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After a while it’s like she can see them wash each other away: sucking cold when the doors open, sharp heat when they close. This happens every two to five minutes, and she’s grown to like the variety.

It’s like this every winter for five winters now, every day but Wednesday (the bus runs even on Christmas). It’s weathering her face. At night she can almost see the tiny spread of her new laugh lines.

Vanetta doesn’t get desperate with lotion, doesn’t buy hydroxy cremes. Let her face find age: let her reduce, crease, dessicate, leave a happy old-apple shrunken head.