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2033 was a hard year. Big hard tits, hard flat stomachs and tight, high-water asses were everywhere.
    It was a year of full lips and cat eyes. Small, highly arched feet, and firm thighs.
    Plastic surgery was subsidized by the government. It was free! And everyone was in on the action. More and more people were becoming what their minds told them they ought to be, manifesting on the outside what they knew themselves to be on the inside, and the variations were endless. Powerful hormones created a brand new race of really old children. Always beautiful. Never sagging. Fifty-year-old minds in fifteen-year-old bodies were very popular indeed.
    The experimental surgeons got all the glory. No matter how weird you wanted to get, the look was always damn near perfect.


     There were specialists in radical surgeries of the face. I, for instance, look like Keanu Reeves. I already had the straight, dark hair and smooth skin, so I went for the slightly Asiatic eye and higher cheekbone. I’d always felt my life would be better if I looked like him, and you know what? It is. I love being Keanu Reeves, even without the talent, the money or the actual genetics.
     My girlfriend Ava had the look du jour. She was naturally slender or so she told me. Her fake breasts were two round teacups, and her teeth whiter than white. She’d had the requisite work done, and she was quite frankly perfect. And that’s where the problems began. Unfortunately for me, and for her, perfection simply did not do it for me.
     “You’re never happy anymore,” she said. “What can I do to myself to make you happy?”
     “I want to have sex with a lot of different women,” I said. “And just to be completely clear, I want to feel different holes.”
     I knew I sounded like an ass but I didn’t know what else to say. I couldn’t ask her to undo herself.
     As you can imagine Ava wasn’t too keen on me sleeping with different women, so she came up with a pretty good solution. A damn innovative one, truth be told. She asked our plastic surgeon to create a few more holes in her body.
     Technically they wouldn’t be described as holes exactly, but flaps of skin, undetectable to the naked eye, housing sloping indentations in fatty parts of the body, replete with nerve endings.
     Our doctor was more than happy to oblige, as it was a brand new technique, not particularly risky, and very likely to get him a double-page spread in the next edition of JAMA.
    At first it was a joy. But in the end, Ava was a typical hard-body. Hard breasts. Hard butt. Hard bone structure. And I was so tired of bone on bone. I wanted bone on fat. Hips I could grab on to. Everything I used to get off with was

She was in big white panties watering her plants.

ancient history. Books and videos filled with people who look like people used to look. I loved old Andrew Blake DVDs and Perfect 10 magazines. It was somewhat of a fetish of mine, those imperfect folks from a bygone era.
    I guess that’s why I found myself peeking into the bathroom across from mine at the woman with the lined face. Not even my grandmother had lines in her face anymore. I couldn’t tell how old she was because hardly anybody looked old so I had no basis for comparison. She could’ve been thirty-eight. Or fifty. To me, it didn’t matter in the least. She wasn’t perfect and that’s what counted.
     I was heading back to my flat for another night of bone-on-bone action with Ava, when I met my neighbor in person for the first time. It was a bit of a lucky accident, as I noticed that her keys were still in the door. I took them out and knocked, and when no one answered I pushed it open just a little bit.
     I stood in her doorway like an idiot and stared. She was in big white panties watering her plants.
     Everything was in the wrong place.
     Her breasts were not facing her chin like the women I knew. They were soft and full and hanging downward. I wanted to walk over and lift them up and hold them against her in a more comfortable position.
     Her stomach was not flat or defined, but round and soft and sloped, her belly button closer to her bladder than her stomach. Even her knees were low hanging.
     She looked me over.
     “I’ve seen you looking through the window,” she said pointing at the bathroom with one hand while still watering the plants with the other. I was amazed at her lack of fear at my standing in her doorway.
     “You left your keys in the door,” I said.
     “Bring them to me.”
     I walked toward her holding the ring of keys out in front of me like a sleepwalker.
     “What do you think about when you look at me through that window?” she asked, bending over a Ficus tree and touching the soil.
     “I think about how sure of yourself you must be.”
     “Because I’ve never had any work done?”
     “Yes,” I said.

I felt like opening up her skin and crawling inside.

     She looked between my legs. I was afraid to look down.
     “What else?”
     “I think about how soft you look,” I said quietly. “And I think about what you might feel like.”
     She came closer, taking the keys with one hand and putting the other between my legs.
     “I think about you too,” she said as she sat down on the couch in front of me and brought my pants down around my knees. “I think about all of you, all of your kind. And I feel sorry for you. So sorry.”
     She reached between my legs and held me with her breasts, something most women could not do anymore because of the implants. Her softness was shocking. I moved back and forth, in and out of her realness with my eyes closed.
     I lay down on my back and she sat on top of me, her breasts swinging freely back and forth like they were meant to do. When they stopped I tapped them on either side so that they would do it again. I could have watched them sway like that forever.
     I gathered up her belly skin, pulled it apart and draped it around her waist. There was so much to hold on to, I felt like opening up her skin and crawling inside.
    She moved me off of her and sat on the sofa. I stood in front of her, she held me in her spotted hands, and then gently pressed me into the wrinkles that lined her face and held me there.
    Later, back in my own place, I thought of all that softness living right down the hall.
     To me she was a rare, exotic find. Like a dinosaur bone to an anthropologist, or a Virgin Mary sighting on the side of a barn in Nebraska.
     She didn’t need the extra holes like my girlfriend. Her entire body was one big, soft, pull-able, sink-able in-able hole.
    “What are you doing in the bathroom?” Ava called to me.
     “Nothing,” I lied, staring at my neighbor, ready to put my hand through the glass of both windows just to touch the lines on her face.  

©2006 Margot Berwin and
Margot Berwin is the author of Irresistible, a work of creative nonfiction. She is currently working on an instructional novel called How to Avoid Disaster. She lives in Manhattan.