One brave woman poses for a sculpture that shows there is beauty in all bits.
Trish finishes up, and after she leaves, I shyly give myself a once-over in the mirror. My vagina now resembles a sad old man's wistful smile.
The morning we head to the airport I am feeling the usual nerves of travel—Do I have my passport? Is my face wash in a baggie?—as well as the not-so-usual nerves that come with having your genitals made into an art piece.
I lean over to David and confess my anxiety. And as is befitting a man who grew up in Northern Ireland in the '80s, he is rather unimpressed with my fear.
"What's there to be nervous about?" He scoffs. "He's just going to put goop on your undercarriage then take it off."
When morning comes, I open my eyes to the dim light of our hotel room, and my head feels achy. God, I think. I am so not in the mood to get my vagina molded today. I long to pull the sheets back over my head, but instead I force myself under the bathroom's single dribble of water that is masquerading as a shower. Shortly after, we are out the door, racing through face-freezing cold to Victoria station. Apparently some arctic blast of air has just swirled into town, which makes our jaunt to the beach resort of Brighton a splendid seasonal choice.
We find our train, and soon we are hurtling out of the city past frozen farmland and ice-laced trees. David and I sit and quietly entertaining ourselves with various scenarios of vagina sculpting mishaps.
"What if he shows me my sculpture and I scream in terror?" I suggest.
"What if he shows it to you, and you have a penis?" David whispers back.
We arrive in Brighton a little before noon, and quickly summon a taxi. The grandfatherly driver whisks us past the pastel-hued tattoo parlors and tourist shops, and drops us off on the oceanfront. The place has a rather hippy, Venice-beachy vibe, save for the people sealed into down parkas.
We locate Brighton Bodyworks, and gaze into the window. A cheerful sign advertises "Body casting," and on a ledge beneath the sign sits a rather ghoulish row of sculpted baby fists.
I turn to David, my eyes wide, but he pushes me inside. The gallery is small, and we are surrounded by neon-colored abstract paintings. We gaze around, and spy another sign with the words "Bodycasting Upstairs." We wind our way up a creaky spiral staircase, and are greeted at the top by the sight of McCartney busily encasing something in bubble wrap. I am relieved to see that he looks normal. His head is shaved, and he's wearing jeans and a stylish hoodie.