If you see me in the mirror, tell me I say Hi

In my house, the lighting is bad except for when it is good which is typically in the morning and I have drawn open the curtains which are in truth metal slats that rise up and down when I tug on a length of canvas. All the fixtures in this house, in the kitchen and bathrooms especially, must have been chosen in sorrow for the light they emit is the shade one wants to sit under when one is temporarily broken by life or haunted by regret.

When I found out this house was built by a couple in love, but finished only by one of them after they decided it wasn’t working out, I suddenly understood why I couldn’t see myself in the mirror no matter how sunny the day; why the tiles in the guest bathroom look filthy no matter how much time I spend on my knees with the Israeli brand of Brillo trying to scrub them clean. I understood why the side yard was decorated with pottery shards instead of ornamental pebbles and why the foundation of the second side porch was still exposed, its rusty innards testament to what might have been, but would never be …complete.

We rent this house, we rent this house, we rent this house, I chant, every time I pluck my eyebrows in front of a hand mirror next to the open window. I chant it when I wipe down fingerprints from the walls and when I jam my own finger in between the warped window screen and the pain. I mean pane.

As if being transitory is a salve, as if a makeshift home is not a real home and therefore, who I am in it, not a real me.

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7 thoughts on “If you see me in the mirror, tell me I say Hi

  1. Love this – especially the pane/pain. Also, we own this house, it has lovely light and lots of white everywhere (we were just in the “your rooms we love” issue of Dwell magazine!!) but I still pluck my eyebrows by the window, and not the bathroom window. I will look for you in our mirror, though 🙂

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  2. Home is where the heart is or where the heart is broken, in the case of your former residents; memories are made wherever you are. You are seen in the mirror of the mind of everyone who interacts with you.

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  3. I hadn’t stopped by here in a little while and I am glad I did today. You write beautifully, as always. And you made me think that, even though I love my house (which we own) it’s written all over its walls that it was completed by a single man. He had a girlfriend but, half way through building the house, she made clear she wouldn’t move in. So he finished the house, lived in it a for a while and then sold it. Male choices are all over the kitchen and the bathrooms and I am still living with them, barring a major remodel. Houses do have personalities and we learn to cohabitate – maybe the masculine side of me was attracted. I never thought of it before.

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