by Faith Shuker-Haines
To Maria, Emily and Io
What if this once happened to us?
And to Stephen King
I’m just trying to be you, man
A mirror reflects a different picture depending on where in the room you’re standing. What does a mirror reflect when there’s nobody in the room to see it?
I remember exactly what drew me to that place that day. I was visiting Tuscany because I was in the area, and of course, wanted to stop by and see all the old places. Needless to say, the town had lost a lot of glamour since my boyhood. What had once been majestic hideaways full of potential and passwords had become simply vacant lots that, quite frankly, smelled really bad. The movie theater had added seven screens and lost any semblance of charm, and Tiny’s Ice Cream was gone. It was, to be blunt, disappointing.
What was funny, though, was how much I had forgotten. I felt as though I hadn’t thought about my childhood in years, and this was not so far from the truth. It was as though the place I had spent so many impressionable years had made absolutely no mark on my mind. This struck me as rather odd. Isn’t a person’s childhood supposed to determine everything about them? Aren’t all of a man’s phobias, psychoses, and needs for medication supposed to be attributable to some problem he faced as a boy? If Tuscany had done anything at all to me, I had no awareness of it.