Metaphors of my life
THE MAN IN THE MIRROR
It was 4 AM when I awoke. The ink of night shadowing any detail as I glanced out the window, even the moon and stars had been stained by the darkness. I stood and felt the ache, discomfort, and wretchedness from too many years of injustice upon my body. This is a sensation that I had become apathetic to whenever I would wake. Pain is relative. If I choose to allow this level of discomfort to overwhelm my mind, and masquerade as pain, then I deserve to experience it as such. I have little room in my life for self-pity. I choose to perceive such perceptions as a reminder of the intensity of my younger days.
I start to trek to the bathroom with the balance of a toddler’s first steps. Quickly I train my body to find my personal tipping point and quickly regain my years of control. The light is on as I enter and I shield my eyes until I can force them to adjust. I relieve myself and cross to the sink to wash my hands like my mother had so patiently trained me so many decades ago.
As I wash myself my eyes drift to the face looking at me from the mirror. At first I think that someone has played a cruel trick on me. The moment I saw the reflection I was confused. I did not see the man of youthfulness I envisioned myself to be. It was as if the bathroom mirror was replaced with a warped reflection of a cruel reality I likened to a funhouse mirror. I looked at the funny old man in the mirror as the caverns of my mind begin to fill with a distorted sound of a defective midway calliope. The warped, invective sound was reverberating from the mental canyons of past memories. Slowly I pulled myself back from the drowning echoes of what I hope is a dream. I laugh at myself as I find that this is reality and I have grown wise but wrinkled from the forced march called life.
The man in the mirror makes faces at me as if taunting me for the years of physical disrespect I have shown him. The reflection asking me “are you laughing now?” Was the joke on me? What would happen to me if I was suddenly to reverse the years to try an alternate reality? What would the reflection look like then? Would that face show happiness, love, and the thoughtfulness of a sage? Would this alternate reality even be a life anything like the present?
I turn and shut off the light, sending the man in the mirror into obsidian darkness, and I laughingly ask the man in the mirror, “How do you like me now?”