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Life wasn’t like an eggshell. Her Grandmother Morrison always said, “Life’s like a cracked egg, all sharp shells you step on later and gloop you don’t clean up.” This was a lie.
Life was like a princess fairy-tale. Life was as good as a princess’s in a fairy tale, especially when you got to go and buy a new dress for your best friend’s eighth birthday party.
Life was as slow as a tortoise when you had to stop at the red light, with La Senza Girl within sight but just out of reach, and your mother telling you to please stop saying to hurry up, hon, you can’t beat red lights.
Life was a bit confusing when you saw that motorcyclist race past the yellow-no-just-turned-red-darn-it! light, but you were all right with that, because your own light had turned green and your car was headed towards La Senza now, now, ooh, no parking, wait, that car’s leaving a space, okay, great and you can see all the display dresses and shoes and shirts in the window.
Life was as sparkly and exciting as that silver-studded dress you can see in the window. That one, you breathe to yourself.
Life was suddenly religious and meaningful and hopeful and doubtful when you crossed your fingers, please please pleaaase God don’t let the price tag be too high. You’re inching closer now and have stopped bouncing up and down and are just wishing and praying that you’ll be able to wear that dress to the party.
Life was certainty and joy and sunny and yellow when your mum looked up from putting her keys back in her purse and said—hey, what about that dress there? And you can’t believe it.
But you can, because your fingers are relaxed and loose now and you feel as happy as a tortoise in its shell and thank God and then think about your luck and forget about crossing your fingers and God altogether.
And now you’re driving back and the La Senza bag is next to you and you can see the dress, folded up and shiny, and life isn’t anything except a big excited bubble.
Waiting to pop, as it just so happened, because that was what it felt like when the party was cancelled because your best friend’s mother had just been rushed to the hospital. And the first thing you think is wait, what about my dress? and then you feel guilty about the one true feeling you had and worry about her mother but secretly think—
Life was a whole bunch of wasted flowers and wasted time and wasted dresses and wasted excitement and wasted present-wrapping.
And now, forty-three years later, your own mother is gasping her last breath and you feel bad bad bad and want to lean on her shoulder and cry but it’s dead now, just like the rest of her and your thoughts are static spasms with shock and realisation.
Life isn’t comparable to anything at all. Life is perspective.