Right now I am sitting in front of a mirror. I look in mirrors a lot; they provide a pretty good reality check. A ceiling fan spins around--its light glowing dullish, and its fixtures clearly 80s style--just above my head. It's harder for me to notice my "flab" when the light around me is warm-toned and soft. The tendrils of hair that always fall around my face whenever I wear a ponytail--some straight, some curly--quiver a little under the wind of the ceiling fan. I feel the air whisk over my shoulders, and it makes me feel calm.

I keep my earrings in a jar next to the mirror. I pride myself on my earring collection. A vintage turquoise one in a diamond shape faces me through the glass. The round silver ones I wore today lay upside down beside the jar. "You are wearing a different pair of earrings every time I see you I think," a friend told me once. After that comment, I made a conscious effort that I did indeed wear a different pair every time I knew I was going to see him. "And they're all unique," he had said. Yes, they were.

I'm about to pick up where I left off in Anne of Avonlea, the movie. I'm scared to, though, because the scene where Anne and Gilbert meet in the gazebo on that misty day in Kingsport--the one where Gilbert whispers to Anne not to forget him and then leaves her there, holding his note to her signed "your old chum"--made me cry this time. I pressed my eyes into the pillow tucked under my arm and wiped them in one quick, messy movement, almost angry that they were there. I pride myself on my ability to stay tearless during movies.

At this moment, I'm glad to be alone. If someone were here with me, I'd probably be too conscious about the pudge on my stomach to really listen to the fan or to feel or notice whatever this unfamiliar room has to offer. But even the ceiling fan's low, pleasant drone cannot make me forget that I'm not completely happy. I don't want to be defined by an earring collection or by my ability to stay unaffected during movies or by this darned pudge on my stomach.

1 comment:

Jami said...

Is this Kaitlin Monk? Or another Kaitlin?

Whoever you are, I loved this piece and (assuming you're NOT Kaitlin M.) I wish I knew you. I felt myself in this 100%.

I also hate crying in movies, even when I'm alone (or especially when I'm alone). I also have an impressive earring collection. That particular scene with Anne and Gilbert gets to me every time as well.

Kaitlin Something? Nice to meet you--where were you when I worked at the WC?. Kaitline M? How are you? I miss you.