Holding an old red brush that pulls my hair when I begin to brush the naps that do not easily entangle. Basting the foundation around my deep, exhausted eyes that illustrate a story untold. I stare at the woman in the mirror, its early and the sun is just awakening through the skylight of my bathroom. The birds are happily chirping in the distance alarming me of the new day that is before me. I know this woman; faintly. She is a person that used to be someone I once knew but lately she has become unrecognizable.
The soft sounds of those I love around me, silently sleeping. The light snores and faint breathing allows me peace for the time being. The hustle and bustle of the day will start soon but for now, I envelope myself in the silence. There’s an eerie feeling when the woman in the mirror stares back at me with these deep sunken eyes. The small creases that begin to enfold wrinkles, that are slowly making their way through her withered face. Time has not been kind and the struggle of it all has impacted her image. The scar’s and bruises are deep within; festering within her soul and heart. Her mind is altered and filled with joy and despair.
I look at her and she presents a small and frail smile that appears fake in some respect. Her roots are coming in as her hair drapes heavily over her face. Ponytails have never suited her but they suit me just fine. She cannot afford to allow all of her flaws to shine, so she hides behind the thick multi colored hair, that resembles her life. She sacrifices comfort for beauty in order to manage her insecurities.
Her body has fallen and sagged into its own shape and though most see her beauty, she only see’s the inconsistencies. The nose that grows larger with every pound, the gap between her two front teeth that widen with ever coming year. The hair that brittles with every treatment and the mind that deteriorates with every coming day.
I have seen her before but this woman has taken a form unknown to me. She has wrapped herself in exhaustion and has lost the fire that once bestowed her. She is the strength that once was and is no longer. I fear for her safety and pray for her to return to us all. This woman that once carried joy, positivity and optimism.
This woman has endured great amounts of pain, she has shouldered the cosmos on her bare back. She has held back the tears and strived on through life’s constant struggles and road blocks. She has persevered when all have fallen behind, she has loved when she wasn’t loved back. She has given and expected nothing in return. She has faced love and deceit. She has remarkably survived but to say that she made it through unscathed is a lie. She is broken and she has fallen to her knees.
Though the pieces are hard to find and glue back, she takes a deep breath and glues them as she stares back at me through my bathroom window. She cries as she puts it all back together and then she stuffs it away from all those that can see. She wipes her tears and continues on her early morning ritual and before she leaves to begin the day, she looks back at the mirror, knowing that she just has to get through one more day. She stares intently at me and I know that I am her strength. I am the person she strives and wishes to be. She holds on and stares at the stranger in the mirror and I know that she is me. She knows that I am her. Though we are not the same, we once were and all the glue in world could never combine us.
There is a moment as a woman where you see the person you used to be, the woman you have become and the woman you strive to be. This moment is staring me in the face and asking me what is the outcome. What will it be? I stare and hope that she will surpass her struggles and navigate through her indifferences. I plead for her to see past her indiscretions, past her pain and disappointments. I beg for mercy, understanding and the possibility of acceptance and forgiveness. This woman who has become tattered by life’s unpredictable paths has become numb and it shows. It resonates within her face, her body, her mind and dare I say her very existence.
She holds a steady gaze and says goodbye to all she once was. This woman that I barely recognize is now me and as she walks away with not even a second glance, I know that she will never be the same.