It was always a bit of a shock to Charlie when he looked at his reflection in the bathroom mirror each morning. “Who is that?” he’d wonder. “Who’s that old fart looking back at me? That’s not me. I’m in my prime. How did that old man get inside my bathroom mirror?”
Charlie felt as if he wasn’t looking at his reflection in that mirror, but at a Dorian Gray-like picture. “Only it is me,” he realized. “It’s not my painting that has aged.”
In Charlie’s mind, he was no older than he was when he was a younger man. He didn’t really feel any older, save for a few more aches and pains, perhaps. It just didn’t seem to him that he’d been alive any longer now than when he was in his twenties or thirties. And in his dreams, Charlie was always way younger than he actually was. And smarter. And better looking, too.
But then the cold, hard reality hits him when he steps into the bathroom, splashes water on his face, and looks at his reflection in the mirror.
Seriously, where did Charlie go? What happen to that luxurious head of wavy brown hair he used to have? What’s with the random little hairs growing out of his ears? His nose? When did all those lines and wrinkles appear?
Charlie knew that the old man he saw in the bathroom mirror was him. But that image staring back at him didn’t define who he really was — on the inside, anyway. It merely reflected how long he’d been at it.
“And dammit,” Charlie would say to himself, “I’m still young at heart.”
Written for this week’s Tale Weaver prompt from Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie. We are tasked with weaving a tale dealing with the subject of aging. Above image from Google Images and labeled for re-use.
Image at the top of this post by Vergyl.