My eyebrows are disappearing, like the polar ice caps they are melting beneath the continent, only little grey hairs left. An aging woman is a testy thing and I applaud myself for being rather sensible about it. But I miss my eyebrows and that long ago flat stomach and legs without varicose veins. My weight is the same as when I was eighteen years old, it just hangs on my bones differently, boy does it ever.
I had dinner with Sonny and Miss Cathy on Sunday and the subject of tattooing came up. We were passing a tattoo joint in a seedy part of town and several such establishments sprung up after the city council realized they had no constitutional authority to keep this kind of business out of our Christian neighborhoods. I would never get a tattoo, Cathy commented. Might as well get this over with and I announce that I had a tattoo engraved on my shoulder when I was 45 years old and going through some kind of empowerment thing. My points seemed kind of flakey that night in the car and I hate having these conversations in front of my father as he has no tolerance for feminist theory. I did have my eyebrows tattooed, Cathy added, evidently cosmetic purposes fall into a different category. I once sat next to a woman in a bar who had the same procedure and I asked if I could touch them, such is the influence of several coke highs. The little arches were well defined, but stubbly where she had shaved them. Cathy had her tattoos done at a beauty parlor and I traveled across the river to a little shop in a Wisconsin college town with a candle burning on a human skull and half a bottle of vodka next to it.
I don't mind getting older. The inconvenience is that we just have less time. My sister and I had a discussion years ago on the event of a nuclear disaster. If the bomb was falling and we couldn't flee where would we want to be? In the center of the target area, instantly vaporized into a gaseous blob or on the outskirt of the mushroom cloud, destined to live out our days eating cockroaches and burned roots and watching our radiated hair fall out. Amy chose the center, let it be fast, let me be oblivious. And I wanted the outer circle, a life albeit a scrappy, scary one and probably the illogical choice, but I still want to be there. I need to know what's going to happen next.