When I was a girl, I, like many small children with nothing better to do, was addicted to “Alice and Wonderland.”
I found myself in many a timeout after innocently enacting my favourite moments, for example giving my pet rabbit an old stopwatch, which was apparently a family heirloom, whatever that means.
Then there was the time when I stole my mothers red nail-polish and painted our neighbors’ rose-bush. I think my parents were less upset about what the neighbors might come to think than they were about the sinister looking handprints I left on our walls and carpet when I came inside.
I think my father was ready to draw the line after I brought a herd of baby ducks into the living room and ran around trying to honk them like horns—but my mother intervened. She told my father that the disarray in our household would not be settled by sending his 6-year-old to Scandinavian military school, but that the problem was with the cartoons I was watching.
I just did not have a realistic understanding of the world because, in the cartoons I loved so deeply, anything was possible.
But I strongly refused to give up my Alice. After all, she was the love of my young life.
My mother tried to solve the problem by buying “Alice,” a Czech live-action version of ‘Alice and Wonderland.’ However, after an embarrassing incident involving a taxidermist, a chainsaw, and three armed policemen, my mother pushed that tape down the in-sink garbage disposal.
It seemed that we had reached an empass, until a new movie came out, one that was live action, but didn’t involve freaky puppetry and excessive use of sawdust. This was “Alice through the Looking Glass.” And it was marvelous.
After that, my parents found me much easier to handle, as I would sit for hours staring into the mirror. They could use the mirror as a babysitter, in the same way that many parents could use the TV, and they were able to leave me alone with my mirror for days, nearly a week at a time, at which point someone would have to tear me away to feed me and bathe me.
Inside that gorgeous piece of glass, I found my other half.
Look, I don’t know what she’s talking about. I certainly never lived in no mirror. And those hand-prints she’s talking about? They ain’t nail-polish. They’re stains from when I got in a fist-fight with Antonia’s dog. I don’t have a dog, Antony. Whatever. Look, the point is, all of this other half, destiny stuff, it ain’t true. You’re cute, babe. We’ve had some good times, that’s all. The thing about Antony is that he has a hard time expressing his feelings. He needs to be macho, needs to feel tough, doesn’t like to say he’s in love, but he is.
We’ve watched each other from the day we first laid eyes on each other. It’s a quiet sort of love, nearly unspoken; we’ve never even touched each other, not so much as a brush as we moved past each other. But there’s a special sort of push-pull between us, a certain balance of dark and light, menace and affection, male and female, yin and yang.
It hurts sometimes to hear him say he doesn’t love me, but I have to support his choice; if he acted just like me all the time, I might as well fall in love with myself, right?
Still, I can feel it. We were made to be together. I like the way she does her hair.