I could be captivated for fifteen minutes, just staring and staring even at pearl nail polish. It seemed to me incredible, that that kind of light could be put in a bottle, and just taken out any old time. It seemed to me incredible, how my nails were just these flat pink things, with nothing on them, but somehow the way light turned and swam in pearl polish made it almost seem like I could see through my nails with it on, and down into something like the other side of the mirror.
I used to do the same mystical staring into mirrors. When I wasn't amazed at my irises (nothing else about my face - back THEN - captivated me like this), I would construct the opposite-world for ages on end, attempting to understand the geography of Reverse, and playing with it from one mirror in one room, to another ... where Reverse lost cohesion because it projected in a new direction ...
Perverse, and amazing.
My maternal grammaw (it may even have been that both grandmas had one of these ...) had one of those mid-century trivets made of acrylic, maybe a tourist item, maybe just mod for its own sake. It was embedded with polished, irregular nuggets of abalone or mother of pearl. The bottom of the trivet was black, and the color was so deep, the visual effect of three-dimensionality, hugely assisted by the optical envelope of clear acrylic, fascinated me. To this day, mother of pearl, and abalone, with its dark rainbow of tiger-stripes, arrests me visually. I love the illusion of physical depth on their surface, the play of color and translucency, and I love the incredible array of bright and deep colors these stones contain.
Last year, when I went to visit my brother, I bought a positively gigantic abalone ring; they must have wondered what had me so excited. Even years and years ago, when I was with them on a tropical island, I bought a whole fistful of dyed-abalone bracelets. A few I gave as gifts, but two of them were mine, and still are. Souvenir stuff, but ... abalone. Pretty!
Just now, on eBay, playing and splashing in the vintage jewelry, I found this:
I actually said "ohh" out loud, quietly - surprised, finding something that gave me a memory.
And then I bought it, for sixteen bucks.