I could see it in my eyes. I’d been here before. Many times, but that one time… You asked me to take a picture and send it to you. I was always wearing that stupid hat….
As the mental imagery developed in my neurotic dark room, the picture of me projected through my eyes onto the mirror, and now I was looking at me, but a 14-year-old me. My internal projector froze the image on my mirrored screen. As I started to breathe in, I could smell it. That same smell that was always there back then: lingering, old dust and oak. It hit my taste buds. That feeling of youth, time, and nostalgia; it hit me all at once. And after only a split second enjoying that inconsequential, teenage moment, the fear of time’s speed torpedoed my heart. It sank. Through the hole in my heart’s hole, a punch of adrenaline pumped in: that punch of adrenaline that makes you afraid. That battery acid driving through my veins reached my fist, and without thinking, I punched that old picture of me. The glass shattered and cracked up a quarter of the mirror. Blood dripped down the cracks and down the wall.
I ran warm water over my hands to wash the blood off. There was no cut. The blood came from the mirror… the image of me.
My nostalgia bled onto the sink top. I guess my heart was still back there. I need to calm down. It will be OK. I stared back into the mirror until the present presented itself again. I’m fine. I’m here. In another 10 years, I’ll be remembering this moment. I’ll do it again.
I looked back at me. Current me: wrinkles three-pronged away from my eyes. I’ll get them deeper. The past is best left in the past.
I looked down at the cut on my hand as it bled.