Sixty and One/Half

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Sweet sugar-daddy! I read some good news this morning: sugar reduces cortisol levels in the blood stream. No surprise. Sweet things have always made me feel good. Birdsong is sweet. Talking to children is sweet. The gaze of a newborn is super sweet.  My dog, digging a hole in my carpet…not at all sweet.  But, my new lipstick (Maple, by Laura Mercier) is kissy-sweet.

I’ve been listening to Songs From The Fog, a compilation of nine Bay Area singer-songwriters, one of whom is Deborah Crooks; a friend of mine. Her songs, Bittersweet Valentine and Grandma Mission Blues, are like sugared lemon-cakes to this writer’s ears.

There! I’ve written it. I’m claiming writer as a personal adjective because, OMG ! MY DENTIST ASKED ME IF I AM THE WRITER!? who wrote an essay he read in The Monthly.* Was that mine, he wondered? He enjoyed reading it.


I was tipped back in his chair, heart pounding as it always does when I open my mouth for a dentist; getting a slight blood rush to my head, the way I always do when I’m tipped back like that in the dentist’s chair and could choke or breathe bad breath on him or feel pain or the despair of a bad tooth or worse! and what he says is: “nice writing,”  with a flash of  his perfectly toothed smile as he sits to my right, me, his WRITER patient.

Honest to goodness I levitated.   Floated like a mist.      Opened my mouth.      Wide.                                Be still my heart.

Have I mentioned that, by chance, my dentist shares a waiting-room with my gynecologist? It’s an odd fact that amuses me with its inarticulate innuendo and I include it here for your amusement as well. It’s something to ponder and theorize about, as I do, tipped back as I am. How come my ENT isn’t in this same building? Or for that matter, my proctologist?

The news about sugar being a stress reducer means  real dollars for my dentist. He told me sugar eats my teeth like they’re candy. ouch ouch ouch. I don’t want to hear that.

I want to chomp Double Bubble–zingy-sweet–like I did in those days of my girlhood; riding in Mom’s old Chrysler, jammed in with the sibs, blowing giant pink pillows from our tiny young mouths until our jaws ached.


I want hard candies wrapped in crispy cellophane, slipped to me by the white-gloved hand of my Grandmother; a sweet kindness to help me cope with the long, boring, near-ta-scary! sermons of her church’s Pastor. I’d suck them into slivers of sweetness so sharp they would slice my tongue.

“Rinse and spit.”

Sweeten my day by baking rhubarb pie? hell yes.
Have my eyebrows sugared? (whatever that is) okay!
Decide my dog, who growls like a monster when I touch him with two hands, is sweet?


umm, I’ll try.

I’m going to pour honeysuckle-sappy-sweetness over everything: root canals, atrophic vaginitis, epistaxis, colon polyps. At sixty and one/half  I need all the stress reduction I can get.

*thank you everyone who supported my first publication in The Monthly:

The Author

Living it! Loving it! Blogging it ...


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