06 May 2020

#52writing cards: Prompts from Shaun Levin's Writing Maps - no. 7

A version of this prompt appears on the Write Around the House Writing Map illustrations by Stephen Longwill.
I. Full-Length Mirror

I have only two mirrors in my house in Japan! I have a self-standing mirror made of wood that the previous occupant gave to me so I can do a full-body check of my appearance before heading out the door. I keep this in my closet and then pull it out when I need it just to save on space (Japanese apartments run a little on the smaller side).

I do a lot of cosplay fittings in front of this mirror. Cosplay (dressing up as a character from books, comics, games, movies, television, anime, or manga) is one of my hobbies. I started getting into it around 2012, long after I stopped doing theater, because it still gives me a chance to step into a character, but on my own terms. I don't make a costume entirely from scratch -- I don't have a sewing machine or that kind of skill. What I do is take preexisting pieces and add to them, or alter them, into the character I wish to portray. There's no real rhyme or reason to the characters I select to cosplay except that the qualification is to be a cool outfit that I can figure out how to make.

In front of my mirror I have tested out Jack Sparrow, Bellatrix Lestrange, and The Count(ess) of Monte Cristo. Two are from movies and one is from an anime. I hope I can try on future costumes in front of it soon. I'm currently working on Lucifer from Obey Me!, a cell phone otome game. They really made his demonic form look sharp and debonair and it looked simple enough for me to figure out. The event I was to wear it to -- Anime Japan 2020 -- was cancelled because of coronavirus. I can only hope it will resume in 2021, or I'll be heartbroken.

A quick perusal of my portrait in front of the full-length mirror: I'm not wearing makeup and my face is shiny; my hair is simultaneously frizzy and oily thanks to the humidity and heat; I'm wearing glasses because I ran out of contacts and my replacements are taking forever to arrive; and I realize I will never be able to wear the tank top I have on now in public in Japan because all you can see is cleavage (Japan is a conservative country when it comes to exposing your chest). I also can't stop appraising my very large gut because I've gained so much weight from being depressed for about nine months.

It's 12:14 pm in Japan right now and it's already 82 degrees, and I look sweaty and gross!

II. Washroom Mirror

My other mirror is in the shower/laundry room area right above my sink. It is quite large and I have to clean it all the time because I tend to have toothpaste spatter and soap spatter when I brush my teeth and wash my face. 😅

The sink is quite deep and wide, and there is a special attachment in the sink that allows you to "shower" whatever item you put in the sink. When I first got here I kept thinking it was for washing hair but now I think it's for spot treating clothing since my washing machine is right there.

I have never used this attachment except on accident when I've turned the handle the wrong way and sprayed myself in the face or hit the wall. The handles move in the opposite direction from back home so I can't tell you the amount of times I've blasted myself.

Besides washing my face and brushing my teeth, I'll do my hair here, whether it's blow-drying it or pinning it up or dyeing it because it's gone prematurely white. I'm lucky because the hair dye colors here have a wide variety of black and dark brown shades, so it's fun to make subtle changes. The only downside is that I always make a huge mess dyeing my hair and have obliterated so many towels when I've stepped out of the shower and there's a bit of washoff for the couple days after I've colored it.

Another thing I do in front of this mirror is pluck my eyebrows, so for my self-portrait assessment here, I'm going to talk about my eyebrows. They have always been big and bushy and for that I am so grateful because we've had thick eyebrows on trend for a few years now, yay! They are a pain in the butt to pluck (I always do it myself) but I'm never in danger of overplucking...

Except back in the late 90s and early 2000s, when pencil-thin eyebrows and fishhook eyebrows were all the rage. Yuck!

Anyway, today's eyebrows show some growth after I had plucked them two weeks ago, and the number one annoyance is how many white hairs have come in. They are too numerous to pluck and would cause some funky shapes -- like Swiss cheese eyebrows! -- so I've started to dye them when I color my hair.

III. I'm too lazy to do this last part, lol!

There was supposed to be an original story about a character looking into a mirror and then somebody watching them do it. Well...I wrote a scene like this in my graduate thesis, The Name and the Key, and I thought about including an excerpt of that scene but didn't have the book on hand to do so. And I'm once again spent mentally so I'm leaving off the most difficult part of this prompt...oops. 😅

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