I started the morning quite chipper. But by nine I was flat on my back and all I could smell was burning hair. All I could feel was searing pain. It was like being stabbed with hundreds of very tiny, but very real needles.
"How does that feel?" the woman in pink scrubs asked me.
"Like butterfly kisses, bitch. What do you think?" I mumbled back. I don't think she heard me though, since she was stretching my mouth in unfathomable directions.
It feels like a rubber band being snapped against my skin...MY ASS! It feels like exactly what it is. My hair is being burnt off my face. By a laser. And I voluntarily signed up for this? What the hell was I thinking?
The $66 anesthetic cream I put on before my laser hair removal procedure seemed only to make my lips numb. A lot of good that does. My lips are the only skin on my body not covered by hair.
"Do you think it's better with the cream," Cameron Mannheim in pink scrubs asks me.
"Well, I wouldn't know. I've never done it without." It was hard not to add a bitch onto that one too.
"Oh, that's right."
If it hurt this much with the cream, I can only imagine the agonizing hell I would be in without it. Actually, the surface of my skin didn't hurt. It was the burning up of my hair follicles that was a wee bit ouchy.
After twenty minutes of this torture, Cameron handed me a mirror and asked me if there were any places I felt like she'd missed. Hell, bitch! It feels like she removed my face and sewed it back on.
"No, it felt quite thorough," I replied without one whit of sarcasm.
I expected my face to be red all over, as if I had stayed in the sun too long. But it was actually more just blotchy in a few places. Especially along my previously alabaster neck. "Will it get worse?" I asked Cameron.
"Oh, no. In fact, I'll put some Aloe on and it will look even better in a minute." She slathered on the Aloe and then left me alone to...I don't know...fix my hair or something. It wasn't like I had to get dressed.
So I readjusted my ponytail and took a look in the mirror.
Holy shit! That hair that's been along my jawline since I was twelve is gone. It's just...gone. The very dark hairs on my chin are mostly gone too. And the one's that remain are actually fried and singed. Cameron tells me those should fall out in a week or less. And the cowlick in my eyebrow is gone! Gone, I tell you!
Suddenly all the pain is worth it. The worst stabs were just where the laser was doing its best work. In my memory those stabs feel almost satisfying now, like the sharp pain I feel when I pluck out a hair that has been bugging me.
I don't even know who I am without hairs to pick out of my chin.
I have five more sessions and then a two-year hair-free guarantee. Cameron is my new best friend. And the next appointment and I discussed laser procedures while I waited for Cameron to process my gift certificate.
"I'm afraid I'm going to get addicted to hair removal," I told her. And I suddenly realized how true that is. Man, can you imagine never having to shave your legs again? Or your bikini area?
I wonder if they do Brazilians. (My husband's ears just perked up all the way out in his aircraft!) I've got anesthetic cream. I can do anything!
As I walked out of the hospital, ready to show my new hair-free face to the world, a janitor sprayed Windex on a sliding door. A gust of wind blew that Windex directly in my face. Suddenly that $66 cream wasn't worth a fuck.
And I'm rethinking the Brazilian.