Saturday, February 7, 2009


"I'm your Other Mother, dear." There she stands, the same motherly figure as on the other side of the door and the tunnel--same beige sweater, same sensible black pants, same sweep of black hair, same slim shoulders and same huge hips. But she stares, smiling, and her eyes are the difference that shakes the world to pieces. Her gaze makes everything shiver. Those eyes: shiny, yes, but flat and black and far too round, and pierced with four little round holes each, and sewn on with an X of black thread. Eyes? No, they are buttons. They button this world together--this tidy, neatly hemmed, nicely matching, color coordinated world. Without those buttons, it all falls apart, every last stitch.

The black button eyes gleam in the cheery kitchen. It's warm, inside, but on the other side of the glass, it's night, with a full moon, button-round, and pinprick stars. On the other side of the night is the back side of the garment, where all the threads dangle and crisscross, and the knots grow like lumpy roots.

And beyond the backside, the inside, lie the scattered snippets of discarded thread, and broken needles, and buttons with no match, and little piles of sawdust. And beyond that?

Only cobwebs.

[Confused? Go watch the movie Coraline! or read the book. Or both, if you have 4 spare hours.]

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