Magic mirror

The mirror on the wall confirmed the doctor’s opinion.

The little squamous thingy on my chest was itchy and gross-looking. Time to visit the dermatologist. I love my dermatologist. Actually, I hate to love her because she is a blemish-free, 30-year-old, blonde knockout with skin the color of sunshine, smooth as butter, and Husky blue eyes, like ice. I want skin like that, but, no, I’m stuck with squamous hickies.

“We’ll just numb that ugly rascal,” she cooed. “I’ll scrape it off, send it to the lab to be sure it’s nothing serious.” 

“OK,” I replied. “While I’m here, you see anything else that needs attention?”

She thought for a hard moment. “Well, since you asked. You are an incredibly attractive man. It’s sad to see your enormously handsome face inflicted with wrinkles, furrows, bags and frown lines. Maybe some Botox?”

Alright, the only thing she really said was “maybe some Botox.” I fantasized the other part, but still.

“Botox, you say.”

“Just a touch here and there. Your lips. Forehead. Eyes. Around the mouth, your chin, and some for those deep frown lines,” she said.

“You left out the bags under my eyes.”

“Did I?” she said. “We can fix that with several injections of Restylane.”

I hate needles. “Hmm, I don’t know, Doc,” I said. Let me think about it and get back to you.”

“Of course,” she replied. “Go home, take a good, long time with the mirror and let me know what you think.”

A little miffed driving back home, I thought, “Pfft! Botox, indeed. What was she thinking, I’m a 74-year-old man, what does she expect? Pfft!” As soon as I got back to the house I checked into mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the fairest of them all.  

“OMG,” I mumbled to myself, “it’s not me, what’s happened to me?” The man in the mirror was wrinkled, baggy, splotchy, old, and, well, ugly. I guess I was simply accustomed to seeing myself shave every morning, or brush my teeth. But, stopping to take a really, good self-examination was painfully revealing. “Good grief. I need Botox.” First, let’s check the side effects.

Possible side effects include nausea, headache, shortness of breath, dizziness, double vision, blurred vision, loss of vision, pain, swelling, droopy eyelids, crooked smile, drooling, sweating, and that’s just a few. I didn’t care. I wanted Botox!

I’m not sure how many injections I’ve had. A lot—weeks and weeks. I keep going back for “touch ups,” as bombshell Doc explains. But, nothing has changed. I still have furrows, wrinkles, lines, and my eye bags have actually worsened. So, I’m done with it. No more Botox. No more injections, no more needles. No more seeing my hard-earned money vanish like fleeting clouds. Though, I will miss seeing Dr. Knockout. “No, she finally admitted last week. Your body isn't processing the Botox like it should. I believe your best avenue is a Rytidectomy.”

“A what?’ I asked.

“A facelift.”

“Hmm, I don’t know, Doc. Let me think about it.”

“Of course,” she said. “Go home, take a good long time with the mirror and let me know what you think.”

 I thought, “Pfft! Facelift indeed.” But here I am staring back at myself. “OMG,” I mumbled. “What’s happened to me? I need a facelift!”  

Brent and Joan Carroll moved to Big Canoe in 2014. He is an avowed frustrated writer, recognized by mixed tenses, copious commas and run-on sentences. Still, he is widely published—in his own mind.