Monday, September 14, 2009

Pretty thighs, pretty eyes

So I am sitting on the bus on the way to town and a young woman gets on and sits opposite from me. I want to catch her eye and smile, because I am trying to do the "I am friendly" look, rather than scowl the whole time, but it's probably a good thing I don't manage it, because "I am friendly" and "I am a psycho killer" are not readily distinguishable.

I am just idly eyeing her, as men do then they have nothing occupying their thoughts and there is something pretty to look at, and I'm struck by her thigh, because she has crossed her legs and summer is coming so her skirt is short. She has a lot of thigh but I like that. I'm not keen on skinny women: my idea of beauty is healthiness. I like women who glow with wellbeing. If you're too thin, you look sickly to me. Men seem to be obsessed over childlike women -- but give me a ripened, radiant grown woman any time and you can keep your stick-thin consumptives.

I stop looking at her because there's a point at which idle gaze becomes dirty old man's leer. And I'm feeling old today. The other day, I went for a skin cancer check. The skin guy ran a light over me. That's a sign of ageing, he said. That rash is just age spots, he said. That mole? Just age.

So I'm not dying of skin cancer. I'm dying of age.

And I found myself being tested again this morning: this time my eyes, because I have been trying out some contact lenses. The optometrist squirted some dye into my eyes and peered into them.

Your eyes are good, she said.

Thanks, I said. I had not realised she wasn't paying me a compliment. But I have pretty eyes, everyone says so, which is why I am returning to wearing contacts. I want to catch the eye of women on the bus, and smile like a psycho killer, because I feel like I have withered into a shell and that's no good.


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