——Who is that smiling fellow in the mirror? I often wonder! There is no question that when I turn away from the mirror, I leave that fellow, who just pasted a smile on his face, I think, in order to give the appearance of some readiness–for what exactly he cannot know. I leave that hapless man to fend for himself, to wait for me to get back, I guess, giving him a look of approval as I depart . . . into reality, you might say. He, who is I, is helpless, abandoned, naive in the extremity of a residence in a mirror that is positioned, yes, it is positioned in my path, halfway between where I have been and where I am going. This mirror man is paused in the middle, and his crisis only lasts for as long as I spend looking. My ever calculating self, suspensefully considering myself like in some captured realm that contains deep files of others persons I have been and formerly scrutinized, and others I shall return as, awkwardly in some future exchange. Future exchange? Indeed!  Always halfway into life, and with an equivocating smile, a half-smile, I bid this fellow adieu. That’s suitably vague. Who is more familiar with the sight of yourself, caught in plans, wide plans that narrow now in an instant of life, than yourself?  Harrowing, specific life–to be met with a jaunty air, for sure, for I am in debt to my own self-confidence. As soon as I walk out the door, and the chilly air slaps my face, I remember life, as if from long practice. As I greet you, soldier-like, in the very next moment, I mean precisely to salvage all your stored-up solitude, erase it with a glance. I am so well-prepared, collared and cuffed, I just put that billboard smile up, like a farewell to all mistakes, as a final primping of the man who, ideally, faces a challenge. Before going out to meet this challenge, one smugly reassures an imprisoned other self, a resident mirror mate, speaking freely, that they will be back later. Perhaps then we will get an overview, I say.  Though, the next consultation is not subsequent to the last dialogue I had with you, friend. One can only speak in general of this situation, so universally loved, since, I guess, someone first glimpsed their avatar in a reflection made of water, or rubbed into being in a diamond, or saw the face of God in the sky, or whenever . . . like the Indian maiden, all these legends being subservient, I mean retrospective, to the standing image of a riveted person regarding himself, with duplicity, and wisely, with twisted sympathies, in the hallway mirror, right now.   When you turn away you leave him in that folklore happy land, and you go back to your dour, creative concerns, for which in fact you are well-appointed, quite sparkling and in  good spirits after all, I must say. It is an achievement, and an omen, if you got this subtle, this flashing and bright, and have become so very intelligent!
——Quickly, or not so quickly, the terms of the contrast between myself, and myself, are framed. I am essentially disingenuous, in regards to my last quizzical, utterly feigned, glance in the mirror. Don’t think I don’t know myself, from long acquaintance. Rooted in inaction, a long unanswered question flashes across his captured face, directed at me. What question?  Is your secret task taking too long? Is it even acknowledged? Well, how could it be?  If it isn’t made explicit, over the years, this secret task, how could life do anything but grind its gears, envelope you in base emotions, flatter you with highest aspirations, also. Do I linger in thought? Time does not pass in the mirror, you can stand there forever. Virtually! Of course I have been hiding in the mirror most of my life, says my compatriot, and only coming out for brief appearances, like on holidays. Or rather I act like it is a holiday every time I appear in public. Basically, I reside elsewhere, in deep thought, and this mirror talk is an all-time favorite piece of jazz. Life, I feel I took it on assignment, so it isn’t really possible to be jinxed, blindfolded and spun around, tricked by reflected lights, say, in the mirror behind my head, or sent into the wrong story.  No, for this is the story. Any insecurity I may have evinced is transparently a ruse, meant to foil someone else in this story. I have them vaguely configured, it is a tennis match, but the court is in a rain delay.  The story has only a central theme, which we are exploring, and has many flourishes and endings–it is all exaggeration. We have the timetable of a threat that will disappear, or a hope that will vanish before it plays, and now I am empowered, thoughts born here are affecting my every move. Can I betray a former self-confidence, and even recover?  Everybody knows your adolescent self will eventually crush you. It is legion. It is too funny.  Who is that fellow smiling in the mirror? If you walk away, you leave him with his arms folded, where he is smiling more confidently than you ever could, and he keeps it up like a curse, as you go into battle. I mean life, so to speak.
——Darting in and out of mirrors, in and out of reflection, it’s like seeing the facts in the plot before they happen. Who isn’t a prophet in their own regard? That is basic. But I say now that a good story can’t be ruined by knowing the outcome, even though the teller has contrived to build maximum suspense. That is what is original to this mystery.  Perhaps! Perhaps the shape of the suspense is identical to the story, and within the story are similar shapes, irreducible . . . suspenseful . . .  and now I must go out, I really must get more words!