A white lace bra, matching panties, and black ankle socks come off one by one. I neatly fold and place them on the plain counter next to my many bottles of moisturizer, anti-wrinkle creams, face washes and other magic youth making soaps. Naked, I stand in front of the full-length bathroom mirror.
“Disgusting,” I whisper to my reflection. The wrinkles between my perfectly shaped eyebrows deepen with my frown. My laugh lines have turned a once beauty pageant smile into a grimace, but the part that bothers me most is my body. The road construction of wrinkles that have appeared by my eyes and forehead have found their way to my neck, hands, and arms and legs. Stretch marks circle my saggy bellybutton.
With a sigh I step into the paint-chipped shower. I turn on the hottest water my once young skin can handle, the near boiling temperature making my back itch. I grab a new bottle of rejuvenating anti-wrinkle body wash. Extra strength! With a small amount it promises to wash away all my problem areas. We’ll see.
I lather a drop of the baby pink gel into the washcloth and watch the bubbles foam. It smells strange, like a skunk wearing floral perfume. I scrub my body. Hard. My skins burns, which hopefully means it’s working. Closing my eyes I rinse, then inspect the results.
I stand like statue letting the water streams buzz over my body. My mind is numb. My wrinkles, stretch marks, and even some moles are nearly gone. My excitement gradually crescendos as I realize this is truly happening.
I want more.
This time I squeeze a large amount onto my green washcloth and scrub harder. The foam builds and covers me. My body tingles and stings. This time I include my hands face and feet. I rinse. With trembling hands I open the curtain letting water splash onto the floor, and look into the mirror.
A breath of quick air catches in my throat. I cough and laugh simultaneously. It looks as though I have been photoshopped. My imperfections, wrinkles and all, are gone. My skin glows, nearly translucent. A happiness I’ve never felt before shoots through my veins. I’ve found the fountain of youth and it comes in a crappy beige bottle. I smile. My teeth are an unwanted gold color, so I take some pink gel and start brushing until they turn pearly white.
“Mom,” My daughter Missy whines, “are you almost done in there?”
“Yea, just a minute!”
I close the curtain, the rings screeching against the metal. One more wash. I add a massive amount of soap, this time to my hands. I wash everywhere, even my hair. It hurts, but I love it. I imagine what I will look like this time. My old self? Better? Everything I hate about myself rinses down the drain. After a breath I look at my hands.
They are disappearing.
My heart plummets to the cheap porcelain. This cant be! The vanishing is spreading. No, no, no!
I grab to the bottle to read the instructions. A red label glares at me. WARNING, do not rinse and repeat. May cause unwanted side effects. I’d say! The rest of my body is nearly gone.
A tear floats down an invisible cheek.
The bottle drops to the floor.
“Mom, hurry up!”
What would you wash away with magic soap? I would love to read in the comment section!