I look unrecognisingly, at my emancipated reflection in the mirrored door of the wardrobe, lean forward, pull a face and 'ha' on the glass. I put my fingers in the condensation as if ro stroke my neck, staring into the unknown eyes of this stranger. I kiss the cold flat glass, open mouthed, my tongue snaking about on the ice, feeling for warmth.It's funny how mirrors hold an interesting dynamic in relation (and reflection) to ourselves. We are so desperate to catch a glimpse of ourselves through the eyes of others but, being unable to take up the position of the other, with each attempt we fail fail fail. We then rely on mirrors, photographs, a passing glance in reflective shop windows (hoping if I can turn my head fast enough I may catch myself off guard). The mirror as deeply flawed as skin, smudged and imperfect, the eyes we stare into, a cold dead reflection. The camera grains, pixelates, we are not made up of tiny little squares, we chose to ignore that which we are made up of, further still, out of sight out of mind... Perhaps we may faint upon opening up - this is just an avoidance of truth. So we rely on others for a true image... Another false image. It is easy to feel alone inside your own body, sometimes the company of others only serves to exemplify this lonelness, then again it they may be only opportunity to truthfully gaze upon ourselves. It is true that I have fallen in love with people off the back of the reflection I caught of myself in the glistening curve of their eyes.
'What do you want?' I enquire of myself, looking into the reflection of my tired eyes. But I refuse to allow myself to be led by this silly question to which I have no answer.
I shout at myself and stare into my yellowing teeth. I grimace and snort, purposely fogging up the mirror with my hot breath, then pull a silly face and answer myself in an idiotic little voice that I scarcely recognise.
'Meeeee,' I squeak.
'talking to yourself is stupid,' I say, subtly trying to change the subject, but I carry on bullying myself regardless.
'Who is "meeeee"?' I cross-question myself, intent on tripping myself up and making myself a laughing stock....
The wardrobe door swings open and once more reveals a twisted hideous body that I don't recognise as mine; the paleness of my limbs; my hollow cheeks and purple rings under my eyes; my teeth already tobacco stained and broken. I see myself as ugly and despise myself...
Just yes billy childish, yes.
I try to stand but fall twisted to the bed, my calves and knees locked in cramps. I straighten my legs, screaming in pain, cursing and rubbing my calves vigorously until at last the cramps subside and I can stand on my numb and tingling feet. On reflection, it might have been wiser for me to have sat in my brother's blue nylon sleeping bag. But comfort is not what makes great literature.