Okay my wonderful blogging friends, I need your help! I need to choose a base intro for a project, could you do a quick read of each and comment Option A, Option B, or Option C below with your choice?
Thanks a trillion!
There are two specific ways to look at oneself:
1). Visually. Physically. Through one’s eyes.
2). Mentally. Emotionally. Through one’s reflection.
She herself preferred the later, though she seemed to get the two mixed up too often to explain why.
You see, reflections, whether mental or physical, come in several different shapes and sizes. You can reflect by a pond, or in a pond. You can reflect on your past, or look at it in the mirror, the stress fractures and worry wrinkles physically visible. There are so many different mediums of reflection today, that you can basically do it however and whenever you want to.
We, as a society, deal with several different mediums for physical and mental reflection today. Instead of thriving through a swirling world of face to face interaction, we are graduating from institutions of screens, mirrors reflecting our true selves, social media reflecting our lives and choices in regards to how we look at the time.
We put into our profiles and pages our whole life, our experiences, and our events. We use these screens as electronic journals, typing away our thoughts and plans, hoping that other people care about them just as much as we do. Our free time is now spent checking up on other people’s reflections in their free time, which is most likely something similar to what we’re doing on our own screens.
If you aren’t reflecting on a handheld screen then there is a good chance you are reflecting in a mirror, her least favorite place to deal with reflections of any sort.
She first noticed her problem when she was eleven. She was just getting into that stage where she was worried about boys looking at her, and worried about girls whose bodies had blossomed long before hers. Eleven was a vicious age if you can remember it, full of bursting social mishaps, awkward body changes, and path deciding friendship choices.
You simply couldn’t not reflect on yourself at that time.
So she spent a lot of time in her father’s tiny 2 bedroom rental house bathroom, a large full-length mirror placed on the back of the door so you could see yourself when it was shut. She used to march into the bathroom, shake her hair out, pinch her cheeks, and suck in her baby fat, just to see if her reflection showed any signs of change from reality.
Oddly enough, one day, it did.
Going through her normal cheek pinching routine, trying on different shades of natural rouge and willing her chipmunk cheeks away, she noticed out of the corner of her eye something moving in the window behind her.
Only, she noticed it out of the corner of her other eye, the one reflecting in the mirror. She herself had not moved her eye away from her reflecting face, but her reflection darted one eye to the side of the window.
At first, it wasn’t a big deal to her, she was eleven and she was convinced she had stared at herself for too long, willing her mind to see something that wasn’t really there.
It was a big deal to her, however, the second time, when in a desperate attempt to stuff her bra with as much toilet paper she could in hopes of grabbing some lucky 6th grader’s attention she saw her reflection laughing, hard.
She shuttered. She let go of her sports bra. She froze and watched herself clutch her side she was laughing so much. She didn’t quite know what to do, who to get, what to say.
She watched for a moment, as the reflection took out the toilet paper and started pinching her cheeks again, her true form standing stark-still, wearing no rouge as she should have been, only a few fearful dried up tears.
She stood in the bathroom that day for 43 minutes, willing herself to stand still and watch.
Across the mirror, across the screen of reflection, she also stood and watched, the only difference being the occasional crooked smile she was certain she didn’t know how to make, and the lack of tears or deep breathing from the mirror she herself had to deal with.
When she finally worked up enough courage to move her left foot (right foot reflected), slowly enough to trace its path in the mirror, her reflection stopped all movement entirely and looked enraged.
‘Don’t leave me here’ was all she growled, both in the mirror and in real life.
This was the beginning of the reflections.
Getting trapped inside was her worst experience thus far.
It was a normal day, a rather nice day, really, when it happened to her.
For a bit of background, this was the time in her life where she was single and had just graduated, her time spent enjoying her small home and her small life to herself, for the most part.
This particular day she woke up to her dog pawing his way up the edge of her bed, his awkwardly long body too big for anything subtle, a clear sign she had slept too long and that he needed to be taken out immediately. She stretched herself into an upright position and watched as the excited dog’s tail made several conductor circles in the air, a not so gentle push for her to hurry up.
She slipped on some pants and ran her fingers through her hair quickly, rubbed the corner of her eyes and stretched out her back, beginning her day with a rather positive pep in her step as she walked from her comfortably carpeted bedroom to the cold hardwood floors of her living room.
Cold hardwood meant cold mornings, which meant a new season was making itself announced in her house this morning.
The windows were all open, and she smelled immediately the intrusion of Fall in the room, the curtains lightly blowing around and the smell of leaves and pumpkin patches and oversized sweaters holding oversized coffee mugs in the air. She curled her toes in pleasure before continuing to the door, a quick motion sending the dog outside and to his post for the morning.
She herself went back inside for a moment to start some coffee and to grab a cigarette from the back of her hidden pack above the stove. She wasn’t quite sure why she hid them, it was only herself in the house and it’s not like she didn’t know she was smoking them.
She used to smoke quite a bit, during the time when she began college and was trying hard to be less stressed and more social. Now she only smoked every now and then, in specific situations that called for it such as after a great meal, a great book, or a great, well, you know.
But Fall coming into her home was a celebration all in itself as well, one that deserved a big cup of coffee and a big puff off of a cigarette, like a special tradition of welcoming one’s old friend into your home, with smiles and refreshments.
Instead of taking her coffee black, as usual, she dressed it up for her guest with some hazelnut, as well as some pumpkin spice and cinnamon sprinkles, filling her cup and her morning with all the happiness she could possibly need.
