These days, impossible what-if’s over my appearance infest my thoughts like ants swarming a picnic basket. They dig themselves into my head all day long. As I’m getting dressed in the morning. Before I step into lecture halls packed with classmates. Whenever I catch my reflection in the Four Seasons window on my walk up to campus.
Everyone’s got a few ways they stay sane in Ithaca. Some people have Netflix, some people have Tinder, some people have exercise and some (very put together) people have all three. I’ve got makeup tutorials. I love makeup. Nearly everyone that’s known me for more than a few interactions knows I adore makeup — putting it on me, putting it on other people, watching other people put it on, shopping for it, everything associated with the industry is part of a larger passion I have.
In the house where my brother lives, there are mirrors everywhere. There must be 15 or 16 of them lining the halls; circular mirrors with ornate frames, squares mirrors lined with old photographs, the floor-to-ceiling ones that interfere with normal depth perception. Everywhere I am I can see myself turning corners and gliding down the slippery wooden hallways and opening interior doors. I have an ugly affair with mirrors, not unlike a relationship with a disapproving grandmother whom you frequently check in on. Mirrors usually worsen my mood, yet they are magnetic to me — I glance at my reflection at every pass, revolving slowly like a microwavable pizza, catching all my angles.