Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Wheel Of Fortune

I looked into the mirror, there on the street. He was an Asian man. I was an Asian man. With a camera and flannel. I was a man. He looked at a woman in the mirror. He was a woman. I looked into a mirror on the street, and there I was, a man. There was a camera, a flannel, a full cup of curiosity. I was there, a man. A man with breasts, a man with a camera. A mirror revealed. There I was, on the street, with my camera, my curiosity, my heavy cup.

I looked into the mirror, and as I looked, I saw that I could have been her, there, on the other side of the street. There, on the sidewalk, a Latin man with a briefcase. A woman with a tiny white dog peeking from her purse. A flip of the wheel, the crowd chants, a smile of white teeth gleams into the camera. I watch from a blue reclining chair in a far away living room, a chair I have never seen, a chair I bought, a house I sleep in, the phantom in the mirror.

I look into the mirror, and there they are, a thousand reflections. She with her long blond hair, the man with the cigar, a naked child running through a mountainous garbage pile, the little dog with three legs, the man with his camera and a flannel shirt wrapped around his waist. There is the mirror, right on the street. There is the lens and the black eye of curiosity and an open iris hiding behind a wall of glass connected to a finger. There is a mirror, and I stare back with my own black eye. With my own purse and sweater, with my own ceramic cup that steams with fire. They all walk by, holding an ounce of me, a fragment of my reflection. I hear the sound of fortune, the tat-a-tat-tat of the wheel as it spins.

A flip of the hand, a tug of the wrist. The audience chants. The smile, so white and fake frozen. The lights of the studio audience dance: red, green, blue. They move. Lasered strobes of attention jumping from one object to another. Hop, flip, hip. Hope. The man, the dog, the woman and her smile. They could have all been me, and I watch through a lens, through a mirror that allows me to see, even months later, what I was and who I am and what we all could have been with just a slight turn of the hand, a spin of the wheel, and a jump in time.

No comments: