Here is how I know I’m in perimenopause:
1. I’m smoking hot. Not in the good way. I’ll be minding my own business hanging a corpse on a fish hook in a meat freezer in Sicily when suddenly I’m hot and sweating. I’m like a dog who can’t pant. They’re not full blown hot flashes, but they’re like the glass with the trembling water in Jurassic Park heralding the imminent arrival of the man-eating T-Rex!
2. Speaking of man-eating. I worry my va-jay-jay’s expanding. Henry denies it, but perhaps he’s expanding too? Possibly an encroaching prostate? Only the proctologist Dr. Becker and his gloved index finger know for sure. I just think my vagina, now in its elderly cycle, has become a bit of a hazard, much like a pothole without a lid. Yes I’m given to self-deprecation, but consider this …
Six Latino workmen who wait outside Dunlap’s paint for someone to hire them each day have gone missing. One of them, Jean Baptiste (there was a Frenchman in Oaxaca circa 1942) was especially dear to me. Every day when I went in to order a cafe latte at the adjacent Food Restaurant on Prosser and Pico he’d appear and exclaim, “Aqui viene la sirena, mi alma, mi corazon!”
Last Monday he and five other workers rushed to my minivan in search of work, hoping to care for their families just one more day. Their legs got entangled, they tripped en masse and were never seen again. I was wearing a skirt that day that just happened to twirl up. I believe they fell into my vagina. I can’t be sure as I didn’t feel a thing. But since then my pores sweat Chipotal jalapenos and Bolivian mezcal. When I change into pajamas at night I can hear faint Mariachi ululations of Cielito Lindo with a 5-string Vihuela accompaniment echoing down my fallopian tubes.
Unfortunately I’m the reincarnation of Shirley MacLaine (that’s not really Shirley you see today, but a Qing Dynasty Chinese concubine imposter, named Mao Ling Sa), which means the ghosts of Shirley’s lovers, Yves Montand and Robert Mitchum, are somewhere in utero smoking Camels, knocking back G&Ts between fist fights over Simone Signoret.
3. My breasts are tender. They’d prefer I wear bras made of cirrus clouds, no shirt whatsoever, never mind a jacket or sweater. Much like John Travolta on the set of Face-Off (just ask Henry) they have forbidden anyone to look them directly in the eyes. They’ve become moody, recalcitrant, secretive (I had to read their journal to get their cup size).
4. Mild dementia. … What? … You’re the one reading, how should I know what this post is about. Wait … I think I hear something … is that …?
“Ay, ay, ay, ay,
Canta y no llores,
Porque cantando se alegran,
Cielito lindo, los corazones…”
Shannon writes at The Woman Formerly Known as Beautiful