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Staring at Mirrors

[Staring at Mirrors, 695 words, Genre: Experimental]

* Image courtesy of Dirk de Bruyn

Sometimes we can all get caught up in the darkness of life. We get caught up in it because we’re looking at the big picture. And the big picture is dark. It’s full of heartbreak, lost loves, death, misery, despair. If we keep on looking at the bigger picture we can find ourselves being caught up in a great deep pit of malice. Though with enough darkness, we may eventually break through to see the light.

Edward had been working for the past couple of weeks. Simple labours. Tasks that were repetitive and dulled the senses. Same again today, same again tomorrow. Whenever he thought about his life in that way it was looking down the corridor when two mirrors facing each other. An endless repetition of days and events. Same again today as it was yesterday and the day before that. More would come tomorrow. It was endless.

And that is what Edward was doing. Or had been doing. Staring into the void of two mirrors facing one another. It seemed like an endless vastness, copies of himself upon copies of himself. So instead of staring down the long corridor of mirrors. He took a pause and walked outside his home. His home, a humble abode, he took a seat outside and stared as the sun set behind the hills. The light played with the sky, creating shades of pink, blue and orange. The clouds cleared at a parting and through it, he could see the light. He had stared at that long vastness for long enough that it had depressed him. It had grated at his nerves. So instead of dwelling on the world’s problems he took a moment to see the sun set.

As the sun set he breathed out and exhaled. He did not have to worry about what he was going to do tomorrow or the day after that. Every day in an endless cycle of repetition he would be at work. And because he worked the money would come in. He would be able to feed himself, he would be able to have a freedom of choice in what he decided to eat. The clothes that he decided to wear. And he could relate to everybody else who was also working around him. He was part of it. Part of the team. There was no reason to get angry, no reason to fear… He was putting everything in to help out those around him and as he looked to the sun set he knew something there and then about himself. He did not have to worry. All of the stress of creating something greater than anyone else. All of that stress was gone. He would not have to worry because someone else, out there, had to worry.

He had completed work for the day and that’s all he had to worry about. The money would go into the bank tomorrow and he would do the same thing again. He had freed himself from his worries and doubts. All of those problems that he had dwelt on. Everything that he had beaten himself up about. That was now finished because work was finished. He would get an early night’s rest and be up in the morning of the morrow. Young and sprightly. Full of life as long as he got enough rest.

Then he walked from outside, staring at the sunset back inside the house. He was feeling peaceful and restful. Then he walked to his bedroom. Up along the bedroom, leading through the hallway of his home were two mirrors facing each other. He stopped and looked into them, instead of the usual endless corridor of repetition of images of himself, there was only one image of himself. And in that mirror image there was a noose tied around his neck. He had come to the last day of his life. He looked at the horrible vision of himself. There staring back at him was a vision of his own mortality.

He really should have learnt by now not to spend so much time looking into mirrors. Because eventually we all see something that we don’t want to see.

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