani pounds, I’ve never been this thin in my life, except for when I was sick and almost died. Best not to be that thin again. I’m not too worried.
Jesus--my sciatic nerve is so tight it makes my left foot turn out when I walk. Sexy. Gotta get that looked at. What am I waiting for? And my eyebrows—why am I growing my eyebrows out right now? That’s something you wait for summer to do, when school’s over. Only I would grow my eyebrows out in the middle of the semester. I look like Andy Rooney. I must be getting old if I don’t care anymore.
There are so many things I don’t care about anymore. Thank God. It’s been freeing getting old. Don’t wear makeup to the store anymore…don’t care if I go to Walgreen’s in my jammies and slippers. Don’t care what I wear outside in the yard, flood pants and no bra. Go the gym even if my hair’s greasy. Say what I want when I think it’s the truth—people are going to like me or not. Nice to not have a conniption now every time somebody hates me.
But I still care about a lot of things. I want to look good when it counts. I always shower before school now; that’s an improvement. I care about my job, my family, those pigeon eggs I accidentally killed yesterday when I accidentally pushed their little nest off the porch ledge when I was just trying to clean out there. Oh my God, I felt so bad about that. I didn’t see a nest! Can’t pigeons build a real nest? It was just twigs and then plop plop, two broken eggs. How was I supposed to know? No birthdays for them. And then their parents flew around and cooed all day. Break my heart.
I have to stop thinking about that. It was an accident.
Well, I’m glad I scrubbed down this shower last weekend and cleaned the whole bathroom so one less maid has a job. I don’t know why I don’t get somebody to help me. It’s so hard to do it all. Hope somebody around here remembers to buy more shampoo. It was nice of that lady who cut my hair today to tell me how soft my hair is. I never knew that. It was nice of that girl at work to tell me I have pretty toes. I don’t have pretty toes; I barely even have a baby toe—it’s a parasitic twin. I have to paint the nail on. Makes you wonder what her toes look like.
Did I wash my face? Who cares, I’ll wash it again. I can’t remember anything anymore. What day is it even? Oh yeah— the day before my birthday. I’m going to be 43 tomorrow. I cannot believe that. I hope I get to be really old. That would be cool. Maybe I’ll meet a guy.
I want to go to Africa next year. Or Cuba. Now that I’ve been to Oman, I know I can take my refrigerated medication anywhere.