“You look fine”
Your mouth speaks it as a compliment, but your subtext reads differently.
“Stop looking at yourself in the mirror,” is what you meant to say.
“Don’t be so vain,” is what you hope I hear through your offhand remark.
As I take my time with my own reflection, I wonder how I have offended you so deeply.
I am not subjected to a certain time limit here.
I am taking up no more space than you.
And yet, somehow, in someway, I have disappointed.
Through a glass surface, before reality comes again, I crave a moment of me-time.
I long for more seconds of the interactions with just myself.
I need it.
I would give you that space.
To take a moment of silence and see yourself clearly.
I would give you the time you need to just simply be.
But for me, I am vain. I am self-absorbed.
“You look fine,” You ring out again, notes of increased impatience with my existence.
I am polite, kind-hearted, and offer you the response you knew would come.
An awkward laugh of embarrassment, as if I’ve done something I should be ashamed of.
As if I am deserving of your insult.
And just like that, my minute of peace has been stolen from me.
And you are appeased.
In triumph that you have stopped another self-absorbed being from relishing in her own features.
You leave and I smile.
I do look fine.
But not in the way you think.
Not in the way you choose to paint me.
I look fine for reasons you will never try to stop to understand.
And it’s okay.
I forgive you.
I have stood in shoes similar to yours before.
I know how they feel.
But now, we do not wear the same size.
No matter how hard I would try, your shoes wouldn’t fit the feet I now carry.
And for that I smile, and tell myself, in the mirror that has caused you so much anguish, “You look fine.”
Featured Image Credit: Sarah Cavins