Flash Fiction Challenge 100 – Day 31
Someone is living in my mirror. Every time I look in it, he is there. And I’m not happy about it, not at all. For starters, he is always mimicking me! If I move my right arm, he moves his left; when I look to the left, he looks to the right! Very mature, you joker!
He looks like me, but an older version of me. I know that can’t be right. God! He looks so old. His face is wrinkled in ways I will never allow to happen. I moisturize! Well, not every day, not even necessarily once a month, but I apply moisturizer to my face. I bet the man in the mirror wishes he had thought to do that!
My hair is blond; his hair is already turning gray! (I wonder why he doesn’t dye it?)
I’m slender. Not muscular at all, but not overweight. The man is quite soft-looking. Seriously, he should exercise more! He looks stressed! He should meditate more. I want to say these things to him, but I can foresee his every excuse.
I sense a lack of esteem in him, and that saddens me. At his age, he should radiate confidence, positivity, and joy. But he displays none of those characteristics.
He seems too withdrawn and sullen. I can sense his dark thoughts. The things about himself he fears others will see and judge as harshly as he judges himself. In this area, I could tell him don’t worry. There is no way anyone could judge him as harshly as he judges himself!
He is not the cheerful guy I intend to be when I am his age. He doesn’t seem content in his skin, as I intend to be. He isn’t the magician, writer, artist, or person I plan to be when I am his age!
Honestly, he seems a rather dour fellow. I’m sure if he were to open his mouth depression, and sadness would spill out. I can tell he’s alone, that he has no one in his life. No intimacy? At his age? I don’t know how old he is, but he looks ancient!
‘He looks like me, but an older version of me.’
I never speak to him – talking to a mirror? Um, no thanks! Only crazy people do that! And I’m not crazy. If I were crazy, I would know it, wouldn’t I? So, no, I’m not talking to the mirror.
So he’s not as successful as he’d planned? Few people are! He may not be where he thinks a man of 59 should be, but I know he’s a passionate massage therapist and an aspiring author as well. He studies the former deeply. He writes stories every day. He is self-disciplined with both in a way that I admire. He can be a source of inspiration. Concerning magic, I know he has a story which he thinks will help him breakthrough! Maybe he will. Maybe an old dog CAN learn new tricks!
He has several ambitions for his writing. I know he wants to publish several novels, at least three collections of short stories, and possibly two non-fiction books.
While he can be rather serious, I see how aging has softened him. Becoming a massage therapist, getting older, and a potent reminder of his mortality (that arrived as an extended brush with covid-19) conspire to make him a kinder, less judgmental man than what he once was.
I see that while it may not be where it should be, not that there are any shoulds, his self-esteem has increased over the last decade; having found the twin passions of massage and writing has done a lot for him. It gives his life structure and direction.
And he knows he needs to break out of his comfort zone. Aging has shown him he has an expiration date. If there are things he wants to accomplish with his life, then he needs to start. Meanwhile, he cultivates gratitude practices for his few friends.
When I stop judging him, I see he has kind eyes. And his goatee looks good on him! It was only in the last few years that he learned he could even grow one. He’s always felt his face was too feminine. He thinks the goatee helps dampen any androgynous quality. He is a handsome man, honestly.
I wish I could do more for him, but what would that be? What could I do today that would make him less withdrawn, more connected, and happier tomorrow? These are wonderful goals. I will remain on the lookout for actions that will help in these three areas! He has grown on me in ways that only a reflection can.