<> Parker003 Hopdance Linen Hall Library 1970 Linen Hall Library Tuesday, April 26, 2016 TIFF Parker003 Manuscript Stranger, Mirror English https://www.niliteraryarchive.com/content/parker003 Linen Hall Library Linen Hall Library Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike CC BY-NC-SA https://www.niliteraryarchive.com/sites/default/files/Parker003_0.jpg LHL Archive - 1 - I. One day they said, It's time you went to the gymnasium, Mr. Tosh said so you go there,And whistling even, a shanty of sorts. Trying to fancy yourself aboard ship along these long corridors with the curvy low ceilings, a male nurse in his white smock smiling past like a cabin steward. Polished floor, the right crutch sliding a little. Easy, On a real ship, on these things, with one bound you’d be on your arse. All at sea. There now, wordplay even. Of a sort, The boy is back in his mind again. Tunnelling left, that must be the place, swing doors with portholes. Eases his right shoulder between the doors, bundling through in an awkward scuffle, the hospital gymnasium. Bars, ropes, curious engines. Nobody here yet. Heeling round to starboard... a spectral stranger in the corner lurking there eyeing you out of a ragged thicket of dirty fair hair, lank blue jumper hanging limp on the bony shoulders, metal crutches clamping the forearms, fixing you with that glittering eye, transfixed, don’t look down... gross blue knot dangling in the vacant space where the left leg should be, pyjama knot, dangling from the blunt stump fat with its bandages, the one fat thing, gorged full on its own blood. First sight of it. First mirror. Easy. As others see me, Scary ghost, Sad freak. No wonder they tried to make you wear their long tartan dressing gown, get a haircut, stay in the ward, spare the feelings of the healthy, no wonder, horrified eyes sliding sideways as they pass me in the corridor. Motionless, holding the stare. For the slightest move, confirmed by the mirror, will force him at length to identify with that halt scarecrow which now at last stands there revealed to him after the months of living wholly inside that stricken mask. Caught. Look. Text