forgetting to come home

Thursday, March 27, 2014

One morning it happened that I got up and forgot to look in the mirror. I leaned down over the sink, my face dripping with the morning rinse, and without looking reached for the linen face towel to pat my cheeks dry. 

This was a common routine. But normally, every other morning, I would straighten back up and look at myself. Not in a vain way--although there were mornings I admired the way my hair fell against my forehead--it was really a grounding point. I studied my eyes, my nose, the shape of my chin. Just to make sure it was still me, I was still there. Little strings reached out from my reflection and attached to me, until the strings all entangled, and we were the same person. 

That morning I patted my cheeks dry as always, and then I straightened up, but somehow I missed my reflection. It was the time, maybe. I had clicked my phone on before turning on the faucet. I was late. My mind jumped ahead to the drive to work. The wide highway curves that always took longer to go around than I thought they would. My mind had already jumped to the moment I would flop into my tiny cubicle chair and look at the clock on my work computer: 8:03 AM, it would read. And I would mentally curse. Damn. 

At the time those three minutes really seemed to matter. And when I got home that night to rinse my face of the day, I didn't quite believe the person in the mirror was me. 

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