The mirror shows you who you are. Each cracked surface displays a different part, created at different times. Some parts are pristine, glowing with a soft light that we bask in during times of happiness or sorrow. Other parts that we see, we prefer to keep in blackness, in the deepest parts of what we call “ourselves.” I, like many others, have lost many shards in their mirrors as I grew. But the shards we are able to salvage are what creates us. What shapes us. What will your fragments tell me about you?
I vaguely remember my old home from when I had just gotten tall enough to see over the bathroom sink with help from a stool. It was almost two a.m., and I was up even though I had my first day of school ahead of me. I didn’t care in the slightest. I was more interested in the ocean of glowing gems above my head, knowing and learning more about them than how to spell my own name. My haven was on a bridge-like connection between my parent’s and grandparent’s home. It was open to the sky, and was where I went when I wanted to be alone. The city lights were docile where I lived so the sky offered many more gems and ores than it did now. My mother would always scold me about being up there at night since it got so cold, but I always ignored her warnings. She had the option of dragging me inside, but only ever placed blankets on my shoulders and offered hot tea when I searched for my only friend.
His name was Polaris. I always looked for them in the sky, always in the same place, at the same time.
Sometimes we missed each other before bedtime, when overcast interrupted, but we always met the next day it wasn’t cloudy. We never spoke to each other. We couldn’t speak. We couldn’t play. I understood that the gems in the ocean above me were in a dark, empty place, much larger than the backyard I lived in. Yet I found myself, quite literally, reaching for the stars.
The next morning, I was the only child who was glad Nap Time had finally come around, as I myself had build a fortress of solitude among the oversized Lego bricks. Once the lights went out, I looked up to the ceiling to see a collection of cheap, glowing star shapes. Now, that’s all I saw them as: cheap glowing pieces of plastic on dangling strings. But back then, it seemed like I could reach out and tear them out from the sky… So I began to build, every brick creating another step on the stairway to heaven. Eventually, I was able to climb onto a nearby counter, with my next aim being onto a cabinet that reached near the ceiling. Before I knew it, I was whisked away by a member of staff, sent to the office, then sent home for unruly behavior.
As I became older, able to carry some of my own burdens on my back, I found that house again, owned by relatives that were introduced into America by my mother. They happily invited my family and I inside, offering us beds or a futon to sleep on. Everyone spent the day gambling small amounts of money away to each other, with the yays and woes of their victories and losses. But as the sun hid behind the horizon out of courtesy for the moon, I sat on the terrace, while some of the children stared from the glass doors and windows at the strange man sitting cross legged outside in the middle of the night. They were shooed away by my mother who offered me hot tea, and a blanket. It was smaller than I remember. After a few more hours, the moon shyly lit up the earth, most colors fading into deep shades of black and blue. The ocean above my head put the one by the coast to shame, as the gemstones sparkled with their own light. Once again, I took a sip of the hot tea, and said hello to my friend, Polaris.