Mirror Syndrome On New Year’s | Jess Farey


Mirror Syndrome on New Year’s

Jess Farey

The New Year’s Ablutions Award


Miranda closed the door to her apartment with her back and sagged down the door.

Her shift had finished at 6 am and the last 13 hours of her life had been close to hell but it’s just what she did. Wrapping her arms around her knees she waited for her muscles and bones to stop aching, waited for the throbbing in her head to cease.

New Years was always full of idiots and daredevils filling up the Emergency Room, this year she had dealt with a range of things including, a car crash, attempted suicide, alcoholism and an entourage of simple cuts and scrapes that should have never come to the ER. Miranda had literally rung in the New Year hanging banana bags and now, at home, with her body throbbing and her brain already half asleep she had about 8 hours to revive herself before her next shift.

Unclenching her tight muscles and pulling herself up sluggishly from the ground, Miranda stumbled into the shower, clothes and all. Allowing the hot jets of water to pummel her body she undressed. She allowed the hot water to destress her face, allowed the lines and wrinkles of the day to be washed away. Miranda allowed the mental, physical and emotional pain from the day to be washed down the drain, like computer deleting unnecessary files and clearing its cookies. Those unwanted files that will only cause harm and fill up the hard drive, Miranda sorted, filed and deleted the days events.

While her brain was on a disk clean up, she washed her body, checking for damage and other’s bodily fluids that she may have been wearing. To a point she was pissed that the world had gotten to unwind and party while she got dispensed with clean up duty. Helping those who partied too hard and even a few who planned on going out again. She was meant to be saving peoples lives, meant to be patching wounds and doing an important job that mattered. New Years made her feel like she was patching alright but patching other people’s sloppy attempts at suicide and incontinence, all for the thrill of that momentary high. A thrill she hadn’t felt for so long, a thrill she feared she’d never feel again.

A burst of painful spasms from the muscles in her legs reminded Miranda that she had been standing all day, so she sunk to the ground again. Hot water still gushing over her, she pulled her knees up again and rested a cheek on her arms.

Closing her eyes was a blissful moment, one she might even regret as the water eventually ran cold but for now it was still hot. Keeping her mind as active as she could Miranda mused over the silly culture the surrounded the beginning of a new year. Many people thought that a new year gave them a special new gift, that any one year could be ‘Their Year’ but the realistic side of it was that the difference from last year and this year was a rotation around the sun. That was all.

Reaching up the turn the water off she crawled out of the shower and crossed the floor to her bed. Climbing in still wet, Miranda closed her eyes and thanked her logical brain that there would be no need or will to make any resolutions. No year was specific to her, she would and could change her life at any point. Quickly setting her alarm giving herself 15 mins to get to work and down a sports drink and banana. Miranda pulled the covers over her head and snuggled deeper down into the bed, her own fortress of solitude.
“Happy New Year!” she mumbled to herself and fell soundly asleep with the plastic patient wristband pressing into her cheek and a sign outside her door saying Neurological ward – Permanent Residents.