Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Not That Kind of Girl: Sweetened

Every night Sarile steps from the shower and rubs handsful of sugar over the glistening surface of her skin: face and neck, breasts and belly, arms and legs. Her husband steps in just long enough to pat sugar onto her back and bottom and tell her goodnight. No kissing—it disturbs the sugar.

Six mornings a week, Sarile rinses the sugar from her skin, smooths moisturizer onto every centimeter of her face and body, and dresses for work. On Sundays, she rinses, moisturizes, and steps into clean cotton pajamas. She conditions her hair, pulls it into the tightest, highest ponytail possible and slips a set of tattered index cards into her pocket. Finally, she settles into the fresh sheets that have materialized on her bed and slips a cool gel mask over her eyes. Every two hours, she replaces the mask with the fresh one that appears on her bedside table. Sarile remains in her room all day with the blinds drawn and the lights off. If necessary, she rings a large silver bell. When her husband arrives, she pulls an index card from her pocket, points to the appropriate request, and waits for her needs to be met.

Sarile has not felt the sun on her skin since she was a child. She has not eaten any sugar other than the few crystals that sneak between her lips in the dark. She has never slept all night in the same bed with her husband. She has not attended church or a Sunday afternoon matinee or community event in 45 years. But she has the skin of a toddler, plump and smooth and translucent. Her lips are full and their color is rich. Her jawline and eyelids are as taut as a Vogue model's.

At 63, Sarile is free from creases and crinkles. She can not count the cost.

13 comments:

kario said...

This just in from the 'truth is stranger than fiction' file...Whoa! This is wild, Jerri! What a phenomenal return to the world of NTKoG. I can't wait for more!

Amber said...

Ha! You got me with that last line!

:)

Stacy said...

Wow, she will look pretty in that casket eh?

Deb said...

This story just snatched the breath right out of me. I am sooooo glad you're back. This has to be one of the stranger "girls" - but like all of them, you've told a stunning story in an amazingly short space.

Go Mama said...

Jerri,
Glad to see you're back w/ the NTKoG series.
Go get 'em!

I just have one question, how does the sugar stay on her skin overnight? Then don't her sheets become a crunchy scratchy mess?

Jerri said...

Her sheets DO become a mess. That's why her husband doesn't sleep with her.

He changes her sheets every morning whie she showers so that if she wants to lie down again, the sheets are fresh and ready for her.

I met this woman on an airplane years ago. I've never met anyone of any age with more beautiful skin. At 63, she had the hands of a child.

She was born "under a veil," or with a cowl. She believed this gave her second sight. I was fascinated by her and we kept in touch for years but I haven't heard from her for a long time.

Mystic Wing said...

Hah!

And you thought you were having trouble with the voice.

Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful.

May we have another, please?

Kim G. said...

Wow - there's a real person who does this? Was she really a model for Vogue? What was her life like - now that I know she's real, I want so much more! Great, great writing!

Michelle O'Neil said...

That's the weirdest frickin' thing I ever heard!

holly said...

so glad your back to doing these. I've missed you "not that kind of girl" girls...

Terry Whitaker said...

I've missed "the girls" as well. Keep it up, it's fascinating!

Jess said...

Wow, yes fascinating. I want to hear more of this, get all the details... People are so interesting, its amazing.

Carrie Wilson Link said...

Ditto Michelle and Terry!