the passport photo


it’s the worst. why'd i send it in? sigh. i needed a passport. i'd been putting it off. Why? because of the photo. i'm shy. i hate having my picture taken. i get nervous. i get stiff. the lighting is bad. i look older and less attractive than i already feel. multiply this by the power of 10. but i needed one. so i forced myself to do a test run. 

Usually, I don't dress up much, I never wear makeup and rarely wash my hair. before you freak out on that little tidbit - it's because it's so cold and dry where I live, my skin and hair are losing the battle with the elements. i try to be gentle so the amount of fallen hair that line my kitchen counter, bathroom floor and every sink in the house have a moment of silence before their final departure. this ongoing traffic jam of lost and fallen hair particles is too much for one tiny house to manage. my kids were used to it. oh! hair in the food? never a question. it was as normal as - pass the salt. 

i tried to make light of it, like - oh, that's cute, or - it's a little extra protein, or a little extra fiber? but it's exasperating, and slightly humiliating. when i went to tea recently with a friend and delivered her cup to the table, sure enough, when I looked, there, on the rim of her cup were one of my lost strands. i'm sure it's some mineral deficiency or other but let’s get real - i do not have good hair! 

Maybe it is because my nerves are shot. a lot. which burns up every good thing to keep the hair on my head. which takes me back to the passport photo. the guy at cvs came out from behind the counter & pointed me to the mug shot station. he tried, uselessly i may add, to steady the camera, which he was barely holding still, shaking from a hangover, or his own nerves. (probably from taking peoples pictures he knew they'd hate). it made me even more nervous, to see him nervous. so I didn't smile. my eyes had that deer in the headlight look. the cvs  “instant” photo promise were not met. it took him 15 minutes to just find the printer. omg. 

I just hate hanging around fluorescent lights and pharmacy smells waiting for my picture! which i knew was going to be a horror. I paid first, hoping i could race out as soon as he handed it to me, and peek at it stealthily from the recesses of my car. sure enough. just as I expected, I was fuzzy, with shaking, death grip eyes, and a slight mimic of what may be my lips. 13 dollars of pure horror. 

as i ran out of the store, he said i could come back and do it again! 

no thanks. not today. 

paulina graziose