(Editor's note: this was originally written last night. Posted today. Because parenting. And naps, you see. My nap, not the kiddo's).
It’s Sunday tomorrow. The last day of this year, a slight breather before new days get marked off the calendar once again. The 2018 calendar. The year of of our Lord, two-thousand and eighteen. Gosh. I am getting old.
I am old. I have the wrinkles, you see. I have so many wrinkles, now. These lines and droops and squiggles are running amok on this nearly forty-four year old face and I confess that I don’t know how to stop them. Despite the sunscreen and creams and meticulous pat-dry-only face washing, they just won’t obey. And I likewise admit that I no longer choose to wear makeup; I need makeup. And so in this dim-light of a concluding two-thousand-and-seventeen (the year of our Lord), I’ve come to a conclusion. I will need a plastic surgery intervention*. Soon.
Oh, no no, not the I-look-like-I’ve been-in-a-wind-tunnel-for-the-past-twenty-five-years-cut-me-open-and-stitch-me-tight extremity. No. Rather, I’m aiming for a less noticeable kind: a needle here, a freezing there. A peel. A removing of the years. A wow you look great. Have you been on vacation recently? sort. Nothing too much - I don’t want to look fake, you see. Just well, alert. Alive. Less tired, you know?
I’ve been tired.
Yeah, yeah. I know. They told me that becoming a parent on the cusp of age forty might be difficult. And yes, I do realize that I’ve had a fair share of medical stress over the years. Okay, okay, nearly eleven years of dialysis. Then a transplant, you say? And a super-annoying-I’m-only-going-to-work-at-thirty-three-percent one at that? Ha. Yeah, that’ll take away any remaining idealistic sunbeam of youth right there. Oh, I don’t mean to sound ungrateful, I mean, that transplant did get me off of dialysis...and for that I am thankful but - Oh yes - wait - what? Now you're telling me that the immunosuppressant meds that I must take in order to keep this new-to-me kidney will expedite my aging process? Ha - that’s funny: kidney disease AND wrinkles to boot. Hardee har har. What a life!
Some people get all the luck, you know. Can you imagine working kidneys AND wrinkle-free skin? Or no bags under the eyes? Oh Lord! What I wouldn’t do for no more bags under these eyes. You made these eyes? You did Lord? Well, thank you - thank you very much. I mean, I used to get a lot of compliments on them. Oh, nothing to raunchy, don’t you worry about that. It's just that, well, people used to notice them. They used to notice me. And now?
And now they don’t. Not really.
I miss it, you see. Oh I hate to say this but - I miss it. God. Oh, that is embarrassing to admit. I know it’s shallow and conceited and well, vainglorious (good word, hey Goddo?), and yes I know that there are missing kids and those starving ones and really - a whole world of disorder for you to worry about but really, I just need to talk with you about what I would like. Okay? Just for a minute, before this year closes in and another starts.
(Oh, and not that you need my advice, but maybe you can send some manna to those starving kids for the minute that I will take up your time, okay? Good idea? Good idea. Thanks for making me so smart, God).
Alright. Here it goes. Here it goes. God of all Gods. Mighty King. Miracle worker! Here’s what I would like:
I would like wrinkle-free skin. No bags, no blemishes no sag. No more jowls, No stray and odd hairs poking from my chin. I'd like knees that worked and a hip that is happy. That's it. That what I'd like. I'd like to look awake again. Approachable. Refreshed. Young(ish).
Not to much to ask, I'd say. Here’s the clincher, though (and I think you can handle this, you know, being G-o-d and all):
I want the lines to be gone, the sags to vanish and those darn chin hairs to miraculously disappear, but yet I want to hold all the wisdom, experience and grounding those years have likewise given. I want it all. I want these saggy eyes to be lifted, but for them to still see, really see -- and oh! to yet have compassion for those less fortunate. I want to cry, still. I want to be able to cry because things in this world are not fair. Not yet. Not yet.
*just to clarify: while I may be pinning for plastic-surgery (lite), my budget has not been and will not be (able to). Unless I live on Kraft Dinner for the next twelve months. And honestly, that is not something that I am willing to do. I don’t even like Kraft Dinner. And I shudder when I feed it to my son.