Stranger in the Mirror

Her face is no longer recognizable.

Today change blistered below the epidermis unable to be ignored or unrecognized one moment longer.

“What happened,” Stick Chick wondered, “since the last time I looked—I mean really looked at my face in the mirror?”

Had she not faithfully returned like a worshiping zealot at the foot of fashion forward stylists, anxious to reduce gray roots to synthetic youth amidst a cacophony of fluorescent lights, mirrors and posters of avant-garde models?

In the confines of home, the lighting that illuminates her face (or the rest of her body for that matter) pushes the boundaries of mediocrity. Marginally aware of the deterioration of her face, her usual view encompasses one inch by one inch segments magnified 10 times by a pocket mirror, but even then shadows play in the valleys of cheekbones and forehead.

Stick Chick MakeUp Face

Sometimes with concealer, she downplays the bumps created by enlarged pores, the tiny red capillaries, and the half-moon purple puffiness under each eye. Wax keeps masculine brows and lips at bay. On special occasions, she splurges, applying black mascara to the upper lashes by holding the brush still and close, blinking doe eyelids in a downward sweep five times each—coquettish and measured.

With a retractable brush designed to maximize favorites, she paints on a warm purplish red lipstick, perhaps “Winter Wine,” or “Madison Mauve,” capturing future edge-bleed with a purse of her lips, a touch of powder and an open-mouthed lip print on a Kleenex canvas.

But this…this…these deep, drooping crevices extend sad-clown from the outer reaches of her lips as though an invisible fish-hook pulls to maintain symmetry all the while doubling the rules of gravity. Her youthful smoothness has given way to aged change requiring concentrated upkeep.

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