Musings in a Mirror by Steve Goodlad

I have my secrets. I take my time, stare at my face in the mirror until I’m a stranger, a man who is not me. A man who helps himself to whatever will buff the sharp edges of the world. They say bad luck comes in threes. Well, I lost my job and my love, so what next? I face the mirror. Polish the glass. Only last week it seems I had hair, lines around the eyes that I could call laughter lines and clear eyes. 

I feel banished, exiled from the bright world of imagination and creativity of youth. The mirror is as good a place as any to reflect on the angel who stands with a flaming sword in front of the gateway to all our yesterdays. 

I feel a sense of irrecoverable irreparable loss, something never to be restored or reduplicated or recovered; an image, a word to describe it, lost forever but surviving only as a sense of ghost noise to remind me that something is missing, disturbing the perceived with a memory of what can no longer be perceived. 

I give the glass a squirt with one hand and wipe it off with a cloth in my other hand. My wife’s reflection is added suddenly to the background. I was so preoccupied I hadn’t heard her return. She looks at my reflection with some pity and says with a hint of patronage: 

"We're lost, aren't we?" 

My feet haven’t moved since she left this morning. She knows I’m depressed and thinks it is because of my job. 

She takes one step closer and her face looms over my shoulder. I make eye contact with the reflection. “I want a divorce,” she says. 

I am still wondering what the third piece of bad luck will be. 

Published in Issue #20

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