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Fitting to the upcoming Halloween, here something uncanny 😉
The uncanny. The unfamiliar. Something that doesn’t feel familiar, not like home anymore. The other. And yet it is in my home. Should normally be an image of myself and not of the other.
It’s dark and quiet, I am alone. The familiar noises muffle and shuffle away and what is left is silence. While I’m wandering around searching for something known, something familiar, even the sound of my feet on the old floorboards sound strange. I switch on the light and I’m frightened. What I see there should be familiar, known, but it scares me. As if this pretended image of myself suddenly could start a life of its own, turn into another direction, even wink at me! Like in this nightmare years ago, where this person, caged in modified glass, looked at me from strange green eyes, laughing, maybe even laughing at me, winked at me and stuck out its tongue and nobody was there, who could have helped me, nothing familiar that could have put this person into its place. The world was sleeping. And I was alone with this stranger.
I shake my head and sneak into the bathroom. Cold water will revive the senses.
But after drying my face, I look up from the towel and it’s there again, this strange person. I try to gain control by forcing it to do what I do. I do grimaces, it does as well. I laugh and smile, but what laughs back and smiles back, or better to say smiles at me like a maniac, is not me! Can’t be me! I don’t want it to be me!
And a feeling that had been banned from my body for so long, crawls up through my feet, first slowly and then rapidly and lies down heavily on my breast: Fear.
I’m frightened and scared, I can barely breath. I am alone. Could somebody please come and set an end to this mirror madness?
The fear grows. Even after turning away from the framed glass, it feels as if this strange person was still there, as if I wasn’t there anymore. I try to feel myself, to gain back ground under my feet and to tell myself that I am still there and that I am stronger than the stranger. But I don’t feel myself, I’m not there.
Fear paralyses. And paralysed I dare one step after the other, slowly, through the omnipresent uncertainty.
Finally! A familiar sound in front of the door, a key, a shrieking noise. I am not alone anymore.
For an instance my fingertips start getting warmer again and I decide to set an end to all this by going to bed. Tomorrow will be a better day.
A last hesitating glance over my shoulder. It stares back. Does its mouth move? Does mine? Do I smile?
I touch my face, but my fingertips and my face feel unfamiliar. Nothing is familiar anymore.
It’s unfamiliar. It’s uncanny.
Gina Laventura © 2014