Saturday, May 8, 2010

I see my own face in the glass...

A passage from a brief essay, entitled "Spoiled Love" by Jenny Spinner describing visiting her sister (who had become addicted to alcohol and drugs while working as a reporter in Iraq covering the war) in the detox ward:

"We have been hurtling toward this moment for the last two years as my sister struggled with booze and the pills they gave her to drive away the demons. In the last two years, I’ve been to other cold places I never imagined, said things I never thought I’d say, felt things I never thought I’d feel. As I sit there, a man with black hair and ghost skin creeps toward the glass on my right. I turn to him and we both look through each other for several moments before someone tugs him away. In the space where he has been I see my own face in the glass. I shrink from myself, from the anger and disgust in my eyes, from the love and fear that has turned my visage grim, from my lips clenched in a familiar, thin line."

Jenny Spinner is an assistant professor of English at Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia where she teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. Her writing has appeared in Fourth Genre, Writing on the Edge, Mid-American Review, and on NPR's All Things Considered, among others. She is co-author of Tell Them I Didn't Cry (Scribner's, 2006). Her sister is alive and well and back working in Iraq.

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