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You Had One Eye in the Mirror

Last updated on December 24th, 2017 at 11:19 am

By Alyssa Kincaid


Actually, it was a night. Driving in the back seat, propped up against grey leather, approaching the tall white apartment building with the windows on the side. The balconies facing outward. The air was cool when I stepped out, my feet hanging perilously above concrete ground. I zipped up my black leather jacket and wrapped my arms around myself. It was cold. The black sea stared at me close by, a vast mass of dark matter. Already, it was relatively late. The pale circle that formed the moon glowed, and my mind ran on a similarly circuitous track. My mind, chalk full of mechanisms. Ever mindful of the needle that allowed my broken record one-track thoughts to keep revolving, like a song that wouldn’t end.

Now that I think about it, a generator, or an elevator of some sort, would have been necessary to reach the first floor. But first, the apartment as a whole. We reached that particular space, and it was nearly empty. The first room we entered was open, there were numerous windows, and a small spiral staircase dominated the center. Adjacent to where I stood near the stairs was the kitchen. A woman with fried hair was speaking and making eggs. Several of her words did not overtly concern me. I smiled, I think, hair an offensive shade, eyes almond and wide. Have you seen me lately?

I walked up the circling stairs for the first and only time. Soon, the man of the hour arrived. He cried as he was reunited with his family, an emotional scene. I was just there, stuffing myself with chips. I unzipped my leather jacket and tapped my pink Converse to the beat of the very characteristic music. I took in the scene, savoring my surrounds, surveying the atmosphere from behind my snow globe eyes.

The shag carpets were full of crumbs, and on them stood dozens of people crumbling, with loose morals and even looser mouths that had been loosened up by the drinks. I wasn’t concerned with moral fiber at that time. I was mainly fixated on the chips. Many adults were in the room, chatting dully. I listened to the music.

My mother was in the room that night. My father was out on the balcony. He was speaking with a woman who had bologna skin and fake hair. Go ask your father for a drink. He’s flirting with the blonde woman. Push them off the deck. Laughter. Words spoken.

I was mad. Not as mad as I could have been, though. I asked him, he refused, and I went on with my evening. I lamented my choice of a green tye-dye shirt. Kind of ugly. That was about it.

Carly Simon’s “You’re So Vain,” played in my head. It was a favorite of mine at the time. I looked at the pictures adorning the walls. A man approached me from the corner of the room. He followed me for the remainder of the night.

I have a room, you know. With a big, nice TV. And no one follows me when I go in there. And it’s like there’s no one else in the world. Come with me. No one will bother us there.

My parents taught me to be polite, when they were not otherwise engaged. However, I was not polite enough to oblige the man. No. I don’t want to. Not right now.

It’s like no one else is there. No one. It’s so nice. Are you sure? I sipped on the drink from the table with the food on it.

Did I follow the hands? I didn’t think I had, but upon further inspection . . . the shag carpet . . .the smell . . . the sea. The balcony. My mother who told me to speak with my father. The bologna woman and my father who repeatedly took her picture.

No windows. A television set. And eggshell paint, like wedding dresses. Inside my head, a tape began to play. It ran through my mind like words written in reverse.

. . . the trees swayed gently, like soft waves of silver born from memories created before you existed. the heat pricked my skin like a pair of scissors. the universal lesson. Kindergartners learning how to hand each other implements for cutting. Make sure you turn the sharp part toward yourself. Hands learn to hate independently of our sensitivities. Languidly you tied a noose around my neck and hung me from a sinuous oak. Meanwhile, you quickly cut yourself free. offer the handle, we were told – get a handle on your behavior. The olive branches caught the corner of my vision while we stood on that remote, open-air stage. Peaceful, like the grey-streaked end of a fireworks show. A graveyard of empty promises, after that war I’d been waiting for, culminated with a pile of tenuous smiles and lackluster metal edges.

They say that they watched you. That they had eyes on you besides the ones they had fixed on mirrors, watching themselves. That he was drunk and had no real design.

The world through a pair of young eyes, unstrained, unrestrained adults. The world was just a product of my empty glass. It wasn’t half full or half empty. There was nothing in my glass.

It was all just so utterly forgetful, until I remembered, that is.

Now, I wish no one had woken me. Least of all myself.