Hiding in Plain Sight

Since I have just snuck into the kitchen to get a cup of coffee-literally sneaking behind Mom’s back-I thought maybe I’d write about hiding.  K hides in plain sight.  She literally goes out of her way to remain hidden in the shadows, unnoticed by others, even her own friends and family.  I think perhaps this is because she’s always worried that she’ll forget which K she’s supposed to be, or else the wrong K will just show up unannounced;  either of these is possible of course, along with a thousand other potentially embarrassing scenarios, all of which K obsesses over and worries about.  K gets up in the morning (this is a subjective statement-she gets up if she’s been asleep) and tiptoes up the hallway.  She crosses her fingers that her mother’s door will be closed, indicating that she’s still in bed, and she will be if K has gotten there early enough, that is before 6:30 A.M.  If her mother is sleeping, K will quickly but quietly race to the kitchen and put on a pot of coffee, hoping to pour herself a cup and get back into her room before anyone sees her.  If her mother is awake, K listens for the sounds of the television, and breathes a sigh of relief when she hears the morning news.  The TV helps us be stealthy.  If the TV is on, K can more easily move through the living room/dining room, which is at the end of the hall and to the right, and which has a door to the kitchen.  Her mother sits in the den, which is to the left at the end of the hall, and which adjoins the kitchen.  K’s mother always sits in a recliner with her back to us, and K moves like a cat across the kitchen floor and to the coffee maker. 

 On an ideal day, K’s favorite coffee mug will be sitting out, and she can just grab it, but most days she has to open the cabinet door, holding her breath in the hopes that the door won’t squeak, and retrieve a mug.  Next she tries to silently pour the coffee into the mug, and then she adds her cream and such, (hopefully the creamer is already out on the counter otherwise we have to open the refrigerator and that is noisy) and if she’s lucky she can stir it up without the spoon hitting the side of the mug;  the clink would alert her mother that she’s in the room.  Coffee in hand, K then moves silently across the kitchen, back through the living room, down the hall, and into her room, closing the door tightly behind us.  Mission accomplished.  If K needs a coffee refill, she repeats this process of sneaking behind her mother to get it.

This will go on until the time comes when K-whichever one is in charge that day or rather at that time (hopefully it’ll be The Good Daughter)-feels capable of seeing her mother face to face.  This may sound odd, but K has to prepare herself to be in her mother’s presence, she has to literally muster up the strength and courage just to walk into the same room with her.  Writing that down, I notice that it looks weird, and sounds crazy, and I find it hard to believe that I do this every day.  But we do.  I am not afraid of my mother and we love her very much.  We just don’t like to be seen until we are good and ready to make our appearance.  We have wardrobe and makeup to deal with before that can happen, not to mention the fact that we must “get into character”. (This is my movie, after all.)

So much hassle just to get a cup of joe!  Yet this is how each morning begins, and the process will often repeat itself throughout the day and evening, although instead of coffee it might be Diet Coke or a Slim-Fast bar.  K sneaks around all the time, in front of her mom, in front of her husband, and especially in front of the public.  It’s like K is a ninja and she’s going about her day in stealth mode, silent but deadly. (instead of weapons we use words)  Sometimes (a LOT of times actually) we wear sunglasses indoors; K believes people cannot see her if she keeps these on.  I can look at the situation logically, and I realize that the sunglasses make us stand out even more,  (it’s ironic when you think about K’s fear of being noticed)  but logic is not something K uses very often; she has her own special logic, which to anyone else is completely illogical.  You can laugh here if you want.  I know that it all sounds ridiculous.  But K is a strange girl, always has been.   When she was a little girl, she was always hiding.  She’d climb up on the roof and sit behind the chimney, or crawl into the lower kitchen cabinets and get way back in the far corner so that she was invisible to her parents.  When her mother changed the sheets on the bed, K would lie on the piece of foam that was on top of the mattress (it makes the bed softer) and she’d roll herself up in it, like a taquito.  She would stay like that, tightly confined inside the foam mattress pad, until her mother came back into the room and made her stop.  It’s interesting to note that when K was younger, she loved being in small, dark enclosed spaces, and now that she’s an adult, some of the K’s are afraid of the dark and of being unable to move. (Is it also interesting to note that at least one of the K’s is into blindfolds and bondage? Is that important?)  Sorry if that’s too much information; as I’ve no doubt said before, we are brutally honest. 

We hide when we go out to bars or restaurants, always taking the darkest booth, the seat furthest away from everybody else, preferably the corner.  We like to sit at the bar, where we have our back to the public, and so we don’t have to talk to them or acknowledge them in any way unless the mood strikes us (some of the K’s are very outgoing however).  We only have to talk to the bartender, and even then just to order a drink, a drink which I will nurse for as long as is possible.  (well, actually one or two of the K’s can and will drink more.)  I wear my hair down in my face, with bangs, and I often wear hats…anything to help me remain anonymous and unnoticed when we leave the house. (This doesn’t apply to The Kellie; we’ll tell you about her some other time.)  What’s interesting to note here is that K, beginning at age 13, had a “look” which drew attention to herself, a good deal of it actually-this completely contradicts her desire to be “unseen”.  At 15 she shaved her head and wore a mohawk and from then on she had a fashion sense that screamed “Look at me!” This is part of what makes K a living contradiction: she usually dresses to be looked at but she hates to be seen.  Make sense? No?  Such is our life with K…at least, some of them.  It’s quite confusing, even to me.  I am different people with different styles on different days, and some of these look “normal” and some of them stand out from a crowd.  There are days in which we will change clothes repeatedly, for at times we look into the mirror and the reflection looking back at us just doesn’t look like me, so I have to change.

I don’t know how else to put that.  Sometimes, I look in the mirror, and I don’t recognize the person I see looking back at me.  A lot of times I find the reflection to be ugly, hideous even, and this always frightens me, to think that I might actually look so horrible.  Sometimes when I look, I will see a young girl, and other times an older woman. Sometimes the reflection is pretty, and I’m always pleasantly surprised, as well as fascinated by this occurrence. There are times when the reflection is that of an angry person, or an innocent child, or a sexy siren.  I don’t recognize any of these reflections as being my own, not really; they seem more like masks I wear or costumes I put on, except I don’t always get to choose which one I don.  Somehow, the right K seems to show up at the right place, and no one ever notices (how can they not?!) that we are not quite the same person as usual.  There are terrible experiences wherein the wrong K has shown her face to others around her, and this is always embarrassing and confusing and difficult to explain so we usually run away when this happens.  (sigh)  K always ends up running away…she just doesn’t know where she’s supposed to go.  Hopefully, someplace where she can hide.

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