Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Mirror Friend

Today I had the pleasure of going to see "A Chorus Line" with a dear friend of mine. Her wisdom is deeper than mine. Her heart is more tender. Her vision is more clear. She is my "mirror" friend. Let me explain.

After we parked in the Hobby Center garage, we boarded the elevator to whisk us seven flights to the ground. The show was due to begin in precisely fifteen minutes, and we had to hit up Will Call prior to seating. The elevator was packed. We stood shoulder to shoulder. As it happened, I was in the middle of a little anecdote about a slightly bothersome and very entertaining story about an acquaintance. The tale was neither malicious nor favorable, yet it involved an animated mimic of her mannerisms. Excited to share, I continued talking throughout the elevator ride.

When we evacuated, my friend made a light-hearted comment suggesting that now everyone around us understood the situation I had just recounted. Although I am quite sure my Mirror Friend was not bothered in the least, her powers, her value as my Mirror Friend, suddenly struck.

You see, a Mirror Friend is a teacher. She shows you how to see yourself. She forces you to hear yourself. In this moment, just outside of the elevator, she forced me to face a very ugly truth that I find intolerable: I had not only shared an unfavorable tale about an innocent person, but I had, in doing so, created an unfavorable scene casting myself as the villain.

I realized that although my behavior was neither kind nor entirely rare, other friends hadn't ever shown me how ugly said behavior could be. Despite the fact that my Mirror Friend has no intention of the service she does for me, I am quite sure that she would be proud. I just wonder what value I have to offer her.

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