A reflection of my own disgust

I have never trusted mirrors.

The very fact that they have this reputation of being archetypal truth-tellers makes me automatically suspicious. If they're so goddamned trustworthy, why is "mirror" always hanging out with that no-good "smoke" and getting calls in the middle of the night from magicians?

Mirrors are, first, abettors of lies, illusion, and advertising, and then, second, refractors of light waves and particles.

I should specify at this point that I'm talking of course about decorative, vanity-oriented mirrors. I have no beef with safety mirrors, nor with the reflective components of photography or telescopy. I'm not a complete, unreasonable animal. Just a hyperpragmatist.

There is this ridiculous trope in our culture about not liking mirrors because you don't like the look of your body. That is both unfair to the mirror and illogical. You do know that it is possible to see most of your body, even the disgusting parts, without aid of any kind, don't you?

In fact, to actually seek