Until the day I die, I’ll never forget those glassy, unblinking eyes. It’s funny how no one else seemed to notice, because I did right away. The moment I stepped in front of the mirror and lifted my toothbrush, I noticed those dark glassy eyes, and I knew something was very wrong. The moment I stepped in front of the mirror and blinked I knew nothing would ever be quite right again. The moment I stepped in front of the mirror and noticed that my eyes did not blink back in the reflection, I knew I was in trouble.
What do you do when you step in front of the mirror and realize that your eyes are not your own? I’ll tell you what I did. I laughed. I laughed out loud and I blinked and blinked again. I laughed and I looked at my unblinking reflection and I decided right then and there that I was up for anything. Count me in, I said. Because, fuck it, when you wake up early to glassy, unblinking eyes in the mirror and no fucking clue what the hell is going on, what else can you do but laugh?
Right then and there, I signed the contract. I waived liability. I agreed to anything. Brushing my teeth proved relatively easy but doing my hair took a few tries. I didn’t even attempt to exert any will over my wardrobe. I softened my gaze and put on what felt natural, which turned out to be a long white peasant skirt and a skimpy black top that complimented my glassy gaze.
One last glance in the mirror revealed infinity. I took a careful step back in those heels – the ones I hardly ever put on because they trip me up – and I headed out for the day. When you find that what you see in the mirror doesn’t match your face, work doesn’t seem so important anymore. In fact, I could think of only one place to go, so I skipped work and headed for the Modern wing. What, that doesn’t make sense to you? Fuck off. I needed to find myself somewhere.
After a bit of wandering, I found navigating easier than usual. I floated down the soaring hallways and through the dim galleries. When my eyes were not my own, my heels no longer tripped me up. I found myself there, in the Spanish abstractions, in the sallow faces looking back at me from American Gothic. I found myself in Picasso’s cubes, I found myself in nails on a black cross. I found myself in wood and canvas.
After I got the hang of finding myself, I floated backwards to the Middle Ages. There, I found myself in a gold-rimmed engraving by Dürer. When five o’clock rolled around, I wasn’t ready to leave. They found me sitting on a bench where I could keep an eye on my eyes. I put up a fight for the security guards; I dug my heels in and screamed. It took three guys to restrain me, only they didn’t know that it was already too late. I’d signed that contract, remember? All in means all in, so here I am.
What’s that, doctor? You want to help me? Can’t you see that I’m just fine? Look at my eyes, look how they match what’s in the mirror now. What’s not to understand? Here I am, all yours. No, I’m not afraid. Fuck it all, doc, can’t you hear me laughing?