Like Looking in the Mirror

The plaid cotton shirt and faded jeans that clothed the man looked almost foreign, as if the garments belonged to someone else.  The man, however, wearing them is all too familiar. The body is less sharply defined, the hair is more gray and wiry and the limp may be more pronounced but definitely the man is the same.  The artificial lens in the eyes is indicative of surgery common of a senior; the sparkle behind the lens remains as evidence of the man who refuses to age.

The timbre of your voice changes, seducing effortlessly and guilelessly as the conversation progresses.  Just as the raindrops on the window dance of their own accord and timing, so do the tone and rhythm of your words.  Instructive as a teacher early on, but as the shadows lengthened, the clipped words mellowed like honey.  The content of the words remained focused and the meeting carried on.  The message between the lines filled the air with electricity that had nothing to do with the gathering storm overhead.

I listened to your words and I heard your message.  Our passing glances began to linger. The ringing of laughter pealed in unison but did nothing to deaden the crackling awareness of the other.   The conversation moved in circuits from mundane observations to provoking questions and back again to surface level.  Time moved on as did the storm in the sky yet the glory of shared presence kept us seated.  Good-bye is hard to do when you’ve waited a lifetime to say hello.  It feels like I am looking in the mirror and seeing myself for the first time.


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