all of the selves we Have ever been
When I was a teen, I made a vow: I would not let myself go.
I cast my naïve gaze upon older people and swore on my beloved guitar that I would never let THAT happen to me. No way, Jose.
In my defense, I made a sincere effort to keep my promise, and I did so for a very long time. Hence, I did not see it coming. But here I am. Falling. Apart.
And so I enter another defense. I did not let myself go. I was taken.
I am beginning to unravel the diabolical scheme and identify the clever thief. This story is not an action-packed thriller starring Liam Neeson. There are no Albanian Human Traffickers. It’s just me on the run from Time.
Lacking the training of a CIA operative, I was slow to trade in my old bifocals for some new lens implants. After two quick cataract surgeries, I have a new super-power: X-ray vision. I now see every liver spot on my face as well as the ones on my actual liver. Every cell of my body is under a binocular microscope—my new eyes.
Prior to my surgeries, I thought it was just STOP signs and red lights I was missing. Post-surgery, I have to face that my face is not mine, at least not the one I remember. I can see my bare scalp through the sparsely planted gray hairs. My cheeks are covered with dark spots I never knew were there. Every pore is a swimming pool. My gums are receding into my nasal passages, and my teeth are shouting, “Stop with the tea!” Now I know not to get into the car with anyone who ever said, “You look nice.”
I have not had the courage to look below my neck. Those pesky chin hairs provide me with a convenient excuse. If left alone with my new eyes and a pair of tweezers, my morning is booked. Don’t call me until after eleven.
When I was a teen, I hoped to live long. I looked forward to becoming a grown-up—mature and independent, but not THAT. Now that youth has been restored to my vision, the world is brighter, but there is a stranger living in my house. Where is the prior tenant?
I did not let her go.
She was taken.