On Turning Forty-Four

By Kim June Johnson

May 2, 2022

On Turning Forty-Four

This was a particularly hard number for me, and in the back of my mind, I knew it was because the late Nora Ephron, in her book about aging as a woman, wrote about how much she regretted not wearing a bikini the entire year she was twenty-six and suggested to anyone reading that they “go, right this minute, put on a bikini, and don't take it off until you're forty-four."

Well, now, I was forty-four and I felt a kind of rock-hard grief that it was time to take off my bikini, even though I didn’t technically own one (I had a flattering vintage-style high-waisted two-piece). But the other day, I noticed the book on my shelf, opened it, re-read the essay, and saw that I’d gotten the age wrong. It was thirty-four, not forty-four. And having been off by so much—ten years!—I laughed and something inside me unhooked itself and fell away, and I was free.


Kim June Johnson is a singer-songwriter and writer from the west coast of Canada. Her short nonfiction has appeared in Prairie Fire, Room, Arc Poetry and FOLKLIFE. She is working on a collection of micro memoirs. 


Image by Content Pixie courtesy of Unsplash  

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