• Mathura Hawley

time

Updated: Aug 2, 2021


This is the last stop on a trip I never meant to be on, taken away from a life I worked hard for, and when it derailed some time ago, I did nothing. "

I stand in front of the gold mirror and in its reflection I see the brown boards that were my bed strewn across the floor, screws and nails and chipped wood everywhere, the mattress upended and leaning against the empty space where a smaller mirror once hung, now on its side turned toward the wall. I look at my face, at the dark spots high on my forehead. My tired, swollen eyes look back at me trying to make contact, to recognize this moment for something more than what it seems. There is the smell of dampness from the air blowing in through the window, which is finally cracked open, the fear subsiding. There are the shadows, which have settled down to truth, reflecting the low light of the lamps which dangle from their place on the wall, screws nowhere in sight. This is the last stop on a trip I never meant to be on, taken away from a life I worked hard for, and when it derailed some time ago, I did nothing. I waited as one bumper car smashed me forward and another pushed me back, thinking I could just stand up and walk on until the next came, that it was my fate and my normal. I did not know that no tornado passes us completely. It stirs up our pain and splatters it everywhere. That each spec of that pain seeps under our skin, quietly changing how we see ourselves and slowly turning down the light of our spirit, walking us gradually toward a cliff we are unable to feel slipping from beneath our calloused feet. It is not until I see where I am through the eyes of a friend who puts her arm around me and walks me out of this room, and the image of myself in the expression on her face, that I am able to accept what is happening. In this moment, it all flashes before me quickly like a movie I would have done anything not to be in, but now I see through all the illusion how tragic, how deeply sad, and how horrifying this story is. I stare at myself for a very, very long time, tears pouring down my face. “I am sorry, babe,” I sob, apologizing to myself as I put my hands up to touch the hands in the mirror. “It is time. It is time. It is time.”


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