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40-Something

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I remember when your face was covered with acne
And the acne was covered with panstick.
Max Factor, fair.
You needed beige to avoid the line of demarcation.
There was no distinction between
Your ambition and love.
They were the same.

I was mischievous.
I made a rope our of your 32A bras and hung them from my 5th floor dormitory window.
Playtex Crisscross. We blew in the wind.

All our dreams, lightly padded.

You were a mean girl.
Stealing my panties and planting them in Rick’s bureau.
He’s a doctor now and unfriended me on Facebook last year.

Good for you, Rick.
But, Jasper is nowhere to be found.

I googled you for years and years, and nothing.
And, then one day, I found you
On a roster
(We’re all on a roster somewhere)
People who passed the bar.
You were living in a western town.

Do you remember rocking out to Amadeus
In the parking lot of Wal-Mart?
That Wal-Mart has relocated twice since then.

First, a mile to the East
Then two miles to the West.
It’s like a flock of birds
keeps carrying it away and bringing it back.

Do you remember the East End Boys and West End Girls?
Life in a northern town?
God, how I wanted to be there. I still want to be there.

Thirty years have come and gone. Is this a joke?
This world was dead-end for you.

One night in Bangkok and it all became your oyster.

And, your acne cleared up and you married well. For all these things I am happy.

We were all beaten by somebody or something
Eventually, Jasper. We were.

I pass Egg Roll King every week on my way to the grocery store.
I am going to be 50. Someday.
Like Sally. It’s out there.

It’s just waiting for all of us, like the year when we get to
Officially forget each other.
It’s been too long.

I spent three hours one day studying
The etymology of your name.
Is he Muslim? Jewish? Greek Orthodox? Baptist?
But, does he beat you? If he beats you I will come kick him in the head right now.

I will bring you those giant squares of cabbage swimming in starch
and Green Seaweed

If I thought you’d laugh with me and forgive me for wrecking your car when I was 19.

When I was 19, we shopped at Shepherd Mall
For velvet and rhinestones.
They turned it into offices for Social Security.
So goes the brick and mortar of our dreams.

I have new friends, these days.
Some look like you.
With gaps in their teeth.
I forgive them for posting provocative
40-something selfies.

But, must we talk about our thigh gaps
While our daughters sing Let It Go?
Please.
All around me, 40-something women
Clinging to the last blossom of youth.

Most stunning.
There is nothing left to get or take or prove or fake.
Our youth did not guarantee rapture.

40-something women make the best lovers
But, only if they love you.

Gen X Blog Jennifer Chronicles

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