The mirror showed a reflection that wasn't my own.
I tell Jake this immediately. But I can tell he doesn’t believe me. And why should he? I’m wearing a 1933 diamond masquerade mask, 1968 red pleather go-go boots, a 2023 penguin onesie, a monocle from who knows when and I am smoking a pipe that may have once belonged to Sherlock Holmes himself. Wait, was Homes a real person? Am I a real person? Anyhow, I must appear confused. I feel for Jake. I’m exhausting. (Let this serve as a warning: I'm mixed up and shook up but I feel like you might get me anyway.)
I always cowgirl my timepiece.
I often arctic my toes.
and seldom do I inhale.
Truer than true is - I’m sensing I’m senseless.
I’ve accepted that.
But I fear that Jake has grown tired of my shenanigans. We’ve been dead together for 257 years now. But it feels like a thousand. And it also feels like only 99. Time is funny that way, isn’t it?
On most days when we look through the mirror we’re able to view ourselves, and the livings, as we go about our days. All of our past lives come to us in played-out scenes, like we’re watching a movie. It all happens through Mirror. How? I dunno. Wormholes, string cheese theory, and the like, I suppose.
No one ever told us the particulars.
We just know that when we look in the mirror we always look exactly as we look now, only the outfits change and our manner of speech and the vehicles and the surroundings and, yes, I suppose some things are different but our faces remain the same. Always. Until now.
and delicious moonbeams at the picture show.
The nuclear monopoly,
pre-antiques, post hithery-dithery doo.
It’s a bite of fun for a bit, (when I remember to chew.)
We don’t get to choose the life we watch, the mirror chooses for us. And how I feel when I watch my life, any of my lives, well, that part never changes. I feel like a person.
A person in the world who wants.
A person in the world who wants to be seen and left alone.
A person in the world who wants to dance and read poetry and make love and make mischief and who wants to … live and just be.
Watching our lives unfold as they already have, gets old after a while.
Oh, how I long to long for more than this longing.
I wish to be alive again so I can feel more than this missing.
I need to once again...
disco a library,
popcorn a kitchen,
and fisticuff with flames.
But Jake is fine with being an unliving here on planet Neither Here Nor There. He once told me that he read Dante’s Inferno so he’s well equipped for this waiting room.
Oh, how we had such fun in the beginning. But for the past century or so, I don’t think Jake sees me at all.
When we first got here we were all a buzz with excitement and magic. We’d hold hands and watch our Mirror Movie together laughing at our antics.
When we asked the clouds how long we could stay, we were told that the Mirror would let us know when the change has happened. And at that moment, we will be able to walk through the mirror and begin again. Begin a new. Or, we could choose to remain here… indefinitely.
Today, as soon as I saw my reflection in the mirror, I knew the time had finally come. Jake gasped when he saw what I saw.
“Good God!,” said Jake, “You’re a … can this be right? You’re a… horse!”
Then our eyes found Jake’s reflection. “And you…” I say, “You’re a cow!”
This is not at all what either of us imagined. We planned on eventually returning to earth as humans, not as animals. Should I stay in Neither Here Nor There where nothing ever changes? Where we can’t enjoy food, carnal pleasures, or watch anything but this bloody program starring us throughout time? And the company of no other humans for eternity?
That’s when I noticed him. Behind my reflection, I saw the most magnificent mane, thick and unruly, atop the sensual shoulders of a black stallion, his waxed muscles, glistened in the sun as if he would be fire to touch. Oh how I want to touch! he is galloping expertly… so confident and prideful, heading towards me! I watch in the mirror has he nestles my horse neck and my human spine could feel a shiver. As if we are already merging. Jake the cow must have noticed because he gave out the most disagreeable MOOOOO! Jake the human did absolutely nothing (as he’s want to do.) The mirror begins to wave like a puddle of water and when I place my hand through it, my hand disappears.
“Are you mad?” said Jake the man. “You want to live as a horse?” I glance again at my reflection. I remember seeing a photo once of an Arabian horse and how mesmerized I was. I had read that most racehorses have the Arabian breed in them and I feel like this can be the new me: Fast and strong. Brave and Powerful. Majestic and noble.
And of course, I read “The Black Stallion” when I was a young girl and dreamt that my burgeoning passions would be realized and the Black Stallion would fiercely love me back. His gorgeous magnificence would enter me fully making me shine from the inside out. Our love would be the envy of all. And the black stallion in the mirror, I feel that he must be related to my first horse-love. I tingle just the same when I look at him. I need him desperately in all his glory.
And look at all of that space! Rolling hills, tall trees, and sunshine... Is it Montana? Maybe. Who cares? I tear off my clothes popping buttons left and right, my brassiere lands on Jake’s face and this shocks him so much he almost looks alive. He opens his mouth to speak but I don’t wait around to hear what he has to say, I dive my naked body through the mirror and land triumphantly on the other side. Wow. I can feel everything all at once again but it doesn’t overwhelm, not at all. I feel all at once whole. I have all the horse feels and it’s quite natural, to be a horse. Such a glorious feeling to simply feel and to feel simply. To just… be. My stunning stallion winks at me and I wink back. I can still see Jake the human through the mirror but it’s getting cloudier by the moment.
“Please come back!” Jake cries holding my brassiere in his tiny human hands. You can have my relics. I give them freely.
I look around me and notice all sorts of animals in this lovely open field. “Jake, I see other cows here. You can join me. We can still be friends.” After a moment, the mirror flickers, whirls, and then...vanishes.
I relish the sun as it shines down on my silky coat and I’m burning with the urge to gallop across my new life. I whinny and wow with every breath.
I do hope Jake walks through the mirror. Maybe he could put in a request to relocate to India. There they would paint his face in bright colors and place jewels around his neck. They cherish their cows in India.
Then we can both know newness - and Jake can finally be sacred
and I can finally be free.