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“Wouldn’t it be perfect,” I lean against the sink’s edge and talk sideways, “if I were to walk into the room tonight and make all his friends turn their heads?”
“I’m going to do it,” I tell myself, holding my hair firmly in one hand with the scissors poised to take the snip.
“Let today be the day I get rid of this wispy, flyaway hair that has annoyed me every single day of my life. It’s time for it to go,” I declared to my reflection. I looked at the stretched-out strands, then at the mirror, at the strands again as the scissors are closing in and freeze, just before the steel flats slice through the fragile, fickle locks.
“Do it,” I command myself forcefully. “Do it!”
The tension in my arms releases, like a dam bursting and I find myself hanging over the bathroom sink breathing fast. Sobbing, tears running down my face; the scissors lying on the side, blades open, without a strand of hair between them.
“I deserve a life,” I say, under my breath.
My head shoots up and I stare into my own feline eyes. “I deserve a life worth living,” I repeat, gritting my teeth. I stare intensely into the mirror and suddenly the reflection speaks back.
“Are you not satisfied with your life?”
“You call this a life? No, I’m not satisfied!” I start to tear up again, face contorted, sobbing.
“What life are you after?”
“First off, I wish I hadn’t this stupid, flimsy hair. I hate it. I want to strangle it.”
“What exactly is your complaint about the hair?”
“Isn’t it obvious? Look at it! It’s like cotton that’s been ripped loose, fraying at the ends, hanging about, droopily, it’s just…”
My words are tied up into a small knot on top of my head.
“It just doesn’t behave the way I want it to – nothing in my life is the way I want it to be!” I wailed.
“What do you want from life?”
“How much time have you got? It’s a long list.”
I find myself suddenly smiling, running my fingers through my hair, turning profile to the mirror.
“Wouldn’t it be perfect,” I lean against the sink’s edge and talk sideways, “if I were to walk into the room tonight and make all his friends turn their heads?” I laugh and spray myself with perfume.
“Just picture it: half the room falling in love with me and the other half envying me. That’s what I’m talking about.”
“But he’ll look at everyone in the room before he even notices me!” The fantasy is over. I smash the perfume bottle on the wall.
“Why doesn’t he notice you?” it asked brainlessly.
I pointed to the dark circles under my eyes. “This! And my shabby eyebrows. This! My boxlike jaws. This! My bony shoulders that resemble a wire-rack. This!” I sob again. Then laugh.
“It hurts so bad, it’s hilarious,” I said, quiet at last.
“If I could just have a life of stability, my mind would be at peace.”
“Is your life unstable?” The mirror wanted to know.
“If I could only find someone who really loves me, even though I look so horrible. Then I wouldn’t need to go to all these wild parties. I’d quit drinking, first off. I wouldn’t have to work at the bar anymore. Oh yes, and I’d stop sleeping with men who didn’t love me. I wouldn’t need him anymore.”
“He doesn’t love you?”
“Of course he doesn’t! He just uses me as he pleases. And I let him. What else do I have? I feel like a servant. He has no heart, no sense, to be treating me this way. I’d drop him in an instant if I found someone else to take care of me.”
“Is that all?”
“That’s all.” There’s a sick feeling in my gut.
“He’s all I have!”
“He’s all you have?”
“He’s the only man in my life.”
“You like him?”
“I did, once.”
“How did you know you liked him?”
“It was this strange, sick feeling in my gut. A dizzy longing to be with him… I feel it now, too.”
“Oh, what the heck…”
The reflection and I stared at each other.
“I’m going to the party!”
It is quiet.
“I have to see him. I can’t not see him!” I get out my makeup from its pouch.
“Say something,” I said, powdering my face.
“Well?” I smile and brush my hair.
“You know what? This hair isn’t so bad after all.”
Image source: shutterstock
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Sahya Samson is a writer and Eurythmy artist, with a self-published book and a
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