Cracked Up

I need Botox. My dermatologist thought I was bonkers when I inquired into the procedure that would render me smooth as silk, but, given the fact that I am called “ma’am” by shopkeepers, young and old, and the Save the Children gang that patrols my stretch of Mass. Ave., I’d say I am ready for it.

I read an article in The New Yorker recently about a man who prescribes laughing for well-being. There are clubs of laughers scattered across the globe. Members gather together and laugh, at first with effort until it infects and overwhelms them. I don’t remember the exact physical rewards said exercise bestows, but the notion that a daily fit of laughter reinvigorates and rejuvenates has fixed itself in my mind.  I think I have a pretty good sense of humor. But maybe it’s a dark humor? Maybe laughs induced by less than good-natured thoughts are actually robbing me of my youth? Did a Grimm write about this? Aesop?

Aside from my theory that smirks and inside jokes between me and myself are causing premature wrinkles is the knowledge that I do furrow my brow much too much. Surprised, the horizontal rows appear, like rows of freshly plowed spring soil. Confused, the left brow swoops down, a ladle dipping into the delicate skin that’s formed on a creamy soup. Concentrated, two deep canals form above the bridge of my nose. Once relaxed, they turn into the cracked bottom of a dried out creek bed.

Even now as I’m typing and thinking that I shouldn’t work my forehead, the brows draw together like two magnets.

The one good thing about such depth of expression is that someone about to be attacked has at least a fraction of second to know that he’s about to get it. Take for instance the dude at Whole Foods who decapitated the bunch of carrots photographed above. After two days of tireless shopping for carrots with their feathery green tops still intact, I find them. By this point in my journey, I am tired. The muscles of my face are exhausted after spending many hours squinting at produce for perfect specimens. These carrots are a prize. I’m about to start bagging when the cashier distracts me. I don’t know the answer to his question. I rummage around my head for an answer, at the same time rummaging around my bag for my wallet. And then, a snap so sharp it crackles and cuts across the air like a bolt of furious lightning. I turn, unable to speak, but from the bagger’s petrified stance, I know he knows he’s made a big mistake. The necks of the carrots have been snapped, mercilessly murdered. I think I hear a whimper.

Some people resemble their dogs or their partners. Maybe I’m meant to resemble food…Raisins? Peach pits? Earthquake cookies?

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