Friday, December 16, 2016

Mirror, Mirror

I don't often look in the mirror.  Mirrors are not kind to people like me, people who don't see themselves truly but rather through ugly filters, through lenses smirched with years of grime, accumulated unhappiness and unfortunate experience.

I don't look in the mirror when I comb my hair, when I brush my teeth, when I apply lip balm.

I don't like what I see.

I see wrinkles and hairs that escaped the scrunchie and loose skin from weight loss and spots and age.  I see thin lips not suitable for kissing and dark circles under dull eyes.  If my gaze strays to my body, I see sagging, flab, loose and wrinkly skin, things that show weight loss but make for horrors under my clothes.

I was never young.

Rare are the occasions I gaze intentionally into a reflective surface.

Rarer still are the times when I don't wince at what I see, or perhaps even think it's not so bad.

Sometimes there's a brightness to my eyes.  Sometimes I think my cheekbones are pretty good.  My lips will never be accused of being kissable, certainly never pouty or plump, but when I smile I have a dimple...didn't people used to like dimples?..and if the crinkles around my eyes are a bit deep, least I can finally say I have smile lines.  Also, my ears don't stick out, and I seem to recall that not-sticking-out ears are a plus.  Also, also, they are pretty evenly hung on my head, so there's that.

Tonight I was laughing at my daughter's antics in the tub and happened to catch my reflection in the bathroom mirror.  I stopped and looked.  It was...uncomfortable...

I wonder if I will ever see myself as others do, hopefully with kinder eyes and gentler thoughts...

Saturday, December 10, 2016


It's late...or early...depending upon your perspective.  I can't sleep.  I want to.  I just can't.

I've been lying awake, wondering...

My parents divorced before I could form a memory of a father.  Until my teens he wasn't much of a presence in my life.  Hell, I didn't realize that one was supposed to have a father until I was just about through my first decade.

I can understand why he wouldn't want much to do with me now that I'm grown...after all, I've certainly been one huge disappointment after another to him, given him no reason to be bothered with me...but what did baby me do that made it so easy for him to walk away and not look back?  Why wasn't his daughter, the child, I mean, worth even a little effort on his part?

Then there's my now-ex-husband.  He made it pretty damned plain that our marriage wasn't worth the effort.  He'll protest...he'll swear, even now, that he loved me, still does, and the words were nice...but when push came to shove, when it came down to showing love through actions, well...I wasn't worth the effort, was I?

I've been attracted to others over the years, and most of them weren't interested, or clearly stated that I wasn't worth whatever effort it would take on their part to have anything more than a mild flirtation.  Twenty some odd years down the line, still barely worth the smile and a few hastily spoken words, maybe a few minutes of playful chat, but nothing more.

My current partner, the person I though I might finally have found a lifetime in?  Yeah, well...he's terrified of losing me, he says...of losing our family...of me leaving him...but as it turns out, I'm not worth any actual effort on that score either.  The alcohol, the pot, the meth, are more important, enough so that he is once again in jail because drinking twelve beers less than a day after he was out for the last probation violation meant more to him than being with his family for the holidays.

Not.  Worth.  The.  Effort.

Loud and clear and coming at me from seemingly every damned direction. Not worth answering the phone for.  Not worth reading.  Not worth writing.  Not worth calling.  Not worth it.

Here in the small hours, alone, cold, tired, worn and weary and wishing I had the simplest touch, just a hand to hold or a shoulder to lean on, I am painfully aware of how not worth the effort I am, and there's no getting around it.  If I was worth it I wouldn't spend these hours feeling so fucking lonely because I'd be resting snug against someone who finds lying next to me more important than twelve beers, or whatever the distraction is that leaves me struggling to breathe in dark, cloying silence rereading old, sweet words and wondering if they ever meant anything at all, and if they did, what happened to make them moot, to render me no longer worthy of whatever it took to write or say them?

How the fuck am I supposed to believe anyone who says I matter when behavior tells me so clearly that I don't, that in the end all I can count on is this feeling that the reassurances are hollow and won't be suited to action?

It's awfully bleak, this feeling that when it comes to actual effort and not simply glib words, any expenditure of effort is too much.

I'd like to believe, really I would, but I just can't.

It's not worth the effort.