Wednesday, April 9, 2014



She worries about becoming an imitation of herself, of having conjured up a physical facsimile of someone she’s not.  Sometimes her secrets gurgle and brew so loudly that she’s afraid she’ll be found out.  The two abortions.  Making out with a girl one summer at camp.  An uncle’s hairy hand under her shirt.  The year she compulsively shoplifted mascara from Rite Aid.

The cat curls around her ankles like a scarf as she plucks an eyebrow in the bathroom mirror.  Last night she made love to George Clooney although it was her husband inside her.  Now he’s suited and ready for work but gives her a kiss on the head where her wet hair is parted.  He says, “Love you.”  He says, “I’ll be late tonight.  Don’t Wait Up.”
After he’s left, she gets the fireplace poker and smashes the bathroom mirror.  Shards the size of carrots lie angled on the tiled counter, dissecting her reflection, reproducing a million frauds.  She picks up a jagged piece and holds it against the inside of one wrist.  She remembers a girl in high school, Lisa, who did the very same thing.  She remembers being flabbergasted that anyone would want to kill themselves
Now she lets her robe drop to the floor and climbs inside the tub.  She runs the water hot, wanting to burn, to hurt, but not enough to die, wanting instead a way out of this hoax of her. 

She drops the chunk of glass on the floor, thinking; I can do this, somehow I can, I can be a real person.  The faucet floods out water.  The water smokes steam.  Pieces of the broken mirror lie idle without speaking.  She closes her eyes and starts at the beginning.  “Who am I?” she asks.

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