In the full body cycle Lindaâ€™s chest burned, sweat slipping into her eyebrows. She could feel their eyes on her, the children watching the old woman strain. The lines of her skin betrayed her. Generations blended, their cells dividing perfectly, making exact copies, eternally renewed. She pressed her arms and legs into faster rotation.
Last night she lay with her lover, his head on her naked breast, silent, exhausted, fulfilled. He traced his fingers over her body, touching the tiny red dots that marked her age. He pressed his nail harder with each mark, pinching her skin.
â€œCanâ€™t you get rid of these?â€ She stiffened.
â€œGregory, I was stabilized late.â€ His soft face twisted.
â€œI know, I just thought there might be some treatment.â€ She shook her head.
â€œThere isnâ€™t. Theyâ€™ve stopped looking into those problems a long time ago.â€ He rolled his eyes and bit his lip, like a child denied its favorite toy.
â€œAre you sure? Have you asked your doctor?â€ She laid her hand on his soft curls and swallowed. She wanted to sound firm, but her voice was small.
â€œNo. There isnâ€™t anything.â€ He rose and sat on the edge of the bed. His back was a blank screen.
â€œIt just looks like you donâ€™t care.â€
Linda spun faster till she could feel her heartbeat, till the sweat salt reached her chin. Around her, the frozen faces of youth skipped blithely though the gym routines, perfect curves in infinite wheels.