My curtain is crooked. I stand in front of the window with my arms crossed and my eyes squinted and hope that I am seeing wrong, that it is actually straight as an arrow, back and forth zip zip perfectly, purely horizontal, and all I can do is wonder if this is some kind of sick metaphor for my life. Are you trying to tell me something, universe? Because I am not listening to poor metaphors about crookedness and misguided effort. I am not.
My curtain is hung. That is the important part. I climbed the ladder and drilled the screws and threaded the fabric and fitted things into places and stepped back (after climbing off the ladder, certainly) and there it was, above my window. A curtain.
Which is crooked.
But I could be wrong. I do not have so much a sense of back and forth horizontalness. I don’t think I see quite straight. I look at pictures of myself, and I am always convinced that my glasses are crooked. I eye a floor, and am convinced it slopes. The first thing I do, when I return to the salon’s reception desk, to pay for my fancy eyebrow grooming, is ask anxiously, "They’re not crooked, are they? Because I think they’re crooked."
The receptionist usually makes a little snotty face and his eyes bounce from one side of my head to the other and he will say, "No. No, they’re not crooked." And I laugh it off and then pull out a compact in the hallway or glare at myself in the elevator’s reflective surfaces, and crinkle up my forehead and am convinced that I am terribly lopsided and will never, not ever, find love.
Because no one will love a lopsided maggoty person, of course.
Maybe it’s not a metaphor about my life being all wrong and terrible and lopsided. Maybe this is some kind of deep metaphor about how I am always convinced that my life is all crazy and out-of-whack or I am convinced that I, that I am bent and wacky and unfixable when in truth–when the truth is, when the fact of the matter is, when what it all comes down to, eventually and in the end and once you get right down to it–is that I’m just seeing things, mis-seeing worrying about things that shouldn’t be worried about, aren’t to be worried about, aren’t there to be worried about. And that right there, that’s the kind of metaphor I can listen to. Except that my curtain really is crooked.