My Fading Youth 8:15 a.m. I was on the 101 north, driving to Tarzana for an interview that Mandy had set up for me. The hows and whys bombarded me, and it was hard to make sense of any of it. How did this happen? It suddenly manifested itself, and why did my good friend Mandy fail to mention this–this silly, unwanted line, eh, why do I care? Damn it, it’s so crooked.
But Mandy never misses a thing, especially on the face. On my face. Why could I not keep the wrinkle away for a little longer, at least until I met someone. Why my forehead? Why today?
I was sure that I had learned how to manipulate my facial expressions into non-expressions, that I could have a conversation, or a private thought, or even look straight up towards the sun without squinting or moving my forehead up and down, up and down. I spent years focusing on Mandy and learning how to express myself by using my hands, and not from anywhere above the bridge of my nose, or the sides of my eyes.
The scientific facts of how the skin sustains its plumpness and elasticity had eluded me, and for good reason. I was convinced that any long, deep, wrinkle just thinking of showing up—would think again—then just give up, moving to another face instead. Perhaps to a more deserving face, an actor’s face; a person whose livelihood and career depended on their ability to express a sad, happy, or angry countenance. My friends have spent plenty of money over the years injecting Botox, or fillers, or getting a brow lift, but needles and surgery–um, yeah, not my cup-of-tea. It seems so extreme at this stage of my life anyway, but looking good means looking young, or young-ish, I guess. What’s the use, I already know that once I take that first step, well it’s like a newspaper subscription; you love reading the paper and when it’s time to renew the subscription you don’t hesitate because you depend on that newspaper arriving daily. But there are so many new subscriptions to better, more interesting publications–it’s never ending and all I really want is to simplify my life, you know. I just want to breathe.
So what now? Should I commit myself to a life sentence of treatments? Most people around me love this kind of thing, I don’t mind a spa day but–yeah. Or maybe it’s an acquired taste; maybe one day I won’t mind, but for now it feels out of place, the entire deal.  Unnecessary when I have so many other things to tackle. Surgery, will never happen.  At least with Botox the injections utilize the smallest needle possible. Wrinkles are like dirty laundry or dirty dishes, they never disappear and always return with a vengeance. I’m not certain that I can handle the tiny needle paralyzing my forehead muscles for a few months, even though it would mean months of peace and a false sense of youthfulness.
I stared into the car mirror knowing that only that mirror would tell the truth; the combination of light and reflection would never lie. Oy, it is a wrinkle, and it’s long, and crooked, and ugly and carved into my skin the way a river carves into dry sand. I’m not sure I like that analogy; it makes me feel like a dried-up prune. Don’t like that one either, I better quit now.The traffic was at a complete standstill, so I seized the opportunity and desperately tried to rub the wrinkle off by using my finger, just to make sure it wasn’t a shadow, or dirt, or my imagination. Nothing changed though; it was a permanent engraving in my skin. I stretched my skin to the sides of my face: ah, that looks good, actually great, just the way it should be. If it could only stay that way once I let go. Stay, stay, stay, I’m letting go.

  • Please be patient as my book goes though a cover change. Will release the new book in the weeks to come. Thank you.
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