Inside Another Person’s Skin

Hollywood

I’m Not Old

Beneath the powder, the botox, beneath
the rouge and lipstick and beneath the scars
from the surgeries lies the truth. The truth
that I am not getting any younger
and that truth terrifies me. See, if I
keep my body as toned as a young girl’s
and if I keep my face as tight and trim,
the truth will not be evident. It will
be as if those movies I made when I
really was young, forty or fifty years
ago were illusory, not really
me. I’m still young, dammit, and I will look
as good as I did then, no, even bet-
ter. I am thinner and everyone knows
that nothing tastes as good as being thin
feels. Nothing. This is how I hide from that
truth. I hide behind the mask of my face.
I hide behind the busy-busy life
that makes me look important and if I
dress in the latest fads, trendiest clothes,
if I go to all the openings and
smile (with all the flexibility of
a stone), I will still appear to be young.
Photoshop is my favorite thing of all.
Everyone will say, “There she is, as young
as ever.” All the while, time passes,
and the inevitable creep of age,
the crepey skin, sunken eyes, it draws me
back to apply again to doctors to
lift this, tuck that, dye or moisten or hide
or whatever it takes. I berate them
for failing me, I know I don’t look right.
And I berate my (younger) self for the
years in the sun, back when I was that young,
that girl I don’t recognize any more.
I want to kill her sometimes, and, in fact,
I kind of have killed her. I take off my
glasses to look in the mirror and I
won’t read what they say about me because
I am not old. I’m not. I’m not. I’m not.

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