I didn’t want to hang out with Gregg Wyte. I don’t know why I let my daughter’s effusive “sure” stand. She always thought I needed to get out more. But I liked my own company. I read, sometimes cooked, and putzed around our Grosse Pointe Parks home. I worked in Detroit as a victims advocate. I had more contact with people than I wanted on a day-to-day bases.
Looking in the mirror, I stared at the forty-eight year-old stranger looking back at me. Her eyes were still deep blue, and her hair was an interesting mix of yellows, golds, and reds, with a sprinkling of silver starting to creep in. This woman’s neck was not as firm as it used to be and tree rings were beginning to etch their way around it.
“Charlotte Mason,” I’d always used my maiden name, “how did you get to be this old?” I asked my reflection.
The kicker is, I had never thought getting old would bother me, but it did. Put simply, I hated it. The lines, the wrinkles, the gravity; I might not run three miles a day, but I exercised six days a week: cardio, weights, Pilates. And I didn’t consider myself a vain person – thank God, I supposed.
I checked my watch. I had a half an hour before I was due at the rock. Maybe I could cancel. I should have gotten a cell number or hotel name. There were only two hotels in town, both of them bordering on rent-your-sheets by the hour. I called down to the front desk, asked for Gregg Wyte’s room, and was met with “Sorry, no guest by that name.” I called the seedy wanna-be hotel number two and got the same response.
Not being able to track Gregg down, I decided to suck it up and meet him. Checking my ass and profile in the mirror, I realized it could be worse, laughed at myself, flipped out the lights, double-checked that I had my room key, and made sure the door closed behind me.