It was a day shy of two weeks before I would meet my fiftieth birthday when I stepped out of the epsom salt bath I was soaking my poison oak rash, and caught my reflection in the mirror.
Having worn bangs that cover my forehead since I was 11 years old, I don’t see that part of my face often. With my hair still very wet from the bath and plastered against my skull, it is my forehead that alerted me to the realization that my face had fallen off.
Maybe not completely off, I mean it didn’t slide to the floor, but, it had undeniably fallen. The deep lines that ran in two parallel lines like train tracks across my upper brow line and mid forehead were accentuated by the smaller, less dug in creases lower down along my mouth.
I had been working a solid program of denial with those lines and was getting by fine until this moment when that became impossible to continue. Once denial is irrefutably questioned, that is a forever unusable avenue of escape.
Truth is I don’t mind getting older. What I do mind is getting less enjoyable to look at. Uglier, if you will.
Do i personally think elderly people are ugly? No, not per se. But, I also don’t find them attractive in the sense that I would ever consider them sexually appealing. Like children, their appearance inspires an asexual aesthetic.
Which is fine.
It’s just not fine for me.
It dawns on me now that the reality is there are millions of people that have crossed that bridge physically and did not lose their sexual appetites while their faces and bodies lost their flavor. So while I gaze upon the seeming asexual face of the 70 something old woman in front of me, that woman probably has a burning desire to be sexually active and seen as a sexually vibrant person.
And, that, would be a terrible place to be. For me. Maybe not other people, but definitely for me.