Inside My Eyelids (12)

It was one of those nights I didn’t want to sleep. “If I sleep, I know the dreams will be there.” In the process of avoiding sleep, I wound up in front of the bathroom mirror, staring at the me I saw there, hearing the words of an old song.

“A mirror, is a negative space with a frame,
And a place for your face
It reveals, what the rest of us see
It conceals, what you’d like it to be” (1)

When I closed my eyes, and shook my head to clear my thoughts, I heard the words an old friend, one who was lost to time, and to my past, had said to me. “Most people know. They know. And they will do anything to not have to think about it, to make it not real. Because, if it’s real.” They never finished the thought, instead, leaving me hanging, with no understanding of why people were how they were.

But those words echoed in my head that night. “Most people know.” And it combined with the words of that song. “I conceals, what you’d like it to be.”

I opened my eyes, and looked at the me in that mirror again, “Why?”

It was always the same question. My entire life was the same question. “Why?” As if the only thing that mattered, the only thing there was, was the question, and the search for an answer.

When I couldn’t stand to look at myself in the mirror, at my eyes looking back at me, I wandered down the stairs to the kitchen. I didn’t turn on a light, but walked in the dark. I needed it to be dark. In the dark, the details went away. In the dark, no one could see me. In the dark, I knew I was free from the games of life. The pretenses that others made me, expected me, demanded me to wear.

In the dark, my facade faded, and I could be me.

And let my soul cry.

People had always told me, when you sit alone, in the dark, late at night, on the floor of the kitchen, something’s wrong with you, and you need to get help. Yet, there I was. On the floor, in the dark, trying not to think, not to feel, and maybe to not even breathe.

Until the ache in my soul faded just enough I could feel the fatigue in my body. It was time to face the dreams painted inside my eyelids for another night. To find some rest, however brief, to prepare for another day in a world where most people knew, but were too terrified of the truth of life, they forgot about it, or denied it was there.

My dreams did not disappoint me.

Mirrors appeared, hanging in air, nothing to hold them up, reflecting everything they faced. Reflecting the world, and the people I knew, the society I lived in. Rain and storms in one. Sunshine, blue skies, and wispy white clouds in another.

And that damn song echoed in my mind once more.

“A mirror, is a negative space with a frame,
And a place for your face
It reveals, what the rest of us see
It conceals, what you’d like it to be” (1)

That morning, I looked into the eyes in the mirror that looked back at me, and I knew. I finally knew. Everything in the mirror is two dimensional. It has no depth. There is only what you see. And I knew, suddenly, why, “Most people know. They know. And they will do anything to not have to think about it, to make it not real. Because, if it’s real…”

615 words
@mysoulstears


1 The song is “Mirrors” by Blue Oyster Cult.
Songwriters: Abbott / Roeser
Mirrors lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

I wrote this for week 146 of Miranda Kate‘s Mid-Week Challenge. You can learn about Miranda’s challenge here. The stories people share for the weekly challenge are always little works of art, crafted with words, meant to be shared, and enjoyed. Please go read them all.

Miranda Kate’s Mid-Week Challenge : 2019/09/22 (Week 125)

The song says,

“A mirror is a negative space,
With a frame,
And a place for your face.
It reveals what the rest of us see.
It conceals what you’d like it to be.”

Mirrors reflect everything, but you can’t see into them. Instead, you only see what they see. That’s how mirrors work. Light strikes the surface, and it’s not absorbed, or filtered. It’s reflected. Sent back the direction it came.

Standing in that forest, on that day, I saw them. The mirrors. They walked among the trees, like we did, going around, over, under, moving small branches, and pausing to look at things.

At first, I didn’t notice them, after all, they looked like the rest of the forest. Eventually, I realized they were there, only because underbrush doesn’t move, and sections of tree trunks don’t appear out of nowhere, and then vanish into thin air.

They stopped moving when I stopped, which made them difficult to see. I moved short distances, a step or two at a time, always stopping to look around, and see how everything changed. That’s how I found them. The background changed. The background didn’t always show the right things. By moving a yard to the left, I could make a tree branch vanish. A yard right, and a branch that wasn’t there showed up.

When I found such a branch, I started trying to get closer to it, only to see the scenery change in different ways, like bits of the forest were moving away from me.

The only sounds were my feet stepping on leaves, and twigs, my breathing, the occasional bird, the sounds a forest makes. I never heard them walking, or breathing. They made no sounds at all.

Eventually, moving bit by bit, I caught one off guard, it’s figure cut a human shaped hole in the image of a tree trunk. Mirrors reflect. The mirror was there, between me, and the tree, and a human shaped image of leaves resting on the ground, a couple of mushrooms, and my right shoe, looked back at me from in front of that tree.

“Who are you?” I reached out my hand, to indicate it was OK. I wouldn’t harm them. That I’d noticed them. And was curious.

They panicked. Like forest animals. “The human has seen us! Run!” Reflections went insane, parts of the forest flashed to and fro, moving in impossible ways. Until they were all gone, nothing moved. Nothing reflected an image that was out of place.

They were gone.

Without a sound.

Since then, I have returned to that place in that one forest, a hundred times, hoping to catch another glimpse of them. Always failing. It’s like they watch for me, and hide, when I arrive. I’ve never seen them since that day.

Sometimes, I wonder if they were really there, or if my mind was playing tricks on me. Sometimes, I wonder, are they hiding in other places. Outside the forest. Maybe in broad daylight. Maybe they walk through our parks, along our city streets, filled with glass, and reflected images. And we never notice them. Just another reflection among thousands.

And I wonder if they have faces, eyes, ears, noses, fingers, toes. Like we do.

I may never know. I may never learn. Because I have never found them since that day. When they showed me how mirrors work. How mirrors reflect light, so you can see what they see, and never actually see them.

I will keep looking. I will have my camera with me when I look. I want to get them in pictures, to prove they exist.

They do exist, don’t they?

I know what I saw that day. I know!

They do exist.

Don’t they?

625 Words
@mysoulstears


It’s week 125 of Miranda Kate‘s Mid-Week Challenge. You can read about Miranda’s small fiction challenge here. Please, go read Miranda’s short tale this week, and any others that showed up. The tales are always little works of art, crafted with words, meant to be shared, and enjoyed.

The music lyrics in the above piece are from the song “Mirrors” by Blue Oyster Cult. Here’s a link to a youtube video of the song:

Blue Oyster Cult: Mirrors

Miranda Kate’s Mid-Week Challenge :2019/05/14 (Week 106)

A floor made of mirrors that reflected the world above them. I loved that concept, loved the way it played with perceptions of reality and the rules of life. Loved how it confused the hell out of so many people.

Along with my love for the mirrors came staggering disappointment, and heartbreak, for the lost hearts and souls of life. The ones who no longer dreamed, or imagined, or created. The ones who never questioned anything.

How could they look at that floor, and see the mirror world in it, and not wonder, not ask, “Which world is real, the one I’m in, looking down at the floor, or the world in the floor, where I’m looking back at myself?”

The chair I was seated in was a wood, with a metal framework. Delilah was seated in the chair next to me. She’d asked to spend time together. “I want your company today. I want to be around you. To be with you. To be able to talk with you. Laugh, smile, walk, eat lunch, eat dinner, with you.”

“What are you thinking, Samuel?” I never understood why she used my full name, and not Sam, like everyone else. I felt her fingers, and the palm of her hand touch my shoulder, and I wondered if I could talk at all. “You can talk with me, you know. Take your time.”

The image of myself in the floor showed my struggle, my inability to focus. I’d almost swear my image blurred, became less defined. “Which one is real?”

Delilah’s eyes tracked mine, they stared into the floor, saw me, saw her, saw the chairs. “We are, of course.”

“Are we? Or are we really on the other side of the mirrors, watching ourselves?”

She moved her hand from my shoulder, let her fingers touch my cheek, “Which of you feels my touch? Which of you hears my voice?”

I wondered if the me in the mirror felt her fingers on his cheek, or if he was a simple reflection of light. Or, perhaps, if he was wondering the same thing, if the me staring back at me felt her fingers, as he did?

“It’s why I want to spend time with you, Samuel.” She looked into the eyes of the me in the mirrors on the floor, “Because. You can still dream. You can imagine things. You can create things.” Her hand moved again, it started on my shoulder, and calmly, deliberately, ever so gently, moved down my arm, to my hand, where her fingers interlaced with mine.

For some reason my hand responded, and I found I was holding her hand, as she was holding mine. The mirrors showed the same.

“You don’t see the world as black and white. As predefined.” I wondered if I could ever forget her smile, or the sound of her words.

“Too many people.” I paused, “They don’t ask questions.” I looked into her eyes in the mirrors below us. The her in the mirror looked back into mine. “Almost like they’re afraid to ask questions.”

“They are.” Was it the Delilah holding my hand, or the Delilah in the mirror who answered me? “Because. It makes life complicated. Difficult. Not simple.” Her other hand reached across and she turned my head so I faced her, above the mirrors.

“Delilah.” Something inside me felt good, happy. Perhaps that’s what dancing was. When something inside my soul moved, because it felt like it. “I never told you how I can get lost in your eyes.”

I forgot about the mirrors, as she smiled, “I know, Samuel. I have always known.”

606 Words
@mysoulstears


It’s week 106 of Miranda Kate‘s Mid-Week Challenge. You can read about Miranda’s small fiction challenge here. Please, go read Miranda’s short tale this week, and any others that showed up. The tales are always little works of art, crafted with words, meant to be shared, and enjoyed.