That morning, I broke the perfume bottle. The powerful scent swirled around me, and for a minute, I nearly considered swapping my clothes for the fragrance that clung to me like second skin. Plus, summer had set in. I doubted whether the world was ready to accept my summer body, so I reluctantly dressed myself.
I put on eye makeup, a little too dramatically because I couldn’t very clearly see what I was doing. When I put my glasses back on, I gasped, but I didn’t have time to look any less than a scaled-down version of Cleopatra. I stared at the mirror a while longer, looking at the salt-and-pepper on my head. I sighed, and walked out the door. Feeling defiant and a little risky, I ditched the elevator and took the stairs.
At work, I attracted a lot of stares. Some of my colleagues came up to me and said “Wow, you look stunning. Do you have a hot date tonight?”, or “Damn girl, that eye makeup is on fleek!”. One lady even complimented my dress and asked if she could borrow it someday. I looked down in horror, because I was wearing a blue summer dress with puffed up sleeves-looking like a ready-to-eat popcorn packet. And the blue was a queer shade, a blue that was neither dark nor light. A blue that couldn’t make up its mind.
The men also paid special attention to me that day. They milled about me, like mice enticed by the cheese in the mouse-trap, but are somehow smart enough to avoid it. I was feeling very flustered by the end of it all.
All these fickle symptoms of youth, I tell you.
I went home that night and took a long shower. I lay in bed for a long time, thinking over the day’s events. Then I fell asleep, a wrinkly me in a wrinkly bed, dreaming of my 65th birthday that was due in a week. I was hoping someone would get me 65 candles, because I still had life in me to blow out all of them in one go.