In this place
you shall look
as we look
into a mirror
and you shall find
no sorrow or regret
“This mirror,” Mark was nearly yelling, “for as long as I can remember, this mirror has always hung crooked.” Nadine stood on the porch looking out onto the back garden, “Mark honey, you don’t have to yell, I’m right here...now what was it you said, dear?”
Mark had celebrated his birthday last night, Nadine had thrown him a big party at their tiny new apartment, and they were both still a bit tipsy. The drinking had gone on into the wee hours, in spite of the fact that today they’d had to get up early and head over to Mark’s grandma’s house. She had died three weeks earlier, Grandma Vivian, leaving behind her lovely house and garden. Today was the day the family had chosen to go through her stuff deciding who would get what before Mark’s older brother, Jamie, moved into the house.
“This mirror has hung at this weird angle for as long as I can remember,” Mark said softly again as he stood in front of the sizeable three by five foot mirror that was the centerpiece of his grandma’s living room. The top of the mirror leaned out from the wall so that when most people looked into it they saw themselves only from the neck down. “Well Mark,” Nadine came and stood next to him as they both looked at their reflection, “Viv was shorter than most of us, so for her it hung perfectly. And remember how much she loved to look into it?”
Mark thought back on when Vivian had bought the mirror. He had been only a young kid, eight or ten, when his granddad died and Vivian, shortly thereafter, had gone on a long vacation to Indonesia returning home two months later with this huge mirror mounted in a hand carved frame. The frame consisted of mythological figures, women becoming flowers becoming men becoming fish and vice versa, all carved carefully and painstakingly by the magic hand of some craftsman on
Bali. As soon as she returned, Viv had re-arranged her living room, making the mirror the centerpiece of the room. Mark thought of how she’d stand in front of it admiring the frame, her reflection, or both, for hours. Vivian would become so peaceful as she’d gaze into the gigantic looking glass. But then his grandma had always had something special about her, Mark recalled as he looked around the cozy living room. Vivian, and her house and garden, had always been sort of the center of togetherness for the family. It seemed as though the light fell through the open windows a little gentler and Sunday dinners were always just a little tastier at Viv’s. She had radiated an aura of love when she was alive and had somehow managed to leave that aura behind in her house, garden, and especially the mirror after her death.
Mark pulled Nadine close to him so that now they both stood before the mirror’s seemingly mythical reflection. He pulled first his own shirt off, and then Nadine’s so that their bodies touched, yet only the reflection of their naked torsos from the neck down was visible in the glass. It was an act that transcended the sexual part of their relationship, an act of pure love. “Mark dear, if I look close I can see the beating of your heart in your chest,” Nadine whispered. Mark pulled her face close into his body, holding her tightly as the warm spring sun fell softly through the open windows and reflected upon them both, in the mirror.
All rights belong to its author. It was published on e-Stories.org by demand of Bill Piccolo.
Published on e-Stories.org on 10/31/2006.