Positive mornings like this were rare for her, she really wasn’t an early bird and she typically thought anything that happened before 9 am was probably entirely unnecessary and idiotic.
Fall, though, Fall was so different. She felt the same about rainy days as well, as well as still, snow fallen mornings.
When she finally forced herself to go inside and start her day, to leave her guest to continue on his way, she glanced at the clock and realized that she was about 45 minutes behind her normal routine, and that she would have to skip the shower and work in what she was already wearing, an excellent perk of working from home. Sometimes she didn’t even bother with pants, she just rolled out of bed and over to her computer desk, clocking in and working through the day without another glance at herself or her attire (or lack thereof).
More recently she liked at least going through with the routine of getting ready for a busy work day at ‘the office’, though, it made her schedule seem more regular and she liked regular more and more as time went on, she noticed.
So to keep the routine going she went to the bathroom, washed her face, brushed her teeth, and started to put on her basic makeup routine: eyeliner, mascara, lipstick.
When she was halfway through her awkward squinty eyed mascara application she heard such a loud boom from the next room that she couldn’t help but make a small scream, clasping her mouth in shock and dropping her mascara.
Her dog was barking, out of protection or out of fear she did not know yet, and her heart was racing so fast, her face glowing red with embarrassment at how scared she got so quickly.
I mean, it wasn’t even a scary time of the day, you know like say, 1:23 am when any bump in the night is unarguably a ghost or a demon or an intruder ready to kill you. No, it was 8:55 am, her windows and doors were all wide open, and she could still see outside where the leaves were falling and a group of giggling children was slowly walking to their bus stop at the end of the road.
She looked around and noticed that the boom had caused a picture frame to fall from her bathroom wall, and the mirror in front of her to crack only in the slightest, at the very corner of the furthest section from her.
She slowly peaked her head out of the room and to the room directly behind the bathroom, her very well-lit and open office that she should not have been scared to enter at all.
Of course, she saw nothing once she was in there, and no signs of anything disturbed or knocked over. Her window panes were all open, but the screen storm windows were all still latched shut, her dog was steady at her heels, and her back door was still deadbolt locked.
So she could only think of her front door, where she quickly glanced, her house small enough to see it from almost any room in the house.
Again, nothing out of the ordinary.
She considered calling her father, only for a quick chat to calm her nerves as there was clearly nothing wrong with her house and she very well may be crazy but decided against it with a quick glance at the unforgiving clock again.
She went back to the bathroom and fixed herself in the mirror again, quickly trying to apply her lipstick without getting it on her teeth in her rush.
Again, louder, closer, more mirror cracking.
Even more unsettling, however, was the fact that there was no dog barking.
She looked around the bathroom quickly, out the door to the bright front door, tried to calm herself down again.
Something was different, though.
The crack on the mirror was on the opposite side, larger than before, and though she had sworn she was done with her lipstick before the second boom, as she looked up into the mirror her face was blank again, unmarked at all, just as it was when she first woke up.
Her body was shaking she was so incredibly disturbed. She was not necessarily scared, being scared was a different feeling entirely. She was unsettled, her stomach hurt, she felt like she was going to puke, but not like she was in danger or was going to die.
As she turned around to leave the room and find her dog and take him outside where it was bright and there were people, she ran into a wall where the door should be, hard.
Only she didn’t see a wall, she saw outside, to her living room, just as you should in a doorway.
Again she tried to walk where it clearly looked like she could walk, and bam, she was stopped. It physically felt like she was walking into a wall, her nose smashing against something hard, and something invisible. She felt the blood rush to her face.
Her stomach was doing somersaults now.
She tried the opposite direction, the bathtub, the window above the shower head.
Wall. Yet, nothing.
She started trying both directions over and over again, eventually going so quickly and getting so frustrated that she was just banging herself against the walls, her arms bruising and her knuckles pounding as she went.
Finally, after what seemed like hours, unsettlingly silent and still hours, she stopped.
She stood in front of the mirror, huffing, and puffing, and she stared.
Her dog was there then, she noticed as she calmed down, only he was across the mirror, not by her side. He was sitting in the doorway of the bathroom, where the wall was. He was whimpering and crying, not like he was hurt, but like he was alone. She tried to reach down for him, but she hit her fist against the wall again.
When she did this, however, he looked up at her expectantly, in the mirror, of course.
She looked forward at the reflection and studied the living room from the mirror, seeing that it was all as it was before, only situated on the opposite side of the room as she remembered.
She suddenly got very calm, stopped her heart from racing so much, and got such a sense of understanding that even her dog stopped whimpering, seemingly sensing the newly found calm in the room.
She was in the mirror.
When she passed the bathroom upon waking up that morning to start a pot of coffee she realized very suddenly and very frightfully that all was not right in her home.
She saw briefly, at first, out of the corner of her eye, the figure of herself, within the bathroom, within the mirror, applying lipstick, and glancing at her real form standing in the hallway.
It was so shocking to her that she froze, she stood in terror in front of the bathroom and called for her dog. She had hoped that the legends about dogs sensing spirits were somewhat right and that he would come and bark or growl it away or, more hopefully, do nothing at all and prove that she was seeing things.
The dog didn’t come and she didn’t move, yet she was moving, she was getting ready and she was looking rather annoyed at herself standing there staring. They both sighed and one continued applying the lipstick, the other continued to the coffee pot.