Bitter and Sweet Are My Two Feet
My foot has stretched my mouth so many times, my mouth is like an old worn out slipper that barely stays on while shuffling forward. Some women are bent on plumping their lips to regain lost youth. I just want a little nip and tuck to make my piehole too small for my vindictive foot.
The good news is, the familiar flavor of callouses and toe jam is beginning to lose its potency. The taste of mortification is far less pungent than it once was because I’m better at owning any verbal gaffes that make it past my receding gums. There is comfort in being able to speak what comes to mind without the fear of what someone else might think. “Listen at your own risk” should be my next tattoo.
That is not to say I am totally insensitive to people’s feelings. It is more like I don’t need to hold back my opinions and thoughts for the sake of affecting my station in life. That station being somewhere above guttersnipe and a notch below the village idiot. Social climbing is as foreign and undesirable to me as rock climbing.
The glory of reaching my age is that my wrinkled, saggy skin is so much more comfortable than the tight, over-tanned skin I obsessed about in my youth. In short, I don’t give a rodent’s behind about how I look, or what someone else thinks about it.
My concerns have now turned to the more concrete. Literally. Not too long ago, I tripped over a speed bump and broke my wrist. It didn’t slow me down, it threw me down. My chin required stitches and my wrist required two separate surgeries. At the time though, I was too caught up in checking bones and cupping my bleeding chin to be worried about what people thought. Pain can be so freeing.
What that entire experience did give me is a healthy respect for falling. There is no bouncing back at my age. I’m flatter than a deflated basketball, deader than a dull tennis ball, and as resilient as a fresh egg. A wrinkle in a rug is far more distressing than a wrinkle near an eye. Curbs, cracks, and ice have become my foot’s nemesis, not the discomfort of squeezing into my gaping mouth.
I used to fear a slip of the lip. Now I fear a slip of the hip. I got past emotional frailty and physical frailty took right over. Fortunately, there is great strength in surviving either, and even more fortitude in continuing to walk and talk at all. Of course, now I tend to shuffle forward like a well-worn slipper, while my lips continue flapping unencumbered.