Best laid plans.. I was so ooking forward to being part of the next S Woodstock Story Slam tomorrow night,but COVID has other plans. I am still testing positive.. so I offer my entry to you and hope you enjoy this piece that I was hoping to present in person tomorrow night,
The prompt was I'M NOT SCARED OF YOU...
At every doorway at the nursing home, there was a photograph of the current resident , at least 30 years younger. Mom’s picture had her winning the cha cha competition, sparking the room with her smile and sassy tiara.
A few years ago, I started doing double takes at old young sexy pictures of myself. There were some that made me gasp at how beautiful and young I once was. I stared at them, my mother’s spark right there on my face, and they made me smile at her secret passed along to me.
I’ve met someone. Yes. Cautious. True but alive.
Another spark, he is, still spinning light. He doesn’t seem to be daunted by my dumpling figure and well worn joints. He holds my arm when we cross the street. And bends in low at tables for two in the park bistro, finding a way to my cheek past my double chins. A sweet surprise that’s gotten.. spicier.
The idea of making love again is delightful and delicious. It makes sense with all those years of experience and satisfaction and dissatisfaction and hot sex and slow fucking and absolutely grinding dead courtesy copulation in need of three quarts of lubrication. I know things, and what I want and how I want to feel and how I want a partner to feel.
And I am ready, until that night in the bath room in front of the full length mirror and the reflection of the body so familiar and personal… comes flashing back at me from the mirror, My god, When did my belly get as big as my breast? And the flick of my hip which once made me the star of yoga class when did it become a life threatening gesture?
But am I able to let my satisfying and settled pile of mostly functioning glands and muscles and bumps.. (what are those bumps?) be seen.
Am I able to see me as someone else might see me And not cringe. Me now and so far from the time that I was more—well, standard- not just being current me muscle on bone on pouch on droop over waistband.
It’s been a long time since someone else took a look.
After the dinner at the mountain overlook, I knew it was now or never. I mean. It was clear that sex was the next step. And as I murmured that truth to my younger self as displayed in my frozen younger years in those old photos, I realized those images were not moving or moved. They were frozen. I was not.
I took my phone to the steamy bathroom with me.
I dropped the towel and stood in the steamy light.
I took the picture.
I looked and quickly erased it.
Then, I tried again.
I posed back and front. And then stopped the nonsense and took the picture.
I took the picture and blew it up at Walgreens.
I put it on the refrigerator. That was too harsh.
I framed a copy and put it by my bedside, and one by the nook that once held a telephone table and then another one next to the television where other family photos stood.
I passed it by as it stood there trying not to hold in it’s belly, not disconnecting from the smiling face that topped it.. I passed it late at night. I passed. It and then-- I paused longer before I covered my puffy parts with underwear when dressing in the morning. Until I didn't need to think about it.
And then I said yes to the weekend invitation, and then I packed my bag and went out to the car .. but just before I did I went back to that picture in the bathroom, and the tv table, and the old telephone nook- I popped a Tics mint and I said.
I’m not scared of you.
Oh ho no no. I am not scared of you..