My looks haven’t changed since the age of five, glasses and all. Others grow up, grow their hair out, shave it off, gain weight, lose weight, age considerably, get married, get divorced, get drunk or hooked on drugs – me, I’ve done none of that. My goal when I’m as old as my parents is to look the same way I did when I got out of high school, right down to the part in my hair and the types of clothes I wear. Deep down I think it’s a hidden belief that youth and beauty are inextricably intertwined and I don’t want to lose either of them.

My friend Grace once noticed this after we had spent a week in each other’s exclusive company while my parents were in China for the passing of a relative. She asked me whether I was a control freak. I don’t think so. I take comfort in the constancy of maintaining appearances. Yes, I do have a soft spot for the innocence of youth. I know it fades away eventually, just as everything must. I want to hold on to it for as long as I can. When it’s gone, I’ll keep pretending and hum wistful remembrances while sweeping the front porch in the breezy summer twilight.


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