the shop window

It doesn’t seem to matter how many times you look into your reflection, there’s always that feeling of surprise, that you are seeing something you hadn’t expected. Even when you prepare for that, it’s never quite the right preparation. Another space opens up in your skin, or an altered gaze loops out of one of your eyes at a precise moment that immediately escapes memory. Curiously, sometimes it’s possible to look into someone else’s face and to see the bits that elude them. Sometimes you can imagine, with startling accuracy, the younger face of a stranger, the particular beauty that they yearn for. The ghost of the younger body reveals its form only to those who don’t care and never knew. Those who are familiar have to live with the experience of repeated disappointment, right here, right now. Once or twice, I’ve watched the gaze of a stranger on my younger form and, moments later, that look of pity.