I fumed while I walked to my bus-stop. He’d scared at least seven years off my life. Had to have. What kind of creep puts a monster picture on a mirror?
I shuddered in the cool November morning, and not because of the chill in the air. The photograph had been an 8 x 10 glossy with a light gray background and it blended right in with the shower wall – especially since my senses were not exactly honed so early in the morning.
The hideous monster wore globby, oozy flesh colored makeup. An eye protruded and draped over a scarred cheek. A partially severed hand dangled toward an unseen victim.
A genius in the art of practical joking had placed that picture. My dad probably hunkered down to about my height and placed the monster slightly off-center so it appeared like the nasty thing stood right behind me. Very bad dad!
How could I possibly come up with something to equal, let alone best, this sinister act?
I climbed onto the bus, mulling over inadequate and anemic possibilities.
The school day flew. I mentioned the rotten trick to a few friends. My dad gained cool points in their estimation so I stopped sharing. Other than setting his sock drawer on fire, or squirting syrup on his side of the bed, I got no input on possible retaliation. All day I rejected my own lame thoughts of revenge, too.
I stepped back onto the bus ready to surrender to the master as soon as I arrived home.
Mom met me at the door after I trudged dejectedly up the hill from the bus stop.
“Did you have a good day?” She asked.
“Not really. Did you see what Dad did?”
Mom laughed. Not a sympathy type of laugh either, it was outright rude. It should be enough to declare defeat with becoming the butt of the joke. I headed toward the stairs, so I could have a good pout in my room.
Mom laid her hand on my arm. “Wait. I’m not laughing at you. Dad got up and took his shower a little while after you left the house. And I heard a shriek from the bathroom. You left the picture on the mirror. He ended up scaring himself, too. It was perfect.”
Ah, the irony of life. Gotta love it.
Change. I've learned to embrace it, ride it out til the end. Sometimes I'm kicking and screaming, other times weeping with my eyes clinched tight. Once in awhile I ride like a dog in a car, head out the window snorting what life has to offer. Mother to young adult children, a marriage of thirty years, and a desert to mountain to valley waltz with God have shaped me into someone I never imagined I'd be. Life is short and I want to live it. Tears, sighs, laughter and change. Every morsel granted to me. Scrambled, shaken or stirred.