It is seven in the morning, and everything is falling apart.

She sits at the glass table and examines her feet through the floor, coffee cup in hand, slowly circling the remnants of the morning through her mind as they swill before her back and forth. Her hands don’t look any different, she thinks to herself. Her feet appear to be exactly as they were last night and yet their touch upon the floor is dishonest. The glass resting over the table appears harder and its reflection judgmental; sore eyes, pale skin.

What is this face? It seems slower, more deliberate. She looks at herself the way you look at a car accident, peripherally, all the while hoping to catch as much of the damage as possible. She saw the questions she had asked herself over and over again, repeated so many times they jumbled together in a regurgitation of who-am-I-what-am-I-doing.

Over and over again they run around and break holes and dig deep crevices. She never imagined she would look quite this old. She gets up from the table still almost looking at her own reflection and her cup spills over, shatters on the floor with a crack that bounces off the walls. Everywhere there are little shards that reflect on the mirrored ceiling, coffee stains setting into the white rug near the counter.

The way the mirrors are set up, the shattered cup and her reflection echo into nothingness over and over again. She can see herself from every angle, and she wonders why even though her reflection has assaulted her at every turn it has taken her this long to really look at herself.

Perhaps the honesty of the mirrors is what had evaded her gaze. The one in the front hallway, reflecting her entire body in the sunlight with honesty, not permitting the exclusion of certain ugly parts.

She walks over to it, studying the inlay of the frame. She had bought it with him several years ago on a trip to Paris and shipped it back here covered in hundreds of layers of bubble wrap. They had made love on it and listened to the pop of the plastic, they weren’t afraid of the mirrors then.

She slowly undoes her white robe and lets it fall to the floor. She studies herself like an animal, looking for the damage that has been done, looking for the visible signs of the upheaval that is happening, the storm that is brewing. But there is nothing. Outside of the coffee stain in the mirrored kitchen, the sun still shines perfectly through the front hallway, the mirror still beams back, the memory of the bubble wrap is still on the floor.

A sound escapes her lips, dry and unencumbered she allows herself this one moment of total loss, one sound of utter mourning on her naked knees in the front hallway, on the floor where the bubble wrap once was and where now there is nothing. She imagines her, the woman he is with right now. She imagines her naked body standing in the front hall, in front of the mirror with her, she would have no problem touching things that are not her own.

Picking up her robe she takes deliberate steps up the stairs and listens to them echo. It is a testament to the hardness of this house, that sound bounces so readily off of the walls. Her decision for today was made shakily, with very little thought and a decent amount of bourbon coloring her morning coffee, but often decisions of this magnitude are never made with much consideration. She is convinced that if she really thought about it, she would lose her nerve.

Maintain composure.

She can see them, in the bathroom mirror as she powders herself. She can see them sitting in her apartment, talking and laughing because it is seven in the morning there too, and for some people things are coming together, not falling apart.

It is not a man who does not love you that will kill you. She thinks this to herself as she choosing her clothes, hoping to maintain composure in every sense, hoping that perfectly pressed will provide her an armor, a mechanism with which to look down on this other woman.

It is not a man who does not love you, for love is a fickle thing, what will kill you is a man who looks right through you, who sees you as a reflection of himself and nothing more. What will kill you is a man who does not touch you like you are made of flesh and bone, who does not regard you as living and breathing, but rather a thing. She was beautiful once, she still is if not in the same way, but she has begun to disappear, becoming nothing more than a reflection, becoming nothing more than another mirror in the brightest house full of darkness.

Image Link