I hate mirrors. Not because I’m ashamed of my wrinkles or my fat hips. But because the face staring back at me now is not one I recognize.
I see someone who’s supposed to be me and can’t quite place her.
There’s a vague resemblance to the person that used to look me in the eye while I was brushing my teeth or fixing my hair.
But now, she is “other”, unfamiliar, strange in a “slightly off” kind of way.
I often laugh and smile but I’m rarely in front of a reflective surface when giggles animate my face and redraw it in the old, familiar outline.
My resting face looks old and sad and tired.
The eyes that used to be clear are clouded. The mouth that more often than not was turned up in at least a hint of a smile is, at best, a straight line and, at worst, a frown. Deep lines show that I spend most of my days squinting, as if I’m searching the distant horizon for a glimpse of something that SHOULD be there but is just out of sight.
I can’t erase what grief has etched in flesh.
So I try not to look.