the pink icing got me. really. if it had not been for the pink icing, i would have been good. isn’t it always like that? you’re doing just fine and then some pink icing shows up on a brownie cake on your desk at work. and then all Spain breaks loose. (nobody expects the spanish inquisition!!!)
Not at all like when i was ten and used to sit on the floor of the library for hours reading about Jenny the cat, or some French girl with a horrible haircut and a bunch of watercolor nuns, while my mother and father roamed through the stacks, or did whatever they did when they went to the library. back in the days of run-on sentences from getting-up-in-the-morning until the head on my pillow sank into a white-cloud ocean-going-vessel set sail for Sleepytime. ah, those were the days, and the nights, and the dreams…mostly sweet, with kitty cat cakes decorated with lime, orange, and cherry gumdrops…back before looking in the mirror at Mister Hippo wasn’t a daily morning encounter.
Now don’t get me wrong, Mister Hippo has been there the whole time. Even on my vacations. But lately, Mister Hippo has…been…looking…middle age. there, it had to be said. middle. age. where the thirtyish looking body went, God only knows, replaced by a complete foreigner looking like Mon. Poirot and belching like a sea lion off the coast of California.
i found solace in Pepto, as in Bismol, but the raging circus from parts unknown disturbed my sleep. i awoke staring in the mirror like an Escher painting meeting an Edgar Alan Poe short story. Why are the eyes red? And why do I feel like I have been rummaging through the cask of amontillado when i haven’t partaken of liquid spirits since a glass of kosher wine with my spaghetti…many moons ago?
if i had known that middle age was going to be like this, i would have come prepared. i would have brought a year’s supply of peppermints, a complete Shakespeare, and a lifetime-guaranteed Gumby…to yank and pull rather than go through a metamorphosis myself.
but no. age demands we take notice. i may still be able to pass for thirty five some days, but there are too many others featuring mornings resembling the day after Ghenghis Khan’s final invasion, days when i do not feel human until water is sliding down my face…and warm at that.
and while i have adapted to not being as handsome as i was, say, six months ago…i can still look in the mirror and recognize the spittin image of Clark Gable…and Johnny Depp…and even swish my hair back out of my face. i may be sitting in middle age, but i refuse to succumb to an image as Mister Hippo every morning. Maybe mini Hippo, but not full blown….