Old Women

She said the secret to getting work done is to not get much at one time, so that the changes are almost unnoticeable. But there are unexpected pitfalls, for example, her friend came out of her surgery horrified to see that the doctor had removed her ass.

“What happened?”

“It was a Chinese doctor. That’s how a Chinese woman looks, she has a flat ass. My friend couldn’t believe what he did to her. You have to be careful about choosing the doctor.”

I could have made a joke about losing your ass. It would be no worse than joking about the plastic surgeon who hung himself and was sent to a penal colony. But I’m not completely insensitive to the women who get cosmetic surgery. They want to look as good as they can for as long as they can, and I’m sure there are just as many men in this town who spend big in pursuit of a pretty face. Their own I mean.

I’m the bodyworker, checking trigger points, restoring the muscles to elasticity, reminding them that when the face is relaxed it is without expression, the lips are slightly parted, and that the relaxation in the face can spread down into the neck and shoulders … you get the idea. Hypnosis for relaxation. Most dis ease is claustrophobia from processing too many things at the same time. The cure is learning how to clear your mind of all of it. The claustrophobia lifts and there is an expanded sense of space, like a goldfish moving from a bowl to a lake. A person can come off the table looking ten years younger without any surgery.

“Do you still have that young boyfriend?” I asked.

“He comes and he goes,” she said.

I imagine she was always beautiful. She gets dressed up on Saturdays and goes to a Latin night club where she dances in high heeled shoes. She is retired, an immigrant who worked her way up from a sweat shop seamstress to starting a pre-school. The parents would ask what she planned to teach the children and she said, “I will teach them to sing and to dance.” They loved her. They entrusted her with their children and she taught them to sing and dance.

“But you know,” she begins … she is thinking about it … “I don’t want to be younger than I am, and with young men, I feel like I have to pretend to be younger. I like being my age, but looking good for my age.” She was amused. I could hear it when she said, “I like old men, too.”