By Laura Casado
I don’t want to be like her.
With her high-waisted, elastic-bound, perfectly pleated trousers.
The originally white peter pan collar, now yellow but still immaculately ironed.
The crocheted sweater, with its once-taut stitches now softened over tired years.
The hair, finally surrendered to the nagging snow storm yet desperately clinging to happy times.
The Connie Francis bouffant that barely finds sustenance in her receding hairline, poorly styled in an attempt to conceal deeply set wrinkles, in turn casting a shadow upon once-laughing eyes.
Eyes that are now flat and dull. My relationship with them obstructed by bifocal, horn-rimmed lenses, that after so many years have cut and gouged their place of rest.
Her hands, though still angelically velvet, now snake like a maze of slithering wrinkles, intertwined with raised veins.
Her slender wrists have now become skeletal. Her skin, stretched thinly across, reveals bone.
Her chin has become long and loose, almost touching her chest.
Her lower jaw moves in a metronomic quiver, a pendulumic swing from side to side.
Her lips, once lush and smiling, are tight and thin. From them escapes spittle that, unnoticed, travels down down down her wobbling chin and pools in the folds of her neck.
Once vibrant and resounding and strong, now intermittent and cold, growing so increasingly cold.
I love her.
I should aspire to be like her.
Why don’t I?