A woman takes off her sunglasses, to order her iced coffee, to read a magazine, to step down into the darkness of a ship’s cabin, and she looks suddenly old. She is suddenly human and fallible and falling apart. In line behind her, across from her in the waiting room, one hand on the cabin’s ladder, I am entranced. I am terrified, I am suddenly sad. They are so careful, the women. Their mouths are pursed and red and trembling with life. Their hair is full and trimmed and shining. Their hands only shake when they are alone. But look into a woman’s eyes and she is infinite, older than you thought, older than she is. What am I saying then? That a woman holds her youth in her mouth and her pain in her eyes? I make no claim to knowing something of women. They have broken my heart too. Nearly as much as I have broken my own. In each scene it is not the women becoming more and more the same— no, the constant here is me. A small young woman with dark, staring eyes. Eyes in a youthful face, but even now I see the workings of time. The surprise that catches me at the reveal of older features is a surprise at myself. I, too, one day will be old. I imagine my face will look a great deal like my mother’s. There’s the fear of death, of course, both the fear of getting old and the fear of not getting old. My hands will shake. My hair is turning white. Cells inside this body slowly ticking down the days, cells to be discarded. I intend to live forever, but it is perhaps good to be reminded.