Sis amplexibus Amor alios mututa memini et amoris in mutationes memini.
May you be embraced by a love beyond recall that alters others
and a love within recall that alters you.
“In Resurface my character accepted that he’d never see himself clearly again in any mirror but that the reward was that he’d never be trapped by one again either. That way I could start to free the others. By the end I didn’t exist to myself except as this blur in the mirror. I lost all sense of my body though others saw me. Usually shirtless for some reason. It’s a fantasy movie not a how to documentary on breaking a spell.”
A dark blue SUV pulled up and honked.
“That’s for me.” He opened the door and beckoned for his mother to come in to the house.
The window wound down and her head briefly appeared shaking no.
“Guess not today. I tried.” He pulled Harris out to the front steps. “Look dude I don’t want to seem so flash about meeting you. I’ve had one Da all these years. I’m not looking to replace him but well, you and I, we’re connected. We have to build on that.”
“Beside keeping it from the press you mean?” Harris didn’t want to joke but he didn’t know what to say. “I’ve only been a father for the past hour or so. You have my number?” He gave Marshall his dE.tail business card. “Call me before you leave town if you have a chance, son.”
Marshall tucked the card into his pocket and dashed to the SUV.
The word ‘son’ made Harris weak in the knees. Weaker than when he realized he did have feelings for Alex even though he didn’t know what those feelings were or if he could ever express them.
In the house he glanced at himself in the hallway full length mirror. He was big. Funny when he didn’t see his reflection he forgot all about his body. About his size. He was more like Marshall’s Mirror Mind character than he’d expected. A man with no sense of self except as some sort of reflection.
That old Who song came into his head. ‘Can you see the real me. Can you?’ Only for him the lyric was Can I see the real me? Can I? or was the actual question do I want to see the real me? Is there a real me to see? If there’s a real me do I want to see it?
*43 Sunday afternoon*
When Harris got home from his folks he found the Mirror Mind dvds still the bag his mother had given him a few weeks earlier. They could be more compelling now that he had met Marshall. He put Mirror Mind 1: Mist Shapen into his dvd player and watched it.
It was pretty much as he remembered. Sullen and generically attractive actors mumbling about their sense of self, purpose and unhappiness to fluttery songs by tentative but tearful male or female vocalists that forced more emotion into the morose dialogue than was there. What he didn’t notice before was how much flesh was on display. He supposed that’s what really sold the movies – safe male flesh for young females to imagine rescuing with their pure love from nicely back lit sadness.
It was unsettling to see Marshall, who for reason’s known to marketing, only wore a towel in several scenes, wrestle with another nearly naked actor. It was like seeing his Dad naked. He wanted to turn away.
By the end of the Mist Shapen he’d seen enough for one day. Mirror Mind 2: Shatter Day could wait for another day.
*44 – Monday*
When he went to the subway the next morning the first thing he spotted was his picture on the front of both the free newspapers.
“Mind star meets family.” Was the headline over a picture of him and Marshall on the front porch of his folks house. On both was the same picture of him and Marshall looking almost directly at the camera. Harris didn’t notice any press hanging around unless they were hidden the bushes across the street.
The pictures were the same but cropped differently for each front page. But in each of them there was enough of his body for him to contrast it with Marshall’s. He was fat. Why had it taken him this long to see that. Mist on the mirror.
As he rode to work he read the article.
“Marshall Caldwell took a break from shooting the fourth instalment of the box office smash series Mirror Mind in Vancouver to visit his family here in Toronto. He told reporters that the shoot is going well and that he was happy to be Toronto for gala premiere of Mirror Mind 3: Silver Resurfaces for the FACE Foundation fundraiser tonight at the Pantages Theatre.
“The FACE Foundation is dedicated to providing free facial reconstructive surgery to underprivileged children.”
When he got to work Detective Alverez was waiting for him.
“I have a message I think you better listen to. Any place private we can use?”
“I’ll see if the consult room is free.”
The consult room was to the left of the dE.tail supply storage room. It was rarely used as nearly all their clients were online and if they needed face to face would use Skype. He glanced in. It was empty of people but cluttered with samples.
“Yeah we can use this room.” he pushed boxes of SofSkinX aside to make enough room on the conference table.
“Before we start I should tell you that Frances, now Kate, Green got in touch with us.”
“She has no more memory of meeting you that you do have of meeting her.”
Detective Alverez took her laptop out, plugged a memory stick into it.
“The sound quality isn’t great but you’ll hear it well enough.” She clicked open a file.
“If ya think that fat fuck rescued that bitch from ME ya are sadly mistaken. Just ask the asshole you nabbed …” Det Alverez stopped the recording. “He tells us details about the assaults that we’ve never released to the public.”
“This guy is still out there? Who did I interrupt the other night?” Harris picked at a catchup spill on his Ghostbusters tee-shirt. He had thought it was clean he put it on in the morning.
“Domestic assault. It was her ex. We didn’t say anything to the press to give us time to continue our investigations with less public pressure.”
She advanced the recording. “I’m skipping right to the end.” She let it play. “And warn that fat faggot that the next time he won’t be so lucky. If he thinks he’s going to get face time for my sweat he’s going to sorry. He could be the next. You stupid cops can’t do anything about it.”
“Is that a real voice?” Harris asked. “It sounds electronic.”
“Who ever this is has used one of those kiddie voice modulators. You can pick them up at dollar stores now.” She took one out of her briefcase and spoke into it. “He could be the next.”
“You sound exactly like the caller.”
“You noticed.” Detective Alverez frowned. “Voice recog doesn’t help either. With such distortion there is no voice pattern we can isolate. Can’t discern if its male or female.”
“You suspect the stalker could be female?”
“No. You’re as bad the media when it comes to jumping to conclusions. We weren’t decided if we should inform you. We aren’t letting the media know we have right wrong guy. The guy we caught was the right one for the assault we caught him for but he’s not the subway stalker. He was just a shlub who drank too much and was trying to scare his girlfriend back into his pants.”
“The stalker is going to go after me?” Great, that’s all he needed on top of everything else that was going on. He was paranoid enough when strangers approached him thanks to the curse.
“No, but it was fair to tell he was still out there.”
“Thanks, I guess.”
The morning was thankfully undemanding. Even Tavi’s texts were minimal other than to thank everyone for being on top of things there was little to do but that they’d better enjoy this lull. Plus there were new skin care samples in the consult room. Why couldn’t get a decent colocate account? All he had to do was look after a few details on the Sport Spot to adjust.
Without the usual keyboard pounding Harris wasn’t sure all his co-workers where there. It seems like hours before he heard the call of the Horned Owl. But once it started it peeped out rapidly for the next hour or so.
He went down to the deli in the office building. Ordered his usual deluxe mini-pizza but couldn’t eat it all. He saw each bite reflected in a mirror or swelling him in a newspaper photo.
When Harris got back to work there was an envelope propped against his monitor. Inside were invites to the FACE Foundation red carpet fundraiser gala for Mirror Mind 3 that night. Tickets for himself and a friend. A full press kit that included the soundtrack cd. Along with a note from Marshall.
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