Roadside Market


Mirror, mirror


The mirror looked like something out of a fairy tale. I glimpsed it from the back, in the dark, from the window of a moving vehicle as we crossed the alley on a quest to pick up a load of fire wood. In one of the houses near the bus stop lives a tree trimmer (in fairy tale parlance he would be the ‘woodcutter’, because there’s always a woodcutter) who regularly puts out heaps of wood left over from his jobs for people to scavenge. And people do. Not least of all myself. 

“Look! A mirror!” I said to the Curmudgeonly Lion.

“Yup.” Said the Lion, who didn’t stop driving. 

I told myself to let it go: we already have a distressing abundance of stuff, that I have to find places for and clean around and generally makes life a lot of work. I didn’t need a new mirror. Until I’d seen it, I didn’t know that I wanted one. 

It was still on my mind the next day when I walked to the bus stop. I decided to cut down the alley to see if it was still there… You know, just to know. 

It was. 

Someone had moved the mirror so that it now leaned against a telephone pole with the glass facing out. It was even better than I remembered: if ever there were a fairy tale object, this was it in its ornate, gilt frame there among the trash bins and backalley detritus. I was now even more certain: I had to have it.

“Mirror is still there.” I texted to the Lion. I sent a photo. 

“Do you want it?” He responded. He asked it like a question, but one that he already knew the answer to. 

“If you’re willing to pick it up.” I responded, hopefully. “Free Christmas gift?”

“Ok.”

And that’s how we came to own a new mirror. 

I haven’t figured out where to hang it: the bad news is that the frame is made of some kind of lightweight foam that’s just painted gold (in fairy tale parlance, this would be ‘leprechaun gold’), so it’s worth nothing, but the good news is that makes it weigh almost nothing so I can hang it anywhere. And it’s not like we paid money for it. 

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~ by Gwydhar Gebien on December 8, 2017.

One Response to “Roadside Market”

  1. My great Aunt gave me a mirror similar to that. She said it came from a turn of the last century bordello in Santa Cruz CA.

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