Imagine my surprise when I looked in the mirror and I wasn’t there. I couldn’t see myself, at all. I also couldn’t remember what I looked like. Have you ever had to search for something when you had no idea what that thing looked like? It’s not very easy. I have a vivid imagination and fancy myself a creative problem solver. Instead of telling anyone I had gone missing, I wanted to solve the mystery on my own. I cleaned my glasses, put in new contacts, washed the mirror, asked my boyfriend to clean the mirror, bought a new mirror, and none of that worked. I know my mirrors, I am a member of GenY aka the selfie generation. With the selfies comes the self-loathing narcissism that is fed by judging my own reflection. Except when my look is on POINT and I know I have to Instagram that shit.
I did see that under the mirror, I had laundry that I should do something with. I tried airing my dirty laundry, I tried airing my clean laundry, I tried keeping the laundry in a hamper under the sink. I never do my laundry enough. I wait until there is way too much and I have to have a clothes washing marathon because I am out of underpants, socks, and pants. I don’t do my laundry until I have to do a ton of it. Kind of like how I don’t ask for help until I need a lot of help. That was quite a workaround to express an out of place metaphor, at least it’s accurate.
It took a while, but finally I hit my bottom. I mean it, at the beginning of the year I slipped on the stairs at my sister’s house and had the bruise of a lifetime on my butt cheek. I have never had a bruise cause me so much pain. I couldn’t even sleep on my back thanks to that mark. It looked just like Batman’s symbol. Batman is a badass, so as long as I didn’t think about the fact that I hurt myself because I slipped on carpeted stairs while wearing thick wool socks, the shape of the bruise made it bearable. Don’t question my logic.
Even with Batman branding me, which is basically the universal sign that someone needs help, I wouldn’t ask for help. Months more of limping around and the bat symbol faded away. Even Batman had given up on me.
I am no vampire expert, but I was pretty sure they don’t have reflections either. I didn’t remember being bitten by a vampire and I couldn’t find any bite marks. Then again, my ability to look at my neck was pretty limited without a mirror. I needed more information. To learn more, I broke down and finally watched the Twilight movies. I didn’t have any of the other telltale signs that would mark me as a vampire aside from pale skin, a penchant for staying up late, and the pesky no-reflection-thing.
I wondered if I was a ghost, I saw the movie Casper when I was a kid and I know he didn’t have a reflection. I gave it some thought but the evidence didn’t line up. When I ate, some of my meal did often end up on the floor like Casper’s crazy uncles. The majority of the food didn’t, so I must’ve still had my digestive system churning. Being clumsy isn’t usually thought of as being a trait reserved for ghosts. I still got jostled in the subway during rush hour, I couldn’t go through walls, and I still had to walk like a chump since I couldn’t float from point A to point B.
I watched an episode of Hannibal about a girl who thought she was dead and couldn’t recognize anyone’s faces. I thought maybe that was me, at least the faces part. I couldn’t remember what I looked like, so maybe I was in the mirror but I just couldn’t recognize myself. Could I have prosopagnosia? I could still spot my boyfriend from afar and was excited to see the faces of my niece and nephew, so I had to cross that possibility off the list.
I went back to researching what to do. I wanted to spend a week on my couch and obsessively watch Dr. Phil, but I figured I should probably stop counting on television to give me the answers. It was only when I realized that Twilight and Casper are not self-help documentaries that I decided to reconsider my approach. Although, I’m still not entirely convinced that Oprah isn’t working as my personal life coach. Only when all of the easily accessible help seemed to be gone did I think, “Oh, maybe I should ask someone about this can’t-see-my-own-reflection-business.”
I won’t go into the dirty details right now, but it turned out what I really needed all along was other humans. I found support and solidarity from people who had also, at one time or another, been like me. They listened to me talk about all of this and more. I ranted about how I might have found Harry Potter’s invisible cloak, but that I didn’t know how to take it off, and they actually understood. It’s amazing how it’s much easier to see yourself clearly when you’re looking from someone else’s perspective.
This morning I looked in the mirror and I saw, me. Oh, and I found a gray hair.
WELCOME BACK KRISTANCE! Hey blogosphere, it’s been a long while.