93: Upon Reflection

on November 8, 2007 in 04: The Body Politick

In Which Mackenzie Is Most Certainly NOT A Lesbian

I followed Steff over to the mirror, full of twisty, bloaty, stomach-punching misgivings about the whole thing. It seemed like there was already a lot of potential for badness in the coming evening… Steff confronting Amaranth, Dee and Steff chafing at each other, Celia and… well, Celia didn’t really cause a lot of problems, no matter what attitude and image she liked to put forward… but I could see that changing really fast if I brought an honest-to-goodness human into the mix.

Especially one so adorably inept around girls as Ian could be.

Deplorably.

I meant deplorably.

“You know, I don’t even know his room number or what hall he’s in,” I said. “I don’t even know if he has a mirror.”

“That should so not be a problem,” Steff said. “Mirror, mirror, all reflectary… show to me the student directory!”

The surface of the mirror rippled like water and our images began to shimmer and dissolve, replaced with black block writing on a cream-colored background, displaying two columns of names beginning with the letter A. The surface stabilized as the image came into focus, though it retained that slight fluidity that lets you know the mirror’s still active. It was kind of neat… I’d never actually used a directory look-up. I hadn’t ever really been much for mirrors, period… they were a little too up-close and personal, as long-distance communication went.

“You don’t actually have to rhyme at it, do you?” I asked. My grandmother still had a rhyming mirror, but that’s because everything she owned was older than really old dirt… I’d never heard of any modern mirror that couldn’t tell you were talking to it without the poetry.

“I don’t think so,” Steff said, shrugging. “I guess I’m just used to doing it that way… my dad’s mirrors were all ancient, and my mom couldn’t afford one. Anyway, what’s Ian’s last name?”

“Mason,” I said.

The mirror’s glossy surface trembled slightly with the sound of our voices, and at the word “Mason” the columns of text began to zoom upwards until they reached the letter M. It stopped with “Mason” highlighted in the center of the pane. “Mason, Ian” was the only one.

“What an astonishing coincidence,” Steff said. “My middle name is comma, too… Weyland Hall, Room 220.”

“How do we tell if he has a mirror?” I asked.

“I think that’s what the little oval after his name means,” Steff said. “Actually, I’m pretty sure all the rooms in Weyland come with mirrors… they redid the whole building the year before I started.”

“I guess it must be nice,” I said, though I don’t think I could have slept comfortably in a room with an active mirror in it. I’ll be honest: they gave me the willies. “So… um…”

“Mack Blaise for Ian Mason in Weyland, 220,” Steff said, addressing the mirror. The image of the directory dissolved, replaced with swirling purple-gray mist. Steff stepped sideaways, out of the direct view of the frame. I wanted to do the same

“So it’s ‘Mack’, now?” Ian asked.

He was half-stripped, or more… I could just see the very top of his boxer shorts, to the point where I probably wouldn’t have known they were boxers if they hadn’t been the same pair he’d been wearing before. Shirt off, it was even more obvious how much less scrawny than me he actually was. He wasn’t, you know, “built”… all muscley and stuff… I mean, honestly, I find that kind of gross looking, anyway.

Ian without his shirt wasn’t gross.

I really needed to tell him I was on a public mirror before I said anything else.

Assuming I could even make myself say anything else.

“Okay, I guess you’re new at this,” Ian said eventually. “If you’re not going to say anything, then you’re supposed to either cut off the reflection or step out of view before I answer. Giggling is optional.”

“Dinner,” I blurted out.

“What?”

“We’re having dinner for chicken,” I stammered. “Do you want to come?” Double entendre, meet blush. “Over for dinner, I mean. To eat chicken.” Then, just in case he thought I was conveying an invitation on behalf of the Consul or something, I clarified. “With me… and my friends.”

“Over to Harlowe?” he asked.

The spell of half-naked flesh was broken.

“What’s wrong with Harlowe?” I asked. “You didn’t have any problem coming over here to get your…”

“I’m just making sure that’s where you meant!” he said. “There’s a crazy rumor that every once in a while the dining hall serves actual meat, you know.”

