It always starts with an action, something declarative and definitive but not demonstrably physical. Then there is embellishment and evidence, an expansion out from the action in order to accentuate the effect. After that is reflection, a refractory rumination rounding out the edges of the aforementioned effect and action. At this point the threads should be evident, weft wedded into a semi-linear web whereupon a conclusion is wrought, coalescing at the intersection. Though an ending is sought here, often the affect is an actionable question, and so often it closes out open for more, reflection effecting an action.
I don’t want the confrontation but she needs it, so I go out there and put the kettle on. She doesn’t say anything at first, just overpacks her bag and triple checks the unnecessary. Looking beyond her reflection in the buffet mirror, she asks, ‘What are your plans for the day. Busy?’ Two sugars, one of coffee, seven eighths water, top with milk. Things taste so sour. Through the steam I tell her, I’ll probably play it by ear. One last lick of eyeliner goes on and a small tut comes out. ‘I won’t be home later,’ she says.
My fear of mirrors goes back a long way, but it wasn’t until I reached intellectual maturity that they really started to terrify me. Thoughts are food and fear grows fat on supposition. At that point in life, I could look into my own eyes and see I wasn’t there. I realised the emptiness inside was a real thing that wanted me dead. I began avoiding all reflection, all I could do was look outwards and listen inwards. A walking cage forever closed, a jailer bound by duty. I try now not to see myself as other people might.