Two women are walking toward each other, forming the straight, perpendicular lines of an L. If you looked quickly, you might think a mirror had broken somewhere on an Oklahoma horizon, and one woman had become two. One woman had morphed into a slightly different reflection of herself. Distorted. Like a funhouse mirror.
This is because our lives are like carnivals.
One woman is taller than the other, lighter haired, slimmer. The other is shorter, curvier, darker. Both walk in long strides, high heeled, eyes up and not focused on anything in particular. Each woman’s right foot hits the pavement below the curb at the exact same moment. Each woman’s left foot pulls one step ahead. Each woman hits the halfway mark of a crosswalk, and when a black car pulls up at each crosswalk, both women ignore it. Both women reach the other side of the street at the same moment. The cars, however, do not.
When the women reach the angle of the L, the taller woman stops and lets the shorter woman go past. They cross each other and travel the other’s former path. The shorter woman begins to walk more quickly now, as if traveling another’s path is more dangerous than forging your own.
As if it is. I’ve always felt that way, myself.