Vanitas Note:
5 March 2019

¶ Looking at my reflection in the mirror facing the barber’s chair, yesterday, I was a bit shocked by the falling away of my face. I don’t seem to notice this in the bathroom mirror, perhaps because I am not really looking closely, or perhaps because, since I am standing and my head is bent forward by my fixed spine, the view isn’t very good. Seated in the barber’s chair, I can see clearly. Not only have my cheeks disappeared, leaving me with jutting cheekbones that might be sexy if they did not seem to be attached to a corpse, but the hollows of my temples are much deeper. I noticed this second change because of the shadows cast by the lamps in the barber’s ceiling. One thing that hasn’t changed in my scowl. Ripples of permanent frown score my brow, as they have done for thirty or more years. As it had been nearly a month since my last visit to the barber shop, I had the head of a Spanish mystic, or maybe a vengeful insurrectionist. It is really not an appealing — certainly not a welcoming — face.

Of course, I can’t help being pleased — pleased and yet chastened. It’s wonderful to have lost so much weight (thanks to No Drink, and also to No Crisps). But what’s the point, really? This new look will not be making me more attractive as I sail through the rest of my life. My sailing days are over. The best that can be said is that I’m working toward a somewhat less hampered and painful old age.

The trouble with that particular objective is that my bloodstream has gone through the last infusion of Remicade — which was three months ago. There are no plans for another one. The doctors are Looking Into Alternatives. Meanwhile, my shoulders ache as if I had just moved a ton of bricks and then caught a serious sunburn.

My foot is doing fine, though. 

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