Skip to main content

I stand in a gray spectrum. On my right is black. On my left is white. At the center is a mirror.

Some days, I walk right. Other days, I walk left. Every day, I return to the center—the mirror. In the glass, there is no reflection, only color. Great, vibrant hues of magnificent blue, red, and yellow coalesce into a splatter that trumps the works of mother nature’s rainbows.

Looking at the grimed mirror, I cock my head. The colors morph into an outlandish reflection of me—sometimes horned, sometimes sharp-toothed, sometimes alien, sometimes beast, all times human—a colorful human, dimensional, layered. It smiles at me—a flat, monochrome block of cardboard—but I do not return the gesture. I can’t.

The reflection laughs and taunts, derides and ridicules, berates and scolds. “Who are you?” it incessantly sings. “I am emotion. I am personality. I am the world of my choosing, yet you are blank, flat, and chained to your spectrum.”

With indignation, I run right with no plans of returning, drowning in oceans of black, of waves of never-ending valor. Deception. Strife. Struggle. Bitterness. Selfishness. Complexity. Morality. Towards the end, with the last of my anger simmering away, I find myself back at the center, facing right.

My reflection beckons at me, goading, seducing, cajoling. Looking at the cracked mirror, I raise the corner of my lips in a mock imitation of a smile, and my reflection claps with glee. 

“Who are you?” it squeals again. “I am expression. I am culture. I am the person of my choosing, yet you are impassive, indifferent, and trapped in your cardboard form.”

In curiosity, I run left, basking in infinite skies of white, of clouds of wistful contentment. Happiness. Peace. Tranquility. Humility. Benevolence. Complexity. Morality. Towards the end, the final wisps of my curiosity answered, I find myself back at the center, facing left.

The mirror shatters, and colors reach beyond the frame. My reflection is still there, studying me with an amused grin. A lone finger points at me. 

“Who are you?”

Approaching the mirror, I stand before my reflection and answer, “I am you. I am emotion, personality, expression, and culture. I am the God of my own life and choosing.”

“Correct!” my reflection cries as it fades, the tails of its laughter echoing. I dare to touch the color seeping into the gray spectrum, to feel the onrush of striking emotion. My skin buzzes, my head throbs, and my heart bangs. Symphonies play in my ears, and emotions flare within me as vivid hues paint the gray spectrum, blessing it with distinctive culture and personality.

Joy reverberates through me. As the colors thicken, my narrow world expands into a vast universe, where trillions of lives combine and interact. Behind me, I feel the heat of my reflection’s attention on my neck. Wheeling around, I stare at myself, at my humanity. 

And I genuinely smile.

About Author

Gina Kotinek

Gina Kotinek is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of the SPOT Lit. She can usually be found hunched over her computer, reading, writing, or searching for the art of conquering carpal tunnel and tendonitis.