Looking in the mirror


As a child, I could never look in the mirror above my mother’s sink.

My legs were too short and my arms too weak to pull me up to glimpse what was in the mirror, my overgrown curiosity nagging my underdeveloped mind.

My mother would say, “Don’t worry, you’ll be able to look in the mirror once you’ve grown.”

So, I continued with my simple childhood, without worries or sorrows to distraught me.

But that mirror continued to loom, and as years passed and I grew, I became ever closer to seeing the mirror.

And then, one day, I had grown enough to look into the mirror, and all I saw were shades. 

I saw shades of scarlet red and vomit green, of decaying orange and slimy gray. I saw grotesque scenes of savagery and unspoken brutality.

Oh, how I wished to turn back time, to turn it back to when I was too small to see the mirror. How I wish to be able to hide in the cupboards or make myself disappear from view. 

But I could not look away from that mirror anymore, I could never escape its awful escapade of all things poor.

And eventually, that wash of greasy hue infected my skin, my eyes, and my hair. I no longer saw myself, but an unholy creature that I hated infused with the world; a thing of oily skin and a disproportionate body.

Oh, how I longed to break the mirror, for if I could not look away, at least let me no longer see its reflection anymore.

God I hated, and hated, and hated that mirror.

I stared into the mirror, and I only saw the world, not for what it had become, but for what it has always been.

Then, I grew up again, and the longer I stared into the mirror the more familiar I became with its horrid reflection. 

Its once befogging complexion becoming an intimate fact, the ever-lasting and inescapable truth.

And eventually, that startling splash of purified tints became a spectacular kaleidoscope of familiar patterns. A rhyme that became evermore clear and understandable as years passed.

And I finally saw some good, some beauty within those violent brushes of horror and heinous. 

A small speckle of warmth there, another seed of hope here, and eventually I saw an underlying tone beneath the red. Not negating the catastrophic events, but becoming a complex wave of emotions.

I stared into the mirror, and I only saw the world, not for what it had become, but for what it has always been.