You don’t realize it until you have to, but you are an oak tree. We are all the sum of thousands and thousands of days wrapped and packed so deeply inside ourselves that recovering those memories feels like living them all over again. But this time around, there is a warmth surrounding the lesson. I learned this once, I tell myself, and now I am finding out why.
I’m going through life as my own reflection, as a girl on both sides of the glass. I am on the one page in every book that changes the entire course of the story. I know that the new me is right there, glowing, reaching out to me with neon fingers. I am becoming her.
But I am also made up of all the people I used to be. I see me in slow-burning Oklahoma mornings, feet caked with red dirt as I fed the dogs. I see me in my plastic blue glasses and swaddled in hurt ten year old feelings, reading in the private retreat I made for myself between two old evergreen trees on the edge of the front yard. I can still see the old me approaching the fence between the life I’ve always known and the one I was created to live, unsure of anything other than the time to change had come.
I wanted to say goodbye, but I’m already gone.
Nothing left in the mirror but dust.