Man in the mirror

 

Here’s my latest piece intended for an ongoing book project, a collection of essays on mortality and memory  titled ‘Man Has Premonition of Own Death.’

I’m not talking about Michael Jackson’s song. I’m talking about me, and mirrors, and how I just can’t bear to look at myself these days. It’s like I’m looking into a funhouse mirror — except it!s no fun.

This is what I told a friend the other day:
‘I don’t look like me. My face is bloated and red. I had a nice full head of hair. It upsets me -I guess it reminds me that I’m sick… A lot of friends have said they want to meet for lunch or coffee, but I’ve said no, not now, and it’s mostly that I don’t want people to see me like this…so vain, right?

Her reply: First, she completely understood. Second, it was interesting because she’d read about the self-image issues faced by women in similar situations, but not about men feeling the same way. Third, she said ‘You look just fine.’

So, yes, that made me feel better. But vanity, thy name is Nick.

Guaranteed, then, if I suddenly encounter a mirror or reflection, I’m still going to cringe and cower like a B-movie vampire.

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2 thoughts on “Man in the mirror

  1. I don’t think there’s any doubt that men are vain. And are allowed to be vain just as they’re allowed to worry about their looks and to take pains to improve them. It’s probably a sign of civilized society that we try to exert power through visual appeal rather than force of arms or coercion. Of course, many men still are uncivilized, and proud of it. But we’re not that type, Nick. Hope you’re feeling better and getting stronger. Happy Fourth!

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