New rooms in the House of Mirrors

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She showed me her ID. It didn’t look like her. I took it from her and told her to stand in the corner while I checked it.

I went to the computer and typed in the number on her ID. “Not found.”

I went back to her and told her she wasn’t who she said she was. She didn’t reply. Just looked at the floor. She might have been smiling. I told her again that she wasn’t who she said she was and that her ID was invalid.

One of the Mirrors came in, grinning. He pointed at her and asked what was up. I told him that she wasn’t who she said she was, then showed him her fake ID. He grinned even more and pointed at the photo on the ID.

It took me a few seconds to see it was me, wearing a wig and makeup. I looked like a woman.

The Mirror left the room, laughing.

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They played peek-a-boo in the ruins of the mannequin factory, scampering around the hulks of the machines, frightening the cats.

They played hide-and-seek at the bottom of the sea, oblivious to their own drowning.

They played “What’s the time, Mr Wolf?” in the heart of the iron forest.

They played “It” on the rings of Saturn.

They played chess in someone else’s headspace, until they were evicted.

They played solitaire in a circle of Hell hidden from Dante but revealed to all users of social media.

They played with themselves under the table while your mother served them soup.

They played the parts written for them by the Bird King.

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The birds in Eve’s ribcage panicked and shrieked.

Wolfish eyes watched from behind the curtains as we acted out the seasons of someone else’s life.

It wasn’t supposed to be like this. No one had warned us we would be reduced to marionettes. No one had told us our badly written dialogue would be drowned out by Eve’s birds.

At the end of the first half, during the blackout, I lost my bearings and fell off the stage. It was thirteen years before I hit the floor. During that time I changed into something else: my skin flew off in flakes and my hair thickened into a crown of snakes.

By the time I landed the theatre had been turned into luxury flats. An elevator took me to the top floor, where sluttish mannequins danced motionlessly in bone cages.

—–

House of Mirrors is an ongoing collaboration with artist Viviana Hinojosa. You can see more of it here and here.

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