She stands at the sink in the restroom with a bunch of cosmetics on the narrow ledge under the mirror. Her dark hair is skimmed tightly back from her face and gathered in a low pony tail on her neck. She wears khaki capris, a snug fitting black polyester tank top, a tiny gold crucifix on a gold chain and worn out flip-flops.
Tearing open the plastic bubble tethering her new mascara, she announces, “I never wear make-up.” She gazes mournfully into the mirror, lifts and drops her hair onto her neck. Shrugging slightly, she continues as if we are in the middle of a deep conversation.
“Ewww, I’m meeting my in-laws for the first time. We’re moving to Newton, Iowa. I’ve never lived anywhere but Texas.” She looks at me and grimaces, “I shouldn’t have had a beer already. But you know,” her voice rising, “it’s lunch time.”
She squeezes her left eye shut and jabs at her lashes with her mascara. It leaves big clumps on her lashes and when she blinks, she smears both the top and bottom of her eye. I rip off a section of the paper towel, run it under the faucet and hand it to her.
“I’d wipe off the wand before you use it, otherwise it’s a mess and not a good look. Listen, they’re gonna love you. Newton? I’m telling you, Newton is one of the most livable towns in the mid-west. It’s very nice.”
Her eyes glisten as she dabs at her face, squares her shoulders and resolutely looks at herself in the mirror.
When I get to the car, I pull out the Atlas and find Newton. It’s a little town about 25 miles north. When I pull out I look for cars with Texas plates but don’t see any so she must be from the big trucks that park in their own section. Well good, I think, someone in the family is working.