write a nevel in a month – section 4


 

January

Another year passes, so what has changed. I steel myself this morning & look hard in the mirror – seeking out for once myself. It is time to take stock.

I have mostly managed to avoid seeing this self, this mirror twin for some months, so I am anxious as I step up to the mirror and it is all far worse than I imagined it.  My hair is greying, the roots left untended have become the colour of dirty melted slush, an unattractive palette of grey, brown  and nicotine yellow. My avoidance of mirrors for recreational or is that functional  use  has of course also somewhat curtailed my skincare routines , so for a woman who once knew the names & secrets of all the local handmaids of Clarins, Clinique & Aveda , my naked, lined face stares back & sadly, dear reader, I have to report that they were right, products really make a difference.

My body has softened, my lack of employment   and direction [ which of course came long before the official status of non- waged] & the resulting poverty & indolence has caused a gentle slippage. My breasts are moving slowly, but I suspect determinedly, towards my navel , I gather them up , they remind me of puffballs, white, almost fluffy with a stranger coldness to them [ & suddenly, I am transported into a memory, mushrooming with the changeling, we walk through a damp early morning field, I find puffballs, but she is frightened of them & will only continue our walk once she has stomped and yomped through the patch, destroying them all]- I come to gently stroking  my left breast and then step back from the mirror to get a long range view.

Suddenly, I stiffen & look more intently, what I am seeing is simply not possible [ & this from a woman who has little difficulty in believing 3 impossible thing before breakfast], my mirror image Is no  longer solid, like some form of physic vetilogo,  there are tiny  patches of translucent reflection. You can quite literally see through me. I try the age old pre technical solution of turn off & turn on again – I close my eyes & open them again – nothing has changed – tiny parts of me seem to be made out of clouds.

I turn slowly away from the mirror and walk carefully back to bed – this is not something I can consider whilst awake or even when standing up.

I carefully look at every nook & cranny of my body, everything seems fine, and my all too solid flesh is still all too solid. I am too scared to even consider another mirror test. It is time to go back to sleep.

 

February 14th

I am sure of today’s date – the radio told me so – days & dates have become confusing – caught up as I am in the on-going experience that is my disappearance. I feel safer in darkness, so often sleep in the day time – but am not always sure if I am waking up at the start or end of the night – it doesn’t  seem to  matter too much anyway.

Since the year started, I have tracked & mapped the changes that are happening – inch by inch, my whole body is becoming translucent, on some days I spend hours in front of a mirror cataloguing what has vanished, on others I cannot  bear it & pile on more & more clothes in a desperate bid to make myself more substantial, I scurry past reflective surfaces, head down, praying that this all will stop.

I am almost too frightened  to contemplate the end game – will I actually vanish?

She, on the other hand is becoming braver & more & more visible – where once I greeted her appearance with joy – reaching out to drag her back into this world, now I find myself cowering backwards, cringing away from her. She no longer needs mirrors or a reflection & seems to be quite self sufficient , able to appear at will. Oh & her very solidity mocks my new found vaporous state.

I am becoming scared around my twin – there I have said it,  have written down what has only been half realised, half stated, partially  understood – the being I once welcomed with open arms, in whose similarities I revelled has become some terrible doppelganger , but more & more she is becoming  the real version of us/me/myself/ourselves.

Language is falling apart  for me – as my edges blur, so do the words, I have less & less understanding of where I begin & end, but more eerie, I am loosing sense of the very meaning of me, you, us& other.

About cathi rae

50ish teacher & aspiring writer and parent of a stroppy teenager and carer for a confused bedlington terrier and a small selection of horses who fail to shar emy dressage ambitions. Interested in contemporary fiction but find myself returning to PG Wodehouse when the chips are down View all posts by cathi rae

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