The minivan was on its way back from its daytrip to the Tulsa Fairgrounds. I sat in the back, the only person under 70. The old women, usually lethargic and dull, were smiling because of their rare trip outside the retirement facility. They were joking and teasing with each other, trying not to think about going back to their silent naphthalene-smelling accommodations. One woman turned the group's attention to me.
"Look at her", she announced in an accent that was French, "so young! Her whole life ahead of her, beauty, youth - look at her eyes, this young woman!"
The old women chuckled. I smiled, somewhat embarassed. The French woman continued her grand delivery.
"How old are you!" she boomed in the spirit of the moment.
If only she knew that I felt like a withered 40.
"25! Do you know how old I am? I am...a 100!" Mock pride coloured her voice. She waved her hands, her fingers like mangled swollen digits of flesh and bone and nail. "Sweet, sweet, beautiful 25. Your whole life ahead of you - love, boys, friends - young child!"
The old women chuckled. The French woman beamed at me, and I saw myself in her eyes, and for the first time in a very long time, I felt like a shiny new body. I trembled as an old delightful shiver, loaded with promise and flavour, sparked within my belly.