I am not the kind of person who is fond of mirrors. I see it as a tool, a necessity; not an object of vanity.
I check once before I head for the door to avoid awkward moments, like when people look at you and keep looking, and you wonder why; only to learn much, much later that you still have a tiny grain of morning star in the inner corner of your eye.
I know for a fact that there is not one single person here on earth that didn’t experience some embarrassing moments regarding this matter because you see… morning star has a nasty habit of forming even after you wash your face thoroughly. I just don’t want this to happen to me.
But lately, I noticed that whenever I pass a reflective surface, I cannot help but look. I do it in malls, in restaurants, shops windows, cars, trains, buses, everywhere! Heck, I even check myself in front of microwave/ovens.
I don’t simply look, I peer. As if I want to be sure that the image I am seeing is really me, that’s my reflection, that is how the world sees me.
And what I see looking back at me varies from moments to moments, but seldom positive.
I often think: is my hair that long? Am I really this old? I look like a dishevelled kid! Why my face seems doesn’t belong to my body? As if they are two different halves glued together. There is no balance! There is no symmetry!
Two years ago, my eight-year-old nephew asked me why my face is so small but my body is too big? Kids tell the truth mostly, and his innocent comment really unsettled me. So, occasionally I ask D. if it is true, but of course, you know already what his answer is going to be.
I am aware that my body is changing. That one of my best assets, my legs, acquired some saddle bags couple of years ago. That the small hump below my navel didn’t go away as I willed it to and I imagine it keeps on growing. That if I wake up in the morning, there are wrinkles between my breast and it takes longer and longer for them to disappear. I don’t want to think what will happen one of these days. That if I run, some parts of me wobble, and I don’t look as fresh as I used to after a hard day’s work.
And I can still add a lot more to my whining and I don’t even begin to talk about other things that bother me like health for example, or indigestion, constipation and all the things that ended up in –tion.
Or slight incontinency which thank God only happens when I cough, laugh, vomit or nervous. How about gas and bloating? There are still a lot of things, but I will stop right here.
Mirror, mirror, on the wall…
…who is this strange woman looking at me?
Where is the girl I used to know? Is she hiding?
Where did she go?
Sometimes I catch a glimpse of her
Beneath the mask I wear today
Her eyes look through behind my own
She seems so sad full of questions
The girl looks a bit like me
I can see the similarity
But there stops the resemblance
I am neither her nor (is) she (is) I (?)…
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