The Twin in the Mirror

	I catch a quick look at myself in the mirror and linger longer there 
than I originally intended.  I can't help it- the glass seems to hold my soul 
captive and my eyes won't turn away from it.  Not that I'd want to.  No, 
there's something about mirrors that makes me want to stare into them all day.
	But then I remember that I don't have all day.  I have maybe five 
seconds- tops -to try and catch the bus.  Otherwise it's hitch-hiking to school 
for me.  I tear my gaze away from the captivating glass and run outside, to 
just arrive at the bustop the same time the bus does.
	I sigh as I take a seat and realize that I forgot my half-written 
English paper on my desk.  Never mind that it was only half-written; I could 
have at least gotten half credit for it.  Now all I'll get is a zero.
	Everything I seem to do lately has wound up half-finished.  My focus 
has gone; it's wandered off to strange, faraway, exotic places without me.  And 
without it, I can't seem to finish anything.  English papers?  Nope.  History 
reports?  Not a chance.  That story I've been working on for nearly two years 
now?  Probably will never get finished.  And as a result I'm listless and bored 
most of the time.  Why bother starting something that will never be completd?
	The school comes within sight now.  A big, ugly brick prison, it stands 
as a reminder of all my recent failures and shortcomings and makes me shudder 
with disgust.  The bus pulls to a stop in the circle, and I get up and walk 
into another day in hell.
	I get through my morning classes just as I always do- by daydreaming.  
Except today, I don't daydream about anything in particular or stay on one 
topic like I usually do.  I hop around, wherever my thoughts seem to lead me.  
This seems wrong and leaves me feeling a bit off.
	Finally seventh period rolls around, but at a time when normally I 
would be perfectly happy to sit and eat and talk with friends, I feel only this 
restlessness within my soul.  It makes me wander around the corridors until the 
second bell rings, when the hall monitor asks me politely to proceed to my next 
class.  I think about telling her not to worry, that I'm just missing lunch, 
but for some reason I don't open my mouth to speak.  So I head to my locker and 
get my lunch, but before I can reach the cafeteria, I decide to step into the 
bathroom and gather my thoughts.  I'm not in the mood to try and make nice 
conversation with artificial people.
	The bathroom is completely devoid of all life save myself.  How 
unusual.  Normally it's crammed with pushy people trying to get into a stall to 
smoke or trying to get in front of one of the mirrors to apply more cakey 
makeup.  Yet today, there is no one in here.  I put my things down on the 
ground and head for the sink to wash my hands.  As I rub the waxy soap between 
my hands, I look up into the mirror and am caught again.
	I stare for a long enough time that I lose track of how long I've been 
staring, moving this way and that to admire one thing or another.  My hair is 
first- the way it moves uniformly, and the way the light hits it, highlighting 
parts and placing in shadow others.  My eyes come next.  I could spend days 
just looking into my eyes- the irises are such an unusual colour, and next to 
the darkness of my pupils, they look so light.  Then I study my nose and, 
finally, my lips.
	I only stop studying myself when someone tries to tear me away from my 
reflection, my twin in the mirror.  I shout until my throat becomes hoarse, and 
fight to get back to the mirror.  I succeed, but only until whoever tried the 
first time comes back with three other people.  They subdue me, overpower me, 
and lead me away from the mirror.  I try to break free from their grasps, but I 
fail.
	Ripped away from the faraway place where my focus has fled, I barely 
notice my surroundings.  Someone's trying to talk to me with a nice, soothing 
voice, and it does help to stop me from rocking back and forth on the chair 
that they've placed me on, but it can't bring me back from my half-formed 
thoughts.
	How do you catch a unicorn?  I can't remember the answer.  I think 
maybe the soothing voice is telling me, but I doubt it.  Why am I asking myself 
how to catch a unicorn?
	The answer doesn't come to me now.  Years later, after I have been 
diagnosed semi-catatonic, I will remember that you catch a unicorn by placing 
it in front of a mirror.  It cannot help looking at its twin in the mirror, 
marvelling over how graceful and lithe it is.  When I realize this, I will snap 
out of this semi-catatonic state that I have been living in for years and 
recognize myself for what my soul really is.  I never would have seen my soul 
for what it really was, had it not been for the mirror.  After all, the only 
way to recognize the soul's true nature is to see its twin in the mirror.