“Oh,” I said. “No, I meant over here. My friend… well, a couple of my friends are cooking.”

The sound of a key turning in a lock and a door opening came from the mirror. Ian gave a little yelp and jumped back, relative to the mirror. I could see that he was naked except for his boxers, and the button fly was open, exposing some of his pubic hair. It felt… odd, seeing it like that. It wasn’t quite exciting. More… stirring, like the tiniest whiff of an entrancing fragrance.

“Hey, close that, will you?” he said to whoever’d just come in, presumably to his roommate.

He stepped out of view and I heard drawers opening and closing, muffling some conversation.

“Can you clear out for a few?” I heard Ian say, still out-of-frame. “I’m talking to my girlfriend.”

Girlfriend?

I was his girlfriend?

In your face, latent homosexuality… I had a boyfriend!

Ian came back in front of the mirror, pulling a flannel shirt on over a white t-shirt.

“When do you want me there?” he asked.

“Any time,” I said, then shook myself. “I mean, whenever is fine… dinner won’t be ready for, like, an hour or so, but… you can… hang.”

“Okay,” he said. “I’ll be over in a bit. Um…”

“What?” I asked.

“Is it okay if I bring my lute?” he asked. “I mean, do you want me to?”

“Sure,” I said. The word seemed longer than usual.

“Sure”… such a stupid word. It sounded like “sh”, but it didn’t even have an “h.” Who came up with such a stupid word, and why was I using it? There were so many other things I could have said: “okay”… “fine”… “whatever.” “Whatever”, especially. It was definitely a “whatever” sort of question. I mean, I didn’t even like most modern music, so why did I care about his stupid lute?

“Sure,” I said again. Actually, I sighed it… I softly gushed it. What the fuck was wrong with me? “That would be… great.”

No, it wouldn’t! There was nothing especially great about it at all. Why had my mouth picked this exact moment to reverse its nearly decade-long trend against dishonesty?

“Okay,” he said. “I’ll see you in a bit, Mack… Mackenzie.”

He turned away, and the mirror fogged over and then changed to reflect the hallway once more.

“Well, he’s kind of a cute little dork,” Steff said.

“Don’t you call him a dork!” I said angrily, rounding on her. Steff danced back a half-step, though her expression was mirthful.

“You’re both cute little dorks,” she said. “I think you should get together and make lots of beautiful baby dorklings.”

“Don’t even joke about that!” I said, aghast.

“Oh, don’t even pretend,” Steff said. “Maybe he won’t ever be your personal favorite, but if you could have seen the look on your face when he called you his girlfriend…”

“No, I mean, about me having babies,” I said. “Period. At all. I can’t do that.”

“Oh, shit, sweetie, I’m sorry… I didn’t know,” Steff said.

“No, I didn’t mean… I mean, morally,” I said. “I could not, in good conscience, have a kid.”

Steff gave me a look that was half skepticism, half shock, half really bad math skills, and half pity.

“I didn’t choose to be born,” I explained. “But if I had a baby, I’d be willfully bringing more evil into the world.”

“Then it’s a good thing you’re a big ol’ lezzy, huh, then?” Steff deadpanned, rather than arguing the point… though I could tell she wanted to.

I could have hit her. Okay, so I probably couldn’t have… but I sort of wanted to.

Well, not really.

I giggled a little, instead.

“I guess so,” I said.

It hit me for the first time since the earlier revelation that I had no idea how Steff counted, as far as that kind of thing went. I mean, she was a girl… but not physically… so it didn’t seem fair to say I was a lesbian for being physically attracted to her, and I kind of figured that the mental and emotional portion of the attraction didn’t really count, either.

“Anyway, on a completely different subject,” Steff said, “wasn’t the plan to have him come over in an hour or so, to minimize potential drama exposure?”

Aw, hell.

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One Response to “93: Upon Reflection”

  1. Zukira Phaera says:

    If Mack fed on feet she’d be half way well fed right now, being half human and all. She seems to be clear up to the knee.

    Current score: 3