—–I know I look different in different mirrors. Within my house, even, I am confronted with several variant selves; and once outside in the world (so called), I face a highly unstable situation, mirror-wise, which is somewhat dependent perhaps on what actual appearance I left the house with. This so called actual appearance, I will say, is determined by what I view as the most reliable of my mirrors. This is the one luckily placed in the front hall, near the front door, from which I glance to the street, and back to the mirror, establishing . . .  my standing image, firmly engaged and resolved to venture forth. Not without trepidation, mind you, though often with naive expectation.
—–Well, yeah, of course some mirrors are more accurate than others, some are downright the author of distortions, comic or horrific, saddling one with a funny or a sad version of themselves, while some are simply hilariously flattering and can bolster self-confidence–which can’t be a bad thing, right?  While some present the crumbling ghost of a person you barely know. No mirrors can be really faithful, of course, and doubly so for the eyes of one looking at himself.  Reflection, you might say, involves reflection.  Invariably, they are all wondrous approximations, and one should always begin to hum a tune, as the gaze cements the return gaze, and one looks to see . . . how one looks today.
—–It is lucky I appear to be my neutral, presentable best in the downstairs hallway mirror, which is right above the table where I leave my keys, next to the calendar peeling off the wall, near where rests the silent telephone. This is the mirror, power loaded with potential import, the final, judgmental mirror, that I always check out with–I mean check in with, before going out. Though often I don’t get out, so fast, because, more times than not I have to backtrack after looking into this deep, consulting mirror–because the long glance at myself, in fact, often triggers a memory, or an immediate practical consideration, a thought about something I have still to accomplish before I leave.  I flash on something I meant to take with me, and end up going back to my second floor office, to get it–the book or the bill I mean to pay, in which case I am liable to glimpse myself in two other mirrors, just on that route. I am even sometimes caused to reconsider what I am wearing, and I might switch out of the leather vest–I might even reconsider that I am unshaven, or snatch my hat from the rack, and I will tell you the bathroom mirror is a virtual shakedown, if I venture in there. All these other, subluminary mirrors are from my experience way more problematic than the friendly, farewell-giving, or forgiving, front hall mirror–which, in spite of these other, often more threatening, though sometimes unbelievable, because purely flattering, cautionary mirrors, is still the one I am last seen in, by myself, before others see me somewhere in the outside world.
—–Now about that outside world! It is such a confusing battleground out there, difficult to maintain a semblance of one’s true identity! How elaborately we prepare ourselves to be seen by others, who could care less! If you go out there, and watch other people, say, looking at other people, you can see they are for the most part totally dismissive, and in fact hardly look at one another, certainly not directly in the face, or to study their appearance, but move on their own track with their heads down, and lost in their own concerns. Most people it appears have determined what they are going to see, humanity-wise, and don’t take to assessing others for the sport of it. I mean you do see once in a while someone who is extremely self-conscious, and acts like they are on trial, or about to be accosted, but that person is meek and shame-faced, and coincidentally probably out of kilter in appearance. They don’t blend in, either by the mood they project, or the always parallel odd manner of dress they have tragically chosen, or been forced by circumstance to debut for the world. They even walk against the crowd and bump into other, real solid people.  Too many novels are written about these odd ducks, by slick authors who must long to be introverted themselves, or something.
—–But the truth is, if you look normal and presentable, well then other people will leave you alone, not even register you in their scanning. Which is slightly, or heavily ironic, it seems to me, to the degree that you are disguised, abetting the non-exposure of any more dubious self–who should, perhaps, never have left the house.  Ha! I think I am still standing in front of the front hall mirror. Everyone except the misfits ends up inconspicuous. Though of course you do have the famous people, we have that obnoxious subgroup, who for some psychological reason want to be noticed, and are always ready to pose for passersby, and photographers. Regardless of whether they are successful at it, so vicious is the need. There are of course these skaters, these fakers, but we can pretty much say that famous people are kidding themselves, and are not really the people they are famous for being–though that gets elaborate and is not my theme, this time.

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