From behind the looking-glass
Caution! Glass! They don’t hear me, buggers! The glass is me. To be precise, not just glass. I’m the looking-glass of Venetian ancient work. And now three drunken movers are carrying me upstairs to the apartment of my new owners. The corner’s ahead! That’s it, these barbarians are gonna break me to pieces. Ooh! That was close! Thank God, it’s over! Yes! Life is fragile!
Well, let’s have a look at the new place. Looks like a good apartment, not the worst I’ve seen so far. The owners have such cultured faces – nice to reflect. They wipe dust regularly, don’t make faces, don’t squeeze pimples out – must be eating as much as is proper.
I must say, I’ve seen much in my life. You can’t even imagine how many ugly mugs I have had to reflect. A mountain of pimples and such a great deal of warts. Fields of warts! Oceans of warts! The whole universe is home for warts!
Still you have only yourself to blame, if your image doesn’t satisfy you. Just don’t look. But one can hardly manage without me. Everyone needs me to run up to me in the morning and check how old you have become for the last days, how many new wrinkles you have got, how much hair you have lost and if it’s growing thicker in the nose and the ears. And what about color and freshness? The main thing is to look at more often to get used to changes. If it goes gradually, life looks good enough. As if you are not moving to the exit feetfirst.
And that girl, who looks at me every morning, has had a bad luck. Mom and dad did her a bad turn – as slender as a withy but with purple half-cheek birthmark on the face. I agree, that’s not a big deal. But little trouble for guys is the tragedy of the whole life for girls.
Isn’t she stupid? How can she spoil her mood with such trifles? If you could only see her going to bed at night! Such a beautiful silhouette, I must say! How can she be such a pea-goose to define herself a bench warmer forever?
Who said a woman must be beautiful as for face? We’ve seen such “pretty ones”! If you look at such one in the light of candelabrums, and after champagne, of course, you become stunned. Such a pretty girl – you can die from happiness. But after waking up in the morning you’d better not look at that “mermaid” – or you can forget how to smile forever.
In the evening this one is getting undressed not knowing the passion I feel for her. When these girls are sure no one’s watching, they become normal without their stupid grimaces and being affected.
Well, the girl needs help with appearance. Though, it’s known for sure: a looking-glass will be punished for these jokes so bad you will wish it had never happened. But don’t I deserve a single fantasy for so many years of reflecting reality? It’s tiresome to monkey a single person and, moreover, just try to reflect a crazy fly in empty room when no one needs it, and the fly just leaves droppings and that’s it. Or the whole day you are copying a shabby wardrobe, to which all your efforts are like flogging a dead horse.
Who would I turn into, so she could believe the words? A girl? No, that’s not an option – they believe their own last. A wise old man? It’s not good to appear that one naked from behind the looking glass. Well, I got nothing better than finding the image of a young and handsome man.
What do handsome men look like? Aha, well - straight nose, firm chin with dimple, a mouth smelling like banana… Well, it goes alright yet. Let the chest be hairy just a little – my former owner, a perky woman, used to say, that a man must not be rather hairy, he must be fluffy.
…Now she is laying the book aside, turning the light off, and then I’m going to appear. That’s it, time to come out… She’s seen me, dived under the blanket, just her eyes are out.
- Oh, girl, do not be afraid! I swear, I’m not going to hurt you!
- I’m not afraid. Who are you? Poltergeist?
…What is that “poltergeist”, she is calling me?
- As you can see, looking at me, I’m a mirror… (Stop! Can a mirror have hairy chest?) I mean a man… In general, I’m the one and the other.
- What do you need from me? Answer me, or I’ll be screaming aloud.
- Why screaming? I’ve become materialized just to say you are the most beautiful girl I’ve reflected so far. So beautiful, that I’ve fallen in love with you without doubt, I mean I’ve lost my mind. All in all, why have we been talking so long? Move aside, I’m freezing. I believe, you don’t want your mirror would be suffering from radicular pain.
What’s wrong with her?! Looks like she’s going to die from laughing.
- Hey, girl, are so tired of men, that I’ll have to beg someone else?
- I’m sorry. That’s just from a sudden. I guess, I’m out of my mind a little, but I couldn’t suppose, that’s just to have listened to the love confession from a man.
- Let it be just fantasy, but I’m really in love with you.
- But I’m ugly. Don’t you see it?
- Who told you this?
- You did. You are the one to reflect me in yourself, if I am to believe you are a mirror.
- You never know, what I’ve been reflecting! You shouldn’t believe men.
- And a mirror?
I guess, I have to show something to that stupid girl.
- My girl, come up to the looking-glass and have a closer look at yourself.
Huh, she’s fast. Her pink soles just flashed. A real fallow deer. She doesn’t believe her eyes.
- Who is this!?
- This is you.
- And where’s that spot?
- What are you talking about?
- The birthmark right here on the right cheek. Where is it gone?
- I don’t remember any spot. You must have seen something bad while sleeping. What spots? As far as I remember, you’ve always been this beautiful.
Have you ever been suffocating in embrace? I must say, it’s rather an amusing feeling. And then there’s nothing to tell about. She was embarrassed with her impulse of joy, trying to escape from my embrace, but she picked the wrong person to fool around with.
Now I’m holding up the reflection of events running. Any looking-glass will tell you about thousands of such scenes, just ask. But this night is staying for me and my girl only…
Still, by morning she asked me the question, no man seems to keep off:
- Are you staying with me forever?
What was I to answer?
- I’ve made a pretty woman of you, now everything is in your hands. You are able to turn any man’s head, still, unfortunately, my experience says a beautiful woman is much more lonely than her less attractive… sisters. Nevertheless, I have done what I thought necessary to have done in life, and I have to be back in the world behind the looking-glass.
- Don’t be back there. Why do you have to be a mirror? Stay with me. I’m gonna love you so, so much.
These women never agree for a part – give them the whole by all means.
- Listen to me, girl. I was created as a mirror on this earth, and that’s what I may remain. I still do not know what punishment I’m gonna be subjected to for this night. The distortion of reality, such as with your appearance is strictly prohibited.
- I won’t let you go. I’m afraid of if you leave, everything will be back in its place.
- Judging by the changes occurred with you last night, I rather doubt it. I promise, you’ll be happy without me.
- What if you are just my sick imagination?
- And is this blood on your thigh your sick imagination as well?
- I’m gonna check this up now…
Where did she take that hammer from? The girl appeared having got her head screwed on right. I should have foreseen all that.
- Stupid girl, wait, don’t do it!..
Too late. She already gave a smack on the glass. Clinking. However, it has nothing to do with her. Just as I thought, the punishment wasn’t too long in coming. No need to cry – my fate can’t be glued.
Yes! After that night I’ve been scattered all around the world. Our looking-glass’ feature works this way – no matter how many parts of us left, we are reflecting things as they are. Of course, the most fragments have vanished underground without light. Some have got not so pleasant work – reflecting junk in garbage heaps. Some are lying quietly in the grass, enjoying the sky and the clouds of insects. But everything is compensated by the largest piece, she left to herself, having put it in a very nice frame.
Although the birthmark is staying on her right cheek, she is happily married to a good guy. She has a cute girl growing. But from time to time she is performing a strange ceremony. With her husband away she is taking a piece of looking-glass of irregular shape out of her hiding place, looking closely in it, kissing, putting it on her belly and lying that way long, recalling something…