11 thoughts on ““Who Lives In Mirrors”

  1. To rip off Samuel L. Clemens, I believe not writing as Mark Twain, of his poem “The War Prayer” which he did not release until after his death: “I have told in this a (?the?) truth as only a Dead Man may.) I’m glad you loved the work, Shehanne. I had some trepidation I had moved the personal curtain a mite too far. I’ve always talked to my mirrors, sometimes argued. They’re the kind which brook no lies and keep saying (“B.S.: peel another layer of the onion, J, and tell me what’s really going on.”) Tough crowd, they. I’d have it no other way…generally, though, my ablutions are sans reflecting glass…that is, until the mustachios begin yelling “teeth touched me! Make them stop!” I with with a bunch of unruly parts, so sometimes I have to beat them with Truth. Be well, my dear lady, and enjoy all your “hearts” desires this Saint Valentine’s Day.” J

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    • Twain/Clemens was a wonderful writer. I think a lot of us and I am not talking the folks that just want to shove their bleeding heart and guts on a plate for us all to suffer, who blog every little non interesting bit of their non interesting day, life, week, give the rest of us complexes about showing too much. Cos let’s face it are we that interesting? Well, that is the question I ask myself . BUT, equally I also think it is true that those with the most to say..real things to say.. don’t want to put it out there. So when they do, and they move the curtain that bit, they then think…Why did I do that? But why not? So well done.

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      • Now that you and Sammy have tweaked my complexes about…though I do agree: why not? Indeed. And your commentary and little revelations do inspire, Shehanne. The junior year (high school) English teacher who practically threatened me with a Zero Grade to make me read a typical teen boy’s short story about basketball, grades, girls, life to the rest of the class did not respond well when I remarked: “I only got a ‘C’ on this story. Yes’m: I know I type miserably when I’m in a hurry, but you do know my handwriting makes my typing look like a Rodin statue, don’t you? I am reading this under protest and I plan to take this up with Mister Bracken (A. J., a pal, and Principal) to see if coercion is allowed.” Teacher Bisbee did not bend. But the experience did cure The Blushes since I figured all the spare blood in my cheeks took seven years of story-writing and poetry to drain back for a second bout. I greatly enjoy your commentary and after a quick read of what’s next up in the queue on WP I hit comments and grin when I see you all in yellow, grinning. You are too good for my no-longer so-shy self. Thanks, Your Ladyship.

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  2. Still, I have yet to claim a post on preferential meaning of the line “lies with a secret knowledge” in the second line: originally it was about deliberate un-verisimilitude, but then I quandaried over whether Lie or Lay was the appropriate cast in positional state of being. Addicted to Ambiguity? Sounds like another run-up to find a fit for that, Shehanne. See you soonerishly.

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  3. I got sent to the office – don’t stop me if already I have told this – in fourth or fifth grade by a substitute teacher. When I arrived at Mrs. Margaret Mitchell’s (yep, but I had not the nerve to notice out loud at least the nominal-coincidence) Principal’s office and knocked on her inner-sanctum door: “Come in, J,” she near-shouted. “What did – or didn’t – you do this time?” New teacher, I said, sent me to you for ‘acting smart.’ I supplied and then shut-it. Mrs. Mitchell made a “give me the rest,” motion, paddle-wheeling her hands. “When she told me that, I ‘popped off’ ungraciously which I now regret,” I said pro forma, ” that I wasn’t acting.”
    Mrs. Mitchell did not even have to stifle a smile: ’twas her usual broad grin. “I see you brought a book to read. Good. Go sit in my outer office for fifteen minutes and then go back to class. See if you can appear contrite. I know you know the meaning. Your mom told me the first book you completed when you got to Sanford in the second grade was Webster’s Unabridged.”
    I grinned back. “Yes’um,” was all I said. Another boring teacher-talk avoided and I was pretty sure I could stretch it to half an hour: which then was recess, followed by lunch. Now, if only I could contrive a slip or fall on one of the playground’s equipment, the un-merry-go-round or the jungle-gym (a blatant case of dis-anthropomorphizing I wondered), thus earning a call to mom and after that dear but decidedly torn between guffaws and great sighs of exasperation lady arranged transport at least the rest of the day if not the next confined to my room “for punishment” with the rest of my books, a great lunch at-home instead of at-cattle and eventual reprieve for further discussion about my habit of antagonizing terrible teachers. Outside ensued. People, I found, are easily manipulated. Just give them what they want and contrive a reason for a wry grin or two.
    Oh, well.

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  4. I was too into the biographical/military history and some narrative fictional accounts of The War Between The States (Civil War a misnomer: a civil war is to sides fighting to control one country; a war of secession is two sides fighting to determine in one may leave and form its own country. “Secesh” was a common term amongst Union (North) troops when speaking to or or Southern “Rebel” troops. But, Shehanne, I do see your taking of my point: I never did get the chance to ask Mrs. Reynolds – one assumes her maiden name was NOT Mitchell, though I do know of some cases wherein both married and maiden names are the same, though the relations are not even of the legal second-cousin kind. I rather like the institution of a married woman keeping her own name. Though I am a pragmatist and the last of my line of matrilineal hebrew I retain my gael and all the other blood from those much-bled isles even more than my mom’s Ashkanazi tribe’s. Sister-in-law says she even thinks she can prove Welsh antecedents. When I asked Jeanne E. Filman-Richards, PhD, why she keeps prodding me and my other brother – her husband retreats behind his own PhD and says “I spent all my memory on getting through college so don’t ask me!” – about her intense interest in her husband’s lineage she just smiles and says: “You’re all from scroundrels and missing links and so much more fun than my own (which are ossified Germans and others who go to annual family arguments called reunions and each knows all-too-much of their roots. I prefer leaves.
    Besides, dear lady, The Wind Is Gone, even in paperback, would have been too much for a back pocket…and I went to school before “bookbag” became a substitute word for napsack or even the venerable haversack. I don’t recall ever taking more than one or two books home from class through junior high school, and even then my then-bicycle’s side- and front-basket(s) easily would contain The Lot. My senior year of high school I took possession of the family auto – dad has his truck and trucked my older brother to college in Orlando and I had a job as a sports writer for the local newspaper as my excuse to whip about Central Florida on four wheels as much as possible. Besides, in almost every class teachers gave time at the end of the lecture to complete homework if you wanted…and I wanted. I did math and language and such during lectures, surreptitiously when necessary and out-of-closet openly when allowed…And in a few special classes I had an arrangement: if I made all A’s on all the tests and did not turn in homework instead of failing as the numbers should have been, I’d get a “C” or average grade instead. Two math classes and one language class. Never much liked following rules. Still don’t. I do regret not bring up the subject of similar names with Mrs. Mitchell, but she was a busy lady and I didn’t want to push my luck. Later when I told an sophomore (10th) year English Teacher what I though of “Catch 22” which I saw she was reading between an open textbook, I found out quickly no “adult” appreciates a wise-ass. And all that work smartening up my posterior went for naught!

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  5. You, madame, are three-kind. I need to keep better watch of wayward fingers when’st typing my replies. I had just gotten to the chapter in Roth’s “22” entitled “Natley’s Whore” when I confronted Mrs. Allen, who blushed beetred at being caught reading that impossible tale on classtime.

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