Sunday, 23 August 2009

My vagina, My nemesis, My past - Part One

A few weeks ago I posted a piece called And when did you last see your vagina? Well, for some reason I never got round to looking at my vagina, but with my holiday looming and my body becoming ever more flocculent, I booked myself a 2 hour waxing session (full leg, underarm and Brazilian) with the best beauty therapist in the world, Lorel.

Lorel can look you straight in the anus and pluck out the last stragglers without so much as blinking. The fact that I am legs akimbo and she can see what I have had for breakfast is neither here nor there. This is why I travel miles from home to her salon.

The last time Lorel saw me was a year ago when I was about 8 months pregnant and I came for a Brazilian wax and a pedicure. I had heard that far from giving off a sluttish image, midwives are actually grateful for the clearer view that the Brazilian brings to the proceedings. I had promised Cupcake that it should have grown back a bit by the time she had to look at it which made her feel much better as she has never been a fan of the Brazilian.

It’s sunny, it’s Saturday and I am childless. Naturally there is a spring in my step. As I am nearing the salon I can see a figure sitting in the window and although she is shadowy, confused by the sun reflecting off the glass, I know instantly that it is her. I have often dreamt of this moment, although it was never supposed to be like this. In my dream I am standing in a friend’s kitchen, at a cocktail party, holding a cosmopolitan and looking effortlessly amazing. She is talking to me and I am smiling and it suddenly occurs to me that she has tricked me. Somehow she has made me like her again. I feel the anger rise up within me and suddenly I am smashing my cocktail into the side of her face brutally and mercilessly.

In reality, as I approach the door to the salon all I can think about is how I look. It’s not great but I have looked a lot worse. I have, at least, lost my baby weight but this is outweighed by a bad hair day and my skin is far from flawless. And then amongst all this competitive vanity I remember the really important things. I have amazing friends, an amazing family, a fabulous partner and a gorgeous son. Who gives a fuck about her and about what she thinks of me? I walk through the door as bold as brass. Fate has not dealt me the kindest hand but neither has it dealt me a blow.

The salon is miniscule. There is little chance of avoiding her and all seats are taken. I walk up to the desk with my back to her and when the receptionist addresses me I tell her “I have an appointment with Lorel”. I know that she will recognise my voice. I can almost feel her eyes burning into me. The receptionist gesticulates towards the women sitting behind me and says that I can have a seat in a minute, when these ladies have …….and then I lose what she is saying because my mind is racing. I do not want to turn around. I know there are no free seats. “OK” I respond. I fumble in my handbag for what feels like an eternity. I don’t even have a phone to go outside with and make a pretend phone call because it is at home, broken. Out of the corner of my eye I sense that she has got up and is now standing behind me. The receptionist tells her that she can use a tanning booth in a moment. At this point I go to sit in the seat she has just vacated. It is still warm. I take up a magazine turn my body away from her, gazing out of the window. The receptionist asks her name. She does not give it and I know why. If I hear that surname this pretence will have to cease as she is literally the only one in the country with that surname. I bury myself in the speculations of Brad and Angelina’s break up. I am praying for her to go. Suddenly I feel someone standing close to me. I am holding firmly onto the magazine so that it does not betray my trembling hand. I hear her voice.

“’Scuse me darlin’” she says and pushes a magazine that she has been reading into the rack at my feet. I do not raise my head but I move my leg so that she can complete her manoeuvre with ease. She turns and walks away. The air between us is thick with knowing. Suddenly Lorel appears and says “Hi!” come through. I take refuge in the waxing room, thankful that by the time I emerge, hairless and feeling as if someone has rubbed me with a scotch bonnet chilli, that my nemesis will have disappeared back into my past again.

1 comment:

  1. I love this post. When I found out my boyfriend was cheating on me I got my own back. By printing out the photos on his phone that she had sent him. Of herself "relieving" herself while he was stuck away from her with me. I may have stuck them up in the local men's toilets with her phone number. And full name. And they may have had her face in them. But who notices the finer details hey? xx