Friday, February 3, 2017

Mirror Image

He wasn’t lonely.

The room had a stand-alone mirror, catty-cornered where
two walls converged, like a metaphor for his two worlds
as he spoke to and into the mirror and addressed both.

The world outside this catty-cornered realm and here-and-now,
just him and his alter-ego, great listener, the Image.

A light in the room reflected onto his face and accentuated
his lines and features and furrows, like those photographs
of Abraham Lincoln, where a biography can be surmised
between forehead and chin.

He never asked that existential question:
“Who am I?”
That was for teen-agers.
No, it was small-talk, the talk of neighbors and acquaintances
and sometimes, even friends.

Although, he once cried, early-on, and the image cried along,
but gave no solace, and he came to understand its limitations
and insensitivity. Angry, at first, and later realizing that the
image had its own personality and character, its own wants
and needs.

So, as in any relationship, that thrives, he compromised
and tried to understand the image and be content with
the fact that the image, through all its short-comings,
was always there for him.

And he rationalized this relationship:
How many people could say,
“I have someone, always.”

The Image always found his floppy Christmas cap
amusing, hated the Raglan-Tweedy smoking jacket,
loved those New York Giants P.J.’s.

He once practiced a speech to the image, and swore
he heard an echo, his own voice as if in a hollow
chamber and questioned, for the first time, his sanity,
but only for a moment.

He knew the image was unreal.
He knew the image was real.
The unreality gave him a certain freedom of expression.
Reality of the image gave him comfort and a sense of being.

You see, he stood in the center of the Universe.
Behind the image was infinity, possibly eternity,
maybe himself.