Tuesday, July 5, 2011

One Glass Moment

"You have beautiful eyes."

The familiar words waft up to your ears again. A different face. A different place. A different time. A different smile.

"Thank you."

You glance towards the large mirror to the left. You've always loved mirrors, even before people branded you vain. In a time long gone, one where you were ignorant of your strengths, you would place your forehead and your palms spread out on the large mirror on your mother's closet and just embrace the cold. You would get told off for wanting to do that during stormy days. Those were days when large wool towels would be hung in front of the mirror. To ward off the lightning, your relatives used to say. You shrug before heading back down to the living room and curl up on your favorite chair by your favorite spot. In later years, your waking ones, you would realize how you loved the rain and the cold and the symphony of the leaves and raindrops and the crescendo of thunder heralded by lightning. In later years you would learn to embrace the lightning and anticipate the rumble that came soon after it. You vaguely recall how you would clap your hands over your ears and close your eyes and tense up until the thunder came. Fear was weak then, like all other negativities you possess now. Passing. You would resume watching the world through the jalousies, head resting on your folded arms.

A warm touch brings you back to the present, the vision of the young boy shimmering away in your mind's eye. An embrace comes with the final ripple before it all fades. A kiss reminds you of your worth. Your nape a lynch pin saying you are alive. What comes next is an erratic series not unlike the churning storm, and the gentle breeze. Here walled by four planes is the rise and fall of many spectra; the shifting of paradigms, personas, personalities; realities are created, merged, and subsequently destroyed, or made to evolve; the rhythm of the world takes a primal turn in the symphony of surrender and release; all the world fades and the mirror is the only witness. The mirror which you chanced upon in an unguarded moment.

You have beautiful eyes.

"You have beautiful eyes. You take after me."

"Really, mom?"

"Of course, you are my son."

That was a time when smiles where given more freely and more innocently. Nothing was forced. You smiled widely at the woman most familiar to you in the world before glancing back at the mirror.  I have beautiful eyes. The concept was new - you never considered your eyes attractive. They are much too deep. You never understood why two curving lines trailed  from near the bridge of your nose. They were, in your opinion, to blame why your eyes to you seemed baggy.

"Why are you making faces?"

"I'm not making faces, mom. I'm trying to get rid of these lines."


"I dislike them."

"But everybody has them, son."

You glanced at the face of your mother and see, as if for the first time, that her face had lines, too. You smiled. Maybe it wasn't so bad. You stopped wishing them away. You accepted them. Still, you thought it would be better if they were less prominent. Soft fingers brush your face just below your eyes. You have deep-set eyes, just like your father. A light forefinger traces the bridge of your nose. And you got your nose from him, too. You never really understood what those words meant. So what if your eyes were deep-set? You wished those lines away deep down, still.  Nay, you were ignorant of yourself then, just as you are lost in yourself now.

"Now, now, smile!"

You smiled warmly at your mother again. Everything was alright. Everything can wait.

Years weathered the world for five years and a decade or so before you had an inkling of what those things meant. Deep-set, you found out, meant it drew people in. It's like...curving inward. I don't know. Basta.It's deep. Kinda like shielded by your brows? i'm not even sure if I'm describing it correctly. It's deep-set. That's that. Your close friend would tell you. Playing around with classmates and a pair of shades introduced the concept of having a high nose bridge. What did it matter? To you, it seemed only to allow you to wear eyepieces with ease and without having them fall off at the slightest movement. What did it matter then? Why does it matter now?

"I like the contours of your nose."

The familiar words waft up to your ears again. A different face. A different place. A different time. A different smile.

"Thank you."

A finger, showing faintest signs of being careworn, traces familiar routes across your face. The soft and gentle roughness of the back of a palm speaking things, inciting emotions and breathing life into your wishes. You feel the rush of life. You find meaning once more, if only for a brief moment in time. In the space of a heartbeat when two eyes meet and a connection is formed, you find beauty and meaning in the tangled and incoherent mess you have made of the present. Pearls glimmer at the precipice of existence and on the edges of your eyes. Why won't this clarity last? A wan smile unfurls from your chapped lips. The same soft and gentle and rough hands cup your chin, tugging your glance upwards.

"You have  a beautiful smile."

The familiar words waft up to your ears again. A different face. A different place. A different time. A different smile.

"But it seems sad."

"No. Sorrowful."

"Why are you sad?"


Alien words found themselves fit for your sorrow, your insecurities, your thirst. The love that was never there always found reasons to mock you. It found ways to revive your need just when you believed it has shriveled up beyond help. Beyond hope. Beyond love. Funny how life finds ways to catch us unawares. The thought plays itself across your mind.

"Why are you sad?"

Probing curiosity alone could have empowered a repeat of the question. That was your belief. You were beyond compassion. You thought it gave up on you a long time ago. You never gave up on it, and that was the irony. The bluntness and the demand for the naked truth pierced your being. You were never one to think that truth could present itself before you, or that the present could demand the truth out of you. You were guarded. I musn't stand out. That was the dogma you lived by. In the effort to not be an open book, you learned to read people. You saw patterns and they guided you in the same way your premonitions, and your coloured dreams helped you.

Two eyes regarded you closely. Are they genuine? So goes the constant refrain of doubt within you, and yet you feel you must grab this chance. Hope might not present another skein for you. Every chance had to be appraised, the extremes, means, benefits, and hindrances weighed. This was learned the hard way, and you weren't one to set this belief aside now. No. Even when the stakes are this high. Even when the stakes mean that much to you. No. Now more than ever are you called to be critical.


This was the point of no return. You marshalled your entire being and braced yourself.

A deep sigh.

There are times when we find ourselves unable to bind our dearest and sincerest dreams, no matter how hard we try.

"Someone once told me my smile..."


Without warning you began saying things you swore you wouldn't share, surprising even you.





Que sera sera.

You took a deep breath.

"Someone once told me my smile would be a good thing to dream of but..."

And so flowed your confession. Your naked soul. Your very being.

And that was release.


Fiction-truth. Go figure. Repostted in memory of my solitude.

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