Monday, October 09, 2006

Here's Looking At You...

(The following is a reworking of an April of 2005 post titled, Mirrorority Complex.)

While shaving, one cannot help but to look into the mirror. Sometimes you realize you are being watched. You gaze intently at the reflection staring back at you.

Many times over the years, I have seen myself looking back at me. The face of my observer has changed quite a bit through all of this journey we call life. The skin is looser. There are bags under his eyes on many days. I can see the sagging skin beneath his chin and on his neck.

The hair atop his head is thinning and it is flecked with grey. That same tint of grey is also prevalent in his moustache. In places his hair is vanishing ever so slowly. Curiously, there is hair growing elsewhere, hair that he does not want at all. Shaving has become so laborious for him. Not only does he take pain to trim his moustache, but now he has to trim his ears and nostrils. Even his eyebrows command attention.

Alas, he and I are one and the same. We have aged together and have stood in that same spot in front of that mirror to greet our reflections many times over the years. This is not a picture of Dorian Gray that I gaze upon. The image staring back at me is no longer that of a youthful full-of-piss-and-vinegar man. I wonder what he is thinking, he on the other side of the glass? Is he as perplexed as I, as he looks upon the haggard visage before him?

A friend once told me that I had a face tailor made for radio. At the time, I thought it was funny. Now, neither my reflection nor I are laughing. It may have been the same friend who once said I was two-faced. If I was indeed two-faced, there is no way in hell I'd be wearing this one! Once again the face in the mirror is maintaining a frown, finding nothing funny.

The two of us have been through a lot over the years. There was a time when our attention was directed at other parts of ourselves, but not so lately. I never appreciated the reflection of the younger me. Perhaps he feeels the same way. They say youth is wasted on the young. I didn't realize then that we were probably looking at each other and seeing the best of us in better times. You know, I miss that young foolish man. The things that I could have told him. I wonder if I would have listened if my likeness had said the same things to me then.

We were much younger then. We were invulnerable. Time was a number on a clock; nothing so esoteric as the past or the future. Then, there was only the present. Now, it is today, and it is the future that seems esoteric. The young man is not going to look back at me when I gaze into the mirror today, just as he never saw the older me then.

No, I never appreciated that bygone reflection of the younger me. I do now. I miss him. I wish he were here. I wish he were now! My reflection nods in solemn agreement.



As always... Rachael said...

that was so poignant it brought tears to my eyes. I too am mourning the loss of that immortal young person.

Peter said...

Be thankful Michael, that you're not looking in my mirror.

Miss Cellania said...

I thought it was only women who did this! We all think we are ugly when we're young, then we get old and look back and wish we had appreciated how beautiful we were when we were young. One of life's lessons that should come earlier is: appreciate what you've got, because its all you've got!

jules said...

Clairol. Or what is it for men? Grecian Formula? Oh...and lots of tequila....makes the guy in the mirror quite fuzzy!