Some days I wake up feeling dry and swollen. The mirrors in our house are not kind. The one we pass all the time, the one in the hall, is literally distorted and subtly endows you with bulging squatness. The “good” mirror or rather, the one that doesn’t lie, the one I get dressed in front of, is tucked at the top of the stairs under a sloping roof. Standing in front of it is liable to get me a bump on the head but it’s less painful. I suspect the house was built by giants forced to collaborate with toddlers.
I am of average height yet have to stand on stools or strain and curse a blue streak on tiptoes to open or close most of the windows. In the kitchen there is the added joy of ensuring my stomach is over the counter in order to reach the window catch. The bathroom mirror, which is the front of an unusually small cabinet with shelves that we can only fill with miniature versions of real toiletries, only reflects the top half of my face. Because of this, I feel the illogical need to step closer to it as well as stand on my tiptoes to see my whole face. And nobody’s face looks great that close. Some days, when the sun is shining and I’m not tired, it doesn’t look so bad. Today it’s grey. And my eyes sting.