I’m pretty sure he doesn’t think I’m on to him. But I am. And have been for some time.
Most of the time I try my darnedest to avoid him. Yet, even when I’m doing my best, there’ll be that moment I’ll let down my guard and right there, in the corner of my eye, I’ll catch him staring at me. I always try to turn away – avert my gaze. Take another route.
I dunno, I guess I’m hoping that if I pretend not to see him, he’ll just go away. Bother someone else.
But really, I’d rather just not see him at all.
Mirrors. Mirrors are the worst. In fact, just this morning when I was getting ready to head out to the pharmacy, I caught a glimpse of him when I was adjusting the rear-view mirror in my car. Got a pretty good look, I did.
He’s an older guy. Gray, thinning hair. I can see he’s been letting those bristles atop his head grow out a bit, I’m guessing to cover his oversized ears. And it looks like he’s been getting some sun – probably hoping a bit of a tan will help hide his brigade of wrinkles.
Ain’t workin’, I tell you.
Making it all the worse, he wears those beachy t-shirts, baggy shorts, and snazzy white sneakers. I’m sure he thinks it makes him look cool. But, really, it’s all just a flashing neon sign that says, “old guy,” and can be spotted from a mile away.
I know what you’re thinking...who is this guy? And what exactly does he want?
I wish I could say what that might be. But...maybe I just don’t want to know.
Or, worse, admit that I already know.
After all, there IS something very familiar about him. Someone I maybe once knew. Though, over the course of time, especially these last few years, he’s changed a bit – happens to us all, I guess – put on a little weight, slowed down a step or two.
But, deep in those peering eyes, I can see him.
He’s there, alright.
I take in a long breath. Maybe...just maybe...it’s time to confront him. Come face to face. Up to now, he’s avoided meeting my gaze.
Or maybe I’ve avoided his.
I don’t think either of us wants to see that “What happened?” look in the other’s eyes.
Okay, enough. Enough, already. It’s time to do it.
With another deep breath – and thinking this might be a good time for a stiff drink, if only I drank – I step into the bathroom, flick on the light, and turn to face the mirror.
Hello me. Getting old sucks, eh?