The Mirror Man…new writing…incomplete and unedited…

I am not as I was; I am changed. Often, people tell me they glimpsed the ‘real’ in a brief moment of relaxation. They may have, but it’s only a glimpse.

Unfortunately, no one has seemed interested in getting to know the ‘real’ me. I am Jayce, and I am a bit jaded. However, it’s not my fault. War changed me. I became a monster that devoured the souls of my enemies. 

Then, I came home. ‘Thanks for what you did, here’s a cookie.’ Or at least that seemed to be the way the political parties viewed it. ‘Here’s some free healthcare, and a bachelor’s degree.’  Once you have attained your ‘prize’. Then, they wrote you off into the annuals of history. I became a relic that time forgot, and everyone else tried to forget. 

It was not all bad. I came home. Arlington Cemetery and plenty more hold the remains of braver men than I. Some things never changed, but one thing did. 

On my birthday I woke up and started my morning routine. After the showering and tooth brushing, I looked in the mirror. What stared back at me was an angle of my reflection. 

“Weird,” I thought. I turned to the right and another angle reflected in the glass. “What the crap is going on?” I began to fret. “I should get checked out. There is something strange happening here.” 

I searched for my truck keys but could not find them. After an hour of panicked searching, I found them on my dresser. Then, I couldn’t find my wallet. “How am I going to explain this to my boss? Screw the boss, how do I explain this insanity to my mother?”

Every turn showed an angle. Each angle mirrored events of my past. For instance, when I turned left, I was shown the firefight that killed my best friend. When I turned right, it was my divorce and vice versa. 

My landline began to ring. I ignored it. It continued to ring. Several moments passed and the line continued to ring.

I walked into the kitchen and answered my phone. “Hello?”

“Is this Jayce?”

“Yeah.”

“Are you confused this morning?”

I got quiet on the phone. Paranoia flooded my body as my grip on the phone tightened. “Who is this?”

“I’m a friend. I just called to help you make sense of it.”

“What is going on with me?” The voice laughed at my stress. It sounded like a female. “Great. Another menacing female. That’s all I need.”

“Relax, Jayce. The world is full of perceived truths. For example, when you rode into town this afternoon and you ended up behind a slower vehicle, you thought they were ‘lollygagging’. You perceived they were playing on their phone or deliberately hindering you.”

“And?”

“You judged them without merit.”

“What does that have to do with anything?”

“It has everything to do with your situation. Have you ever considered that you are an incomplete project, that the person you were, and the person you are now are only fractures of your complete self?”

“No.”

“You people are so stooped in your bias. Don’t you people ever get tired of all the stupid? I can’t talk to you because you are a Republican/Democrat/Independent. Your point is invalid because we disagree on this issue. Humanity is satisfied with being broken into different classes because it has allowed you to feel like you’re better than the next.”

“I don’t understand.”

“You are incomplete, Jayce. Your life is fractured.”

“I-“

The voice continued to speak. Jayce turned the speaker phone on and cradled his head in his hands. “I have to make sense of this before time for work. No. I could call in. I have the sick days.”

“You are a broken mirror, Jayce. An incomplete picture of the person you should be. Do try to keep up.”

“I have to go.”

“Oh, I’ve hurt your feelings. What do you see when you look into the mirror, Jayce.”

“I’m sorry?”

“Do you see completeness, or do you only see a glimpse of the man you are?”

“Fine, I will play along. I see glimpses of events that are from my past.”

“You see nothing of the future, right? What might be is not there.”

“No.”

“You’re trapped within yourself, Jayce. Some would call it a nervous breakdown.”

“Great.”

“Don’t be snotty, Jayce.”

“What do you want?”

“I want to help you. Do you see any love in any angle?” Jayce turned around in a circle. Flames burned, people cried, and his friend died. In the last angle something shimmered, but Jayce could not make it out.

“No, everything is horrible except for this one thing. I could not make it out.”

“Hold on to that one thing, it’s important.”

“What is it?”

“That is what may be. It’s hope in a shell.”

“Okay.”

“Tell me what you feel most days.”

“I don’t. I have actively attempted to not feel anything.”

“Why?”

“Because emotions suck.”

“Have you tried to love since you returned home from the war?”

“Yes.”

“No luck?”

“No.”

“How’s work?”

“It sucks. My boss is a jerk. How are you going to help me become complete?”

“We’re going to confront your demons, Jayce.”

“No. I can’t do it. I’m not strong enough.” 

“Yes, you can. I am right here with you,” the voice whispered. “Tell me about your friend who died.”

“His name was Keenan.”

Published by frontporchmusings694846020

I am a good ole country boy residing in North Mississippi. I love to read, fish, hunt, hike and go to garage sales. Flea markets are a passion of mine. I read anything, but some of my favorites are: Dean Koontz, Robert Frost, Emily Dickinson, T.S. Eliot, Shakespeare, and I possess a fondness for the writings of William Faulkner and Mark Twain. If I am forced to choose, I prefer baseball to football. I enjoy Alabama football (Roll Tide)! My baseball teams include: The Colorado Rockies and Boston Red Sox. I am divorced, the father of two daughters and live by myself with Chunk and Roscoe (my dogs).

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