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Sunday, August 31, 2014

A Dream from 1981

That old vanity where she always put on her makeup and curled her hair had a mirror big enough for the two of us.
It looked like rock-n-roll and royalty. It smelled like cigarettes and seventeen.
I liked to watch her in the reflection: her perfect eyes, her luscious red lips, her confidence. She blended and highlighted and brushed like an expert.
She'd been the only girl.
After having three rowdy boys by natural means, my grandmother decided not to take any chances. She adopted a girl.
And so, my aunt garnered quite a bit of attention from the rest of the family, including me.
She was the center of the world. She listened to the loudest music, had the wildest friends, knew the sexiest dance moves. She was living the life, and I wanted to live the life, too, so it didn't phase her to have me always at her side, soaking up some of the awesome she exuded.
The vanity, that's where it happened.
That's where I became suddenly aware of the other presence in the mirror.
A small child with big, blue, adoring eyes and soft, blond curls stared back at me.
A beautiful girl with a crack running across her face--a big, black crack from ear to ear.
The Me in the chair looked at the Me in the mirror, wondering--what could it mean to have such a crack straight across like that? What damage could it cause? How should this be handled?
The Me in the mirror had no qualms. She reached up with both hands, lifted the upper half of the head and revealed the brain within.
No worries.
The crack sealed itself up once the deed was done, and the Me in the mirror placed a finger on her lips and smiled back at the Me in the chair.
The Center of the World never even noticed.