Mirror-Man

The writer watches himself from above the action, unseen, from the vantage point of memory.

The scene plays out in the shabby, one-room hovel which was the former condition of his heart.  One wall of the small room has a door, the other three are covered with large, old, worn mirrors. The watcher sees himself standing in that poor space, staring into the mirrors, admiring his own beauteous image. He occasionally hears an annoying, distracting, tapping sound but he tunes it out.
In time, in the rows of endless images of his gorgeous self, a shadow begins to appear on the tenth face back. In that particular face, desolation emerges, the image turns grotesque, and it disappears as do all the faces behind it. He tries to bring them back. Self-worship should not require this much concentration. He fails as, one by one, the shadow overtakes the regal visages of nine, eight, seven, and six, turns them hideous, and obliterates them over time.  In distress and fear, he begins to notice the empty poverty of the room in the background – his room. The dark shadow begotten of the fallen faces, remains in the space behind him, congealing in an evil swirl. In the mirrors, he begins to see shades of death and he is appalled.
The tapping continues, becoming slightly louder and more urgent. It is ignore-able but harder to disregard than before.

At the same time, the watching-man above the scene sees another man waiting at the door. He has been standing on that stoop for a long time and has not just been waiting, but knocking softly at short intervals. His bare feet are aching, his legs tired, and his knuckles are bruised and sore, but he perseveres. He will not ever give up seeking the answer of the man inside, whom he cares about. They have a history, although the man inside may be unaware of it, or in denial of it.
The man at the door remembers grappling with the other man’s personal sin.
Clutching it to him, the horrible thing had clawed and ripped at his chest and its fangs tore desperately at his throat as it tried to escape his powerful strangling grasp. His love for mirror-man drove him to vanquish his monster rather than let it destroy the poor man. He would kill it even if he had to die with it.
He remembered that he had been successful – he had held on – but at the high cost of all his own blood. He remembered that he had defeated the enemy and he had been restored, but the memory of that painful battle still gnaws at him and he hopes with his whole being that the man inside will simply answer his knock and let him inside.

Meanwhile, the mirror-man is transfixed by what is happening in his mirrors. Images five and four are dissolving into ugliness, but he still can’t turn around and see his barren cubicle the way it really is. He can only see it backwards in the darkening glass.  He becomes more and more aware of the insistent tapping and he looks at the mirror image of his sagging door. The door seems to be outlined by a warm light that originates outside. “Could that be the news man bringing word that I have won the lottery?”, he wonders. “Could it, perhaps, be the delivery man delivering a belated birthday gift?” “Or pizza, did someone at least send me pizza?”

Now, the “impartial” observer above can hardly keep from getting involved. “You’ve become gnarled and hunched over in front of your delusive mirrors”, he thinks. “You are losing yourself in them even as you worship yourself. Stand up! Turn away! See who is at the door!”

Image three is resisting the dreaded change. It says, “Stand up!”
Image two is wide-eyed as it urges, “Turn away, you fool!”
Image one smiles, raises a hand, touches his hand, and orders, “In the name of God, answer the door!”
Astonished, mirror-man cocks his head, listening. Slowly, he tears his gaze from the three remaining faces and turns from them to see the hovel he has made for himself. “What have I done?”
Neglect,
Disrepair,
Starvation,
Emptiness,
Despair.
Not a bed, nor a comfortable chair,
and between him and the miserable door,
is a choking, smoky, dark fog, which, after much flailing and batting with his hands, finally moves behind him. It is as though the darkness is actively trying to keep him from the door, yet the thought of getting something for himself impels him toward the latch. The brightness makes him shield his eyes, even though he only, hesitatingly, opens the door a crack. Pulling it wider, he says, “Yes? Who’s there?”

He looks into the kindest eyes he has ever seen, certainly much nicer than those in the mirror.
“I’m so happy that you answered my tapping. I was hoping beyond hope that you would not leave me standing here forever”, he states pleasantly. “May I come in?”

“Well, um, yes, come in. Excuse the mess . . . do you have something for me?”

“Mess excused. As a matter of fact, I do have something for you.” He steps in.

“But, I see that you have nothing in your hands . . .” He did not notice that the darkness behind him had retreated to one mirrored corner as soon as the man entered and lit up the room.

The man of light points toward all the mirrors. “I don’t think you will be needing these any longer.”
Sensing what was about to happen, mirror-man shouted, “No, don’t, I do need those!”
With a slight wave of his finger the surrounding glass shatters and falls to the floor in small pieces which are immediately swept into the swirls of the dark fog. Spinning violently, the fog and all the reflecting crystals, each containing a single dark image, rise through the ceiling and are gone. The room becomes transformed from a shack into a nicely furnished room. “From a mirror room into a living room,” mirror-man muses to himself, “This must be just a weird dream, wake up, wake up!”

“This is no dream, it is Truth. One Truth, One Way, One Life.”

“Wait, you are not the news man, or the delivery man, but the One I have heard of, the One who my mother told me about as a child. Right? I was hoping for a birthday gift, or for the lucky money which life owes me.”

“Wrong and right. I am indeed your News Man. I bring you the best news you can imagine! And, I am indeed your Delivery Man, for I am here to deliver you from your self. I am indeed here to bring life into this room and into you, yourself. I am The One of your mother – her Lord, in fact, and I do bring you a gift called grace, and a gift called rebirth, so you are close to being right on all counts. Can we sit and talk awhile? Let us speak together, that’s all I’ve wanted for a long, long time. I’m sorry I have no pizza, but I’ll provide some nourishing bread and cool water.”

Looking in wonder at his warm, peaceful new living room, and at the Man’s hands and feet, his heart is softened. “Yes, please sit, my Lord, you’ve been on your feet much too long.”

After an astonishing night in which the Man of Light tells mirror-man everything about his life, and much about Himself, and about His Father, God, morning comes. The transformed man fishes around in his pocket as he asks, “This place needs You, Jesus, I need You, will You please stay?” He offers the intricate key to his newly repaired door.

“I need to think about that . . .”, the Light One pauses, “Only kidding, actually that’s all I ever wanted, of course I’ll stay!” They both laughed heartily.
Mirror-man lives only for his Lord now, and occasionally does get pizza.
They have lived together in that joyful room for a decade – no mirrors – only looking at each other with big, happy grins.

And so it is with the writer who watches himself from above the action, unseen, from the vantage point of happy memory.

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6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Larry Gulick
    Mar 12, 2015 @ 19:53:46

    “transformed from a mirror room into a living room”. Life has truely entered and the affect is exciting.

  2. My Father's Child
    Mar 13, 2015 @ 06:18:09

    Excellent work!! Well written. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Planting Potatoes
    Mar 13, 2015 @ 11:47:17

    very, very good – quite interesting – was blessed by your words!

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