The creature in the mirror: he is terrifying. He resembles a rotting human; his pasty skin clings to his withered frame, exposed wounds festering in the open air. He sways when he stands, giving the impression that he may lunge at any moment, that he may sink his teeth into your unsuspecting jugular, relentlessly pulling and tearing, obstructing any attempts at screaming for help. Screaming is a futile effort; despite his feeble frame, he is astonishingly difficult to wriggle free from. Perhaps it is the fear that is incapacitating, or perhaps it is the incomprehensible circumstance of being eaten. Or rather, perhaps it is the visual of watching this creature excavate your body that is crippling and steals your hope. Whatever the case, it is best not to scream. It is a paradoxical sort of silver lining that the blood pools up in your throat, muffles any screams and coverts them instead into a sort of wet gasping and gurgling not unlike the sounds this very creature has the tendency to make. Even had a scream materialized, the creature would have fed on any and all who may have come scrambling to your aid; he does not discriminate. Mother, brother, child; he would eat any of them, he would stifle their screams much as he did yours, all while you watched, your vision dimming as your life gradually abandons you. He would feel nothing. He is devoid of feelings. He does, however, stand and sway.
This creature, this tragic monstrosity... this cannot be me. And yet, as I channel my thoughts toward movement, the creature in the mirror raises his arm. The creature stares back as if awaiting his next command, his dumb face fixed in vacant anticipation. He responds to my compulsion for further examination by leaning forward, reaching his arms out to brace himself against the edge of the counter. He stares at me intently. I scan the topography of the creature's face; his remaining eye rolls around in his skull, his gaze shifting in sync with where I endeavor to look. What strange mimicry is this?
I stare into the darkness once occupied by a second eyeball, darkness not unlike the barrel of a gun, not unlike the barrel of the gun that expelled a single piece of polished lead with an explosive racket, lead that tunnelled through Eduardo's skull with little to no resistance and extracted his life source as it burst out, hurtling into the open air, lead that is likely resting in an open field now, forgotten, its duty fulfilled. The darkness of this eye's absence marks the removal of a barrier, a barrier that sealed the convolutions, ambiguous desires, ubiquitous fear, crippling doubt... This morbid darkness obscures the essence of what is truly me, for this creature, despite its remarkable parroting of my actions, is not me. It cannot be. I am more than what stands before me. I exist within that darkness, and now that the barrier has been removed I can flow freely... but then, where am I? Where have I gone off to? What prevents my essence from flowing freely from this gaping hole? What is my mind so limited to that which is filtered through this creature's remaining eye? Why are my thoughts so inexorably connected to the data that this remaining eye perceives? I can only imagine that which I have already beheld, what this creature has beheld, and so it follows that this creature...is me, but it is not me. Perhaps if I stare long enough into the darkness, I will find more. In the meantime, I shall continue to stand and sway.