Just outside the door to my office is the photocopier. Things have been like this since the refurbishment, and I don’t see them changing any time soon. At first, this was good: convenient. I can hear my printing running off, and if I need to photocopy something for a student visiting my office I can do it straight away. We don’t have to walk down the corridor and stand around staring at the things nobody has collected from their pigeonholes in the main photocopying room down the hall.
But last night, after class, I needed to copy some pages from Jack Zipes’ Why Fairytales Stick: The Evolution and Relevance of a Genre. Everyone else had gone home. It was still 32 degrees celsius outside, however, and I have no air-conditioning at home.
Anyway, I lifted the lid of the photocopier and she was there: the woman who lives under the glass. When she turned to look up at me, one side of her face was creased the way a face gets when you fall asleep on your book. The way she fit in under the glass made me feel nauseated. Her body was both there and not there. Like a perfect copy, and an imperfect one combined. She mouthed words at me. She was frowning, and moving her hands in a way that suggested that she was serious, but calm. I couldn’t hear her at all, or understand what she was trying to tell me.
Finally, I closed the lid of the copier, left the book on my desk, and went home.