In high school my friends and I used to mine for crystals. After class, maybe once or twice during. We'd get stoned, although not so much me because the pinched end of a joint all soggy makes me want to wear pearls. We'd hike out to some hot, dusty hill supposedly littered with gems, armed with one garden trowel and a curfew, where we’d hack away at the dirt while talking about boys. There was a rumor in high school that I only liked guys with long hair, which still kinda’ pisses me off even though it is no longer 1990. I like guys with short hair or long, bald even, so long as their eyes are intense, their smile fast.
Back then my mom knew this woman named Lis who drove around in a Volvo full of crystals. If you liked something and she thought it “belonged to you” (in quotes for a reason), she would give it to you to be paid for later. Or never. Whatever. Apparently a very large milky white singing bowl “belonged to” my mother, but the minute she brought it home and ran the wand around the rim it began to zing loudly before it exploded into a thousand tiny pieces, the wall-to-wall carpet scattered with shards of frosted quartz, karma, dharma and dogma.
I have one cat, one child; I married my high school sweetheart and am seriously considering watching Dancing with the Stars. In many ways I am yawningly normal here with my brown hair and size 8 shoe. I like Jack Johnson. But my mother tops off her jello with mayonnaise, and sometimes? Sometimes my pupils dilate differently, the left eye infinitesimally smaller than the right. And so I stare at myself in the mirror, fibers of iris flecked gold, something that is not supposed to be possible. But I have to look hard. All of us strangers stranger than fiction, the truth far below, caverns of water and pressure, stories and bone.