Letter by Shaima Saleh

Posted on March 12, 2012 by


Dear beholder in the mirror,

How are you? It’s been a while since you and I actually sat down and had a talk. You’re ignoring my invitations for tea and hot baths – No, no. You are not giving me that “my health prevents it” excuse again. You’re nothing but a bunch of excuses; articulate strings of words weaving a veil half-covering your missing parts. I don’t need to ask how you are doing, now, I can perfectly see. Your gazes are taking longer, your silences more hollow, your movements detached; you lost. You plainly lost your battle against the mercenaries of freedom. Your wall crumbled and your fragments washed away along the river of carelessness while the weeds of every mistake you’ve ever made pushed you away rather than tied you down. You set yourself free; too free, and now you can find neither anchor nor ground.

You scribbled little lies on your forearms and recited them with every blink of terror, “I am strong.” “This pain will make me a better person.” “Heartache is better than regret.” Lies, lies, lies. You are not one ounce stronger; the pain was just painful; the heartache made you wallow in the filthy mud of self-pity. Why aren’t you retaliating? Why aren’t you jumping at me with accusations and declarations of my folly? Where is that anger that drove you so passionately until you went white blind? Are you giving in, wasting away or quietly plotting your uproar? What sort of torture will you brandish upon me now? Your self-sacrifice cuts the deepest wounds into me already; it fools me into believing that you are virtuously full of your inconsequential sense of self-worth, it emits the signals of a spark of hope you are disguising as a question mark engraved in your grimaces and cheap displays of a row of cutters studded in your mouth.

Be it as you may, your evasive stares into space are not that entertaining anymore. The little pieces hanging on your theater’s curtains, however, are what I want resting in my palms. I see them glistening tauntingly at me, knowing that grasping them is a mission of a hero, not a sinner. I see the little droplets of you running down the sink, I try to catch them but they run too fast. Your half-images, your near-laughs, your barely-emotions, your about-rationality, your almost-self; all that is you escapes me last flinch. I guess there is a faint sense of reconciliation in knowing that I will never grasp something of true worth, value or tangibility. Running after a bunch of fragments of a never-to-be-whole, broken, glass bowl is what having too much spare time makes me do.

Not so sincerely,

Person staring into the mirror

Posted in: Letter