Mirrored Life

The queen sized bed we share is facing a mirror on the wall. Every morning, as the sun bounces off the buildings on the other side of the alley our room faces and comes streaming in, I wake up and in my periphery see myself moving. I find mirrors fascinating because the reflection is the original TV, the broadcast of up-to-the-milisecond news. Just look in a mirror for the latest looks of the day, see what the local celebrity is wearing and check out the state of affairs in your neck of the woods…

This morning, I shot out of bed with the usual panic of “I don’t know what time it is and I need to know RIGHT NOW” and caught myself in the mirror. The soft light of the mid-morning sun gave me a glow and my puffy, mascara smudged face stared back at me. I felt very surprised. When was the last time I really looked at myself? Maybe it was the blurr of semi-consciousness, or the slight hangover from all the vodka I drank the night before, but I couldn’t help but stare at my face and body. My boyfriend lay asleep next to me, his soft inhales and exhales being the only sound in the room other than the slight din from New York’s ever moving traffic; he was completely unaware that I was indulging in my narcissism. My hair was disheveled, my tank top askew, my pink underwear holding my crotch together and my legs tumbling out from under me as I leaned against an empty wall; I looked like a woman.

I’m about 2 weeks away from turning 26, and also two weeks away from moving in completely and cutting my first rent check on the apartment I will share with my boyfriend. I find it ironic that all of these changes are occurring right at my birthday. Birthdays are not indicative of change, necessarily, right? They are simply markers that you have achieved another year of life. Yet, as I enter my late twenties I am shifting into a completely different chapter of existence. On my 23rd birthday, I moved into my apartment in Sunnyside, and now I’ll be in another apartment with a boyfriend as a room mate.

I leaned over to my right and glanced out of the doorway of the bedroom and into the living room which is stacked with my stuff. Books, clothing, shoes, blankets, and mementos all leaning this way and that, as if drunk with their recent move. They whispered their reminder that, indeed, they will have to be sorted and put away at some point. I glanced back at the “Natalie Hour” that was on the mirror screen and noticed a somewhat nervous looking woman picking at her fingers. Whoops. Change the channel.

I picked up my journal and dumped some rather cheesy poem about my breasts on the pages before deciding to wake up my boyfriend with a barrage of kisses. Leaning in to his sleeping frame, I glanced at the movement in the mirror and saw only the fluttering of shadows and an empty wall reflecting back. Channel: changed.

August 23, 2013 at 6:04 pm by Natalie Allen