by Linda Sanchez
black chai The whole thing may have been worth it
just to feel the stubbly satisfaction of hair, less than an inch long, nubbing
under my fingers when I shampoo, and the weightlessness of it, a nothingness
that my teachers here like to encourage. Before everything blew up, I’d been growing
my curly hair, and it had been heading down my back at a good clip. I was sure
that long hair was just the pick-me-up that my aging looks needed. Turns out
that long curly hair made me look like Kenny G., but I didn’t let that stop me:
I’d been bringing sexy back for some time. I’d bought the 16-ounce bottle of
lube, and a book of sex positions that made me wince and reconsider my lapsed
yoga studio membership. I bought a pair of non-prescription violet-tinted
contact lenses and wore only one, for added mystery, which, instead of sexiness, provoked a minor
eye infection, and for my husband to say, ‘you feel ok?’ every time I wore it.
I experimented with different underwear but couldn’t, just couldn’t bring
myself to wear a thong. Plus, silky material makes me itch, so I was forced to
return to 100% cotton. I made countless attempts to get my husband to join me
in these exertions, but he was so all-right with what we already had - something else my teachers here encourage -
that my efforts fell on deaf happy ears.
I have no defense for my actions. I can’t say that things got out of hand, or that I lost control, or that ‘it just happened.’ No. I doggedly pursued my lover, plowed my way through his indifference and confusion, winked at him with one violet-tinted eye, manipulated, cajoled and forced a Machiavellian seduction on my elderly neighbor that shocked us both, not because of its force or passion, but simply because it happened. It wasn’t a seduction, truly, it was a vanquishing.
Vying for position with the buzz cut for Best in Show in this whole mess, is what my lover, this old man, taught me about waiting. He forced me to tolerate it, and, if not quite to love it, to respect it for the fruit it might bear. Good thing, since waiting’s mostly what I do here in this quiet place where I’ve banished myself. There’s the chime. Gotta go.