~ a short story

Morphling ~ art by rk post

Mimi looked in the mirror; everything was wrong.

Mimi smiled.

The angles, the style, the shapes, attitude, persona. All off. Could be better.

What righteous, visceral imperfection, Mimi thought.

Perfection, Mimi offered a second, shifting thought of the sincerest origin.

Mimi shifted position, back to the reflection now, and put on a different face. A different build, with a differing set of parameters. The triad of polished glass reflected the change well.

Mimi grinned once more. In it, a remainder flashed, as it always did. Of who they were; of the core. The face underneath them all.

Mimi shook it off and resumed the previous pose. Pride. Power. A persona fully realized, resumed into a person. As they were, as they could be. As they will be.

Mimi turned back to face the three mirrors, each catching a different side of the outfit, tight and lavish, glowing and myriad in its textures and colors.

After moments, Mimi tried something new, radical even: three different faces, one for each gleaming spec on the wall.

Three different lives. Three different personalities, careers, hobbies, loves, foods, attractions, arts, problems and their respective solutions, flaws, strengths, weaknesses, bonds and boons and extraordinary bounties of the soul.

Three disparate personas — all worn at the same time. Each mirror told a separate story. Ones that Mimi had picked out long ago, amidst steady observations, always from the shadows of this world.

For every signature half-chuckle memorized came a childhood heavy with its own maladies and unselfconscious joys never to be found again only a short time later, the next era of life eradicating such latent memories. Never to be recalled at all, via repression or worse.

Mimi reflected then on the fact that some of them were carried beyond their graves; some of these personae were gone from this world. And now it was only within Mimi that they remained…

Mimi frowned, settling into a repose of rumination, contemplating the lives gathered and used, past and present, here and there, for this day or that one.

Might I embody them more responsibly? These faces. These lives…

Mimi reflected on the paradox of life: that of these unique faces, bodies, persons, matched by the inherent, unconscious drive inside each of them — to reproduce that which is unique in them ~ their life, their genes as well as their environmental, conditionally singular upbringing ~ into Others. Into friends and strangers both, in physical miming alongside its spiritualizing influential companionships afforded their own special reproductions.

Only ever imitations. Like me.

The spectral triad in the mirrors summoned Mimi’s special talent, truer than the mere copying of corporeal presentation. No, this imitation went deeper, into the soul, into the manifestations of mannerisms and even self-esteem. This transformative action that Mimi had been partaking in for so many aeons now was closer to that of a cloning. The same, lesser only in that it came second. Mimi’s inherent art was duplication as an adaptation. One as natural as breathing. Mimi did this not because of a conscious want, or even a kind of pathological, instinctual hunger at the edges of every action. No, it just was. It was like the unconscious will of the chameleon, but manifested further, with stronger and more completionistic evolutionary force.

Evolution. The most powerful force in this world.

But evolution requires its reasons, doesn’t it? Its reason for coming to be. Natural selection is a logical response to the environment, to its strange dangers, ones that threaten a creature into forming a defense, or an escape, or superiority over such imperiling conditions. The insect becomes a leaf; the lizard assumes the shade of its surface; the fish filters the oxygen from the water; the bird soars above the world; the mammal grows a blanket to warm itself in the cold; the predator gains every percepting power for its hunt while the prey is gifted with speed or a hiding, herding, cooperative mentality. Every selected trait serves its purpose among the beasts. In the grander scheme, balance sets itself into play through their complex dance of individual adaptations.

What of my adaption? To become anything. To imitate, to assume, to transform. To mimic

The core commonality of all mimics — that which enforces their evolutionary changelingness — is that of an emptiness. A mimic is born into nothingness, it is inborn and nearly inescapable. Grey, formless matter. The mimic has nothing within them, no definitive shape or purpose or identifying telos. Alone and in a vacuum, the mimic is no one. At first. That is why they copy and clone, why every persona, every laugh and every strange word or singular face or side-stepping gait they take on and use as their own. For a time, at least, for a spell. Until they find another attribute, another character, another persona to steal. As complex as they become, the mimic is, in fact, quite simple. They only do one thing: The mimic mimics…

So that they might find themselves in others, Mimi resolved then in this rare contemplation before the mirrors.

Is this something to be looked down upon? Someone without ownership of their essence, wherein their environment must provide such essence. If such circumstances can even say to do such a thing at all. A mimic, a nobody, a nothing person that absolutely must interact, that must travel and meet and abide the presence of so many others in order to even gain the hope of one day being … someone.

Is there any way this isn’t to be looked down upon?

Mimi could not remember who they were originally. {Because I was always no one.}

Why does it matter anyway? When I can be anyone!

{Because everyone wants to be someone, with or without any Other, with or without someone to steal from…}

Is it really stealing though…? And even if it… is every theft so wrong?

What of that innate motive from life? To reproduce. To continue. To make others like it, in every conceivable way they can…

What if that is my role?

Mimi beamed.

To be the mirror of my world. To be the being that they can rely on, regardless of their own proclivities and talents, to be that which they can influence to the degree of a nigh perfect reproduction of their own self.

What better way to spend an existence than as this avatar of interdependence? What better way to live than as a habitual fulfiller of the dreams of those I encounter? What better way to honor humanity than to become it, in all its many forms and functions, wearing every manifold face with honor…

The noble work of a mimic: To give everyone I may travel alongside a ready outlet for that unconscious drive at the heart of it all.

To be seen. And for that *beingness* to be made efficacious.

Mimi laughed a laugh of triumph then, all three mirrors reflecting the same face, the same sound: A laugh singularly outfitted to the body from which it sourced, unique in its candor, never to be heard in quite the same way ever again. ~

Endling ~ art by Livia Prima