The Captain messages, finally, at about 3pm yesterday.
“I do really want to see you but I can’t make it tonight.”
“OK. That’s not the end of the world,” I reply. “I don’t have much time before the operation though.”
He doesn’t suggest another date. I’ve told him I’m just having a small procedure: he may well assume I’ll be back on the dating circuit a few days later. Maybe I will, but it’s probable that I’ll need at least a couple of weeks off. Anyway, it’s up to him to get in touch if he wants to see me. The fact that he cancelled the date on the day without even giving a reason doesn’t endear him to me though.
Walking back from the Zoo, I see a beauty salon and wander in. There are bright coloured bikinis and kaftans hanging on the wall: orange, turquoise, yellow.
“You don’t happen to have an appointment right now for bikini line waxing, do you?” I say.
The girl on the desk looks down at the diary. “We do, as it happens,” she says. She’s very pretty: caramel tan, long dark brown hair, big brown eyes. She smiles and her teeth are very white and even.
“I would like that,” I say.
“If you just sit here, my colleague will come and get you,” she says.
Taking a seat in the waiting area, I pick up Hello and look at George Clooney’s wedding photos again. Seen them so many times everywhere now I feel that I was there. There’s something depressing about them: the frozen smiles, the ridiculous opulence. Their smiles and poses are so fake, I think, again.
“Come through,” a beautician says, not the pretty one on the desk, another one. “Just get ready and I’ll be back in a minute.”
It’s hot and stuffy in the windowless room. Taking my dress and shoes off, climbing up onto the bed, I wait. There’s a knock on the door and the beautician enters.
“Where would you like me to take it up to?” She says, and I show her.
It’s candy floss-pink hot wax. She presses it onto my skin.
“Tell me if it’s too hot,” she says.
“It’s OK,” I say.
She presses down on the wax and then pulls and it hurts so much. Flinching, I want to put my clothes on and leave. Haven’t had anything waxed for so long that I’d forgotten how painful it is.
“Are you alright?” She says, looking concerned.
“Sorry,” I say. “Forgot that it hurts.”
“Your hairs are very strong and deep-rooted,” she says. “Which makes it more painful, I’m afraid.”
It gets worse. The horror, the horror of anticipating the pain as she prepares to pull off each piece of wax.
“Are you sure you’re OK?” She says as I flinch so far away from her that I almost fall off the bed.
Nodding, I resolve never to put myself through this again. No-one has forced me to do this, I think. For some reason I’m putting myself through this torture. The contortions I’m required to perform hurt too after all the work I’ve been doing on my legs with my trainer.
It goes on and on. As she takes the line further in, the pain gets worse. The music is terrible too: “Candle in the Wind” is a particular lowlight. After about forty minutes, finally it’s over.
“How does that look?” She says.
“Can’t tell from from this angle,” I say and walk across the room. Looking in the mirror, I can see that she’s done a good job. “It looks good,” I say. “Thank you.”
“See you out at reception in a minute,” she says, leaving the room.
Walking back to the station, reminded now of why I stopped waxing, I’m so tired. Can’t wait to get home and relax, I think as I stand on the down escalator, too tired even to walk down it…