How Spending As Much Time

1410 Words6 Pages
Spending as much time as I did looking in the mirror, I thought I knew what I looked like. So it came as a shock one afternoon toward the end of summer when I went shopping with my mother for a new shirt and saw my face in the harsh fluorescent light of the fitting room. Pulling the new shirt on over my head, I caught a glimpse of my reflection in a mirror that was itself being reflected in a mirror opposite, reversing my face as I usually saw it. I stood there motionless, the shirt only halfway on, my skin extra pale from the lighting, and saw how asymmetrical my face was. How had that happened? Walking up to the mirror, reaching up to touch the right side, where the graft had been put in only a year before, I saw clearly that most of it…show more content…
He was describing how he wanted me to ride a certain horse. I was looking him in the eye as he spoke, and he was looking me in the eye. Out of nowhere came an intense feeling that he shouldn 't be looking at me, that I was too horrible to look at, that I wasn’t worthy at being looked at, that my ugliness was equal to a great personal failure. Inside I was churning and shrinking, desperate for a way to get out of this. I took the only course of action I knew was any good at: I acted as if nothing were wrong. Steadying myself, breathing deeply, I kept looking him in the eye, determined that he should know nothing of what I was thinking. That summer I started riding horses for Hans in local schooling shows. In practices I always wore a helmet with my hair hanging loose beneath it, but etiquette required the during shows my hair be tucked neatly up beneath the helmet, out of sight. I put this off until the very last minute, trying to act casual as I reached for the rubber band and hair net. The simple act of lifting my hair and exposing my face was among the hardest things I ever had to do, as hard as facing Dr. Woolf, harder than facing operations. I gladly would have undergone any amount of physical pain to keep my hair down. No one at the show grounds ever commented to me about it, and certainly no one there was going to make fun of me, but I was beyond that point. By then I was perfectly capable of doing it all to
Open Document