Each day they come to me and stand and stare. Why am I the one on display? What do they think I’m able to offer that they can’t get from inside. The thing is, when you get down to it, I’m not able to really show them what they’re like. Instead it is just a version of them, the opposite in fact. All the bits are there but everything is back-to-front, the wrong way round. Sometimes I wonder if they even think about me at all. Me with my mahogany frame. Me with my oval shape of good intentions. Me and the layer of dust that sits on my head and everybody seems to miss when they dust everything else in the room. They stand before me and pay little attention to anyone but themselves. Sometimes I wish I could fall down and swallow them up. One of my ancestors did that. He was the reflection on the water until a man fell in and drowned. We are all reflections and we never receive any thanks.
I have spots popped before me. I have grubby fingerprints along the bottom of me, which again never seem to be picked up as they go about their weekly cleaning routine. I sit and wait for someone to pay me any kind of attention and when they do, it isn’t for me at all. I’m just a prop to them. I’m a vessel through which they can see a version of themselves. When they don’t like what they see then they find even more delusional ways to present themselves. They’ll take a multitude of pictures using their phones until they find one that hides that extra chin. They’ll add filters and text and emojis until the image they have is nothing like the truth I first offered them. And that’s what they choose to share. Not who they are or what they do but some pimped out, made up, circus of an affair. You want the truth, you can’t handle the truth.
I get jealous you know, of the others that get to go out with them. Tiny versions of me which fold in half and fit in suitcases and clutch bags. They get to leave. They get to see the world. They get the adventures. I’m static. I stay here during the days when nobody is around. I’m stuck and I reflect the same wall, the same edge of the sofa. I’m above a beautiful fireplace but do you think I can see it? I only get to see their comings and goings. I might as well be watching paint dry. Ironically when it comes time for them to paint the room I’m taken down so I don’t even get to watch paint dry. The last time they did it I was just propped up against the sofa which had been dragged into the centre of the room. The only company we had was the dust sheet which was left over us. That’s no life for anyone. I’m worse than a prisoner here. At least prisoners get an hour of exercise in the yard. What I would give to be taken down and tossed around the garden like a Frisbee or even just a bit of excitement. To be used to split up lines of cocaine. Lou Reed once said “I’ll be your mirror”. I wish I could tell him there is nothing romantic in the sentiment but I’ve been reliably informed by a candleholder that he popped his clogs last year. Poor misguided Lou. Imagine going to your grave thinking you want to be someone’s mirror. I’d rather be a toilet brush.
Oh hang on.
(That pun was intentional)
Someone is home.
It’s not them.
It’s someone else.
Someone else is in my house.
Oh god, they’ve even got tights on their head. What is this cliché nonsense?
Take me you fuckers.
Take me back to your lair, pile me up with the doubloons and the pearls. I want to be part of a haul. I can’t hang in there like that abysmal poster with the cat on it.
Not the flat screen.
Actually, take the flat screen. Maybe I’ll get a little more family time if that arsehole isn’t around. They’ll sit staring at that frame for hours sure, but what do I get in comparison, a momentary glance.
You still have room in the van.
Are you kidding me?
What are you going to do with that? You’re both clearly men.
Maybe if I insult them they’ll smash me.
You stupid idiot men.
Call that a disguise.
You look like a sex crime waiting to happen.
Seven years bad luck.
I can take it.
You’re nothing without me.