I saw the faces first, always first.
In the dark paint of my closet doors, always dark.
They always appear. I know not who they are.
Here I am. On a Saturday afternoon at another kids birthday party. Guess I have to come when the kid is my nephew. Another pizza party and more attempts by my sister to embarrass me in some way, happens every time. This time the conversation started pretty normally. What are you doing, are you dating anyone...? Then came the attack! This one I didn't see coming. How is your lingerie these days? WHAT? My lingerie? "Why are you worried about my lingerie"? Apparently, she wanted to know if I was still wearing those granny panties. I asked if she wanted to see them. I could mail them to her if she liked. "You still wear them, don't you? It's fine. You shouldn't be embarrassed by them". I don't know why, but I assured her I no longer wore them. Her final blow, "You've never worn anything but those grannies you buy six to a pack". I let it go. But, of course, she would know...right?
This year has felt like the above picture. Overwhelming, draining. It's been a feeling of drowning in my own life. A feeling of being pushed every way but the right way. The path has become flooded and there's only mud. It's as if the boat was going down and there is no way to save it. Anyone else feel that way? Oh, yeah...the whole damn world.
Panic attacks. Never had one, Never understood one. Never knew anyone who had one to understand one. Now I do. Me.
I've worked in a hospital for the past thirty years. I work in the operating room. Some days it's a quiet normal do your thing day. Some days I'm up to my elbows in someone else's blood. I've had people die on my table and I've watched my surgeon call time on a patient. None of this, on any level, made me ready for what was coming in my own life. I've worn a mask on my face for thirty years. A duckbill, a sticky, a green tape. All masks I've worn one day or another. I never thought I'd be ripping one off my face to catch my breath.
At the age of fifty-five I started looking for my sexy again. I have lost it several times in my life. It left in my thirties and it took until my forties to find it again. Again, it left when I turned fifty-three. This time it was harder to find. I had to redefine myself. There's nothing harder than redefining yourself. This time my nest was going to be empty. My little chick was going away to school. I had always been a mom, a single mom. A single mom whose boyfriend of many years had just broken up with her. I was not feeling sexy. I wasn't feeling anything but empty.
At seventeen I went thru a window. My mothers whole life after that was to help me disguise the scars. My beautiful seventeen year old face took eighteen stitches around my eye and six on my chin. The cavern that was created down my nose...nothing could be done. It would heal. As soon as we got home from Mexico, we had been visiting family, it became my mothers mission that I would learn to use make-up in a professional way. The scars needed to be hidden. Not really for my sake, but for hers. I was a more natural girl. I never really wore a full face. But now, I would learn.