As the water droplets mix with the cold air, the skin prickles and she shivers. The plush towel opened wide and rubbed vigorously over broad back and shoulders, chest taut and blotched red from the shower’s heat, belly soft and freckle-free, this landscape shielded from the sun’s damage under cover of maillot, down the dimpled skin of the derriere, clean-shaven shins and toughened heels.
She lifts her gaze and lingers. Generous hazel eyes take in the pale ruddy hue, a gift from Irish ancestors. Critical, cruel adjectives bubble up, as expected, as is the practice. The language of the aging, the patriarchy, the battered and beautiful both, the human in outwardly female construct. Wobbly bits at neck and jowl, the skin’s collagen given up its battle against gravity, creases and crinkles, stiff white whisker. The are you fucking kidding me? unibrow.
Is this what seventy-five days from fifty looks like?