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Hot Flash


Lorna Bath

"What I want to know is; when did I stop being the sexy-irresponsible-wench and become the eccentric-but-grounded best friend?"

"What do you mean?"

"You know, I used to be Thelma and now I'm Louise."

"Is this about Melissa being in the break-room this morning?"

"Yes and no. It just gets to me, being suddenly invisible. Dismissed. Scanned and determined unworthy of casual civility."

"She's just young and self-absorbed. We once belonged to the same deluded cult, chanting the mantra 'I'll never be like that.'"

"That's just it. Last night Dave and I went out for pizza and there was a stunning young woman seated across from us and I watched people look at her. Including Dave who feigned to get something in his eye as soon as he saw me."

"Don't worry about it. Young women are fun to look at. They're like flowers and usually about as stimulating."

"Yeah, I know. But it's still disconcerting. I realized a sad truth as I sat there and looked at a man I've lived with 25 years. That if asked he would have been able to remember her every detail right down to her pretty little neatly painted toenails. But if I vanished tomorrow he wouldn't be able to describe me to the police." 

"Too true, too true, but the fun thing is knowing the future."

"What future? Seeing myself as Miss Daisy? How fun is that?"

"Not your future. Hers."

"Is that the one where she dumps Matt and runs off with my husband?"

"No. Listen. I saw Melissa this morning and she did the same dismissal scan of me that she did of you. We are of no consequence and therefore no more worthy of her attention than the copier, the coffee pot or the fax machine. She saw us well
enough so as to not run into us or knock us over; and that is all that is required of her. She tossed back her long brown hair, checked her reflection in the mirrored window of the inner office, smoothed her short skirt over her hips and sat down to await more interesting people."

"What are we, chopped liver?"

"No, we're cold turkey. We are their worst nightmare."

"And that is fun because..." 

"And that is fun because I look at her and I think to myself, 'Go ahead darlin' and pretend that you will never be like this. It's all right. Denial is a legal drug of the young peddled by mass media. But someday you, too, will look in the mirror and see a woman you do not recognize in a body no longer kept under submission by diets or restraints and with a mind that runs amok because it is too full. Someday you will look just like me and there will be a girl with the same careless expression guarding the same inner terror.' And then I know my day is only going to get better." 

"Now that gives new meaning to the term 'hot flash.'"

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