Man in the Mirror

I’m still not sure which buttons operate the zoom function, so I step closer to get as much of the mirror in the shot, and as little of the uninteresting background. For about a minute I see the world through the 72 pixels-per-inch-resolution viewfinder of my camera.

Damn – my reflection! I side-step and side-step again but I can’t seem to find an angle that excludes my warped mirror-image self from the picture. I try stooping, crouching and holding my head at an uncomfortable angle but there is always some part of me still visible.

Perhaps I will have to Photoshop myself out of the final image when I get home.

Then my book slips out of my fingers – it is a library book: the autobiography of a craggy-faced South London comedian, but that’s neither here not there, I suppose – and I notice something very disturbing.

There is no corresponding book dropping to the ground in the mirror.

Unable to take my eyes from the camera screen, I gingerly manoeuvre the toe of my left shoe until it touches the spine of the book. I nudge it. And I glance at the toe of Reflected Me. He isn’t even moving his foot, nevermind almost standing on a book.

I gulp down the rising panic and try to form a thought. Is this a trick sculpture? Perhaps it’s a video screen, processing its received image in an upsetting and misleading fashion.

I take the camera away from my twitching eye and sure enough… In that Reflected World there is no hardback book on the ground.
I want to cry.

I look down then, for my own book, in the Real World. And it has gone.

No one believes my story.
Especially the library.
Who insist that I owe them £17.99.

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David Baillie is a freelance writer and artist. Born almost thirty years ago in Scotland, he now lives and works in the East End of London.

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