Altered ego

  • Aperture: f/3.3
  • Focal Length: 23mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Shutter: 1/59 sec
  • Camera: NIKON D80

Biloxi, Mississippi

It’s a tilt of the chin; it’s a flash of the eyes. It’s a toss of the hair and a half-crooked smile that says, You’ll never know all of me. Not completely. It’s a joie de vivre, a certain je ne sais quas, acoup de foudre. It’s all of these things and none of them, a love affair with self that transcends the imprisonment of flesh or the entrapment of convention.

The girl in the mirror knows this.

Fresh from a steaming bubble bath, smelling of lavender and English roses, she’s not envious of the couples packed into noisy restaurants tonight, celebrating their love with heaping bowls of pasta and cheap wine. There are no shiny baubles here, no diamonds or lockets of gold. There are no soft kisses or gentle caresses, no tender love letters, or whispers in the night. But there is something else. A passionate determination. A calm resolve. A tacit understanding that this, this is the spirit awake.

I love totally and completely, mind, body and soul. I love hard and strong, deep and slow, fierce and wild, light and easy. Women find me cold; men say I’m too intense. It’s just the way I’m made. I make no apology. The girl in the mirror nods and smiles her smirky, cocksure smile.

There will be lukewarm pizza and ice cold Pepsi tonight, without a shred of guilt. There will be snuggling beneath the sheets, digging toes deeply into the cool spaces, wriggling in pleasure at the idea of sleeping late. There will be pictures and words, and a sentimental movie that will probably make me cry. There will be a great chasm of emptiness in the king-size hotel bed, a yawning space as vast as the silence between words not spoken.

And I will sleep softly and easily in that ellipsis, knowing I am more than the end of someone else’s sentence. The girl in the mirror told me so.

Music: Tangled and Wild by Oh Susanna (lyrics)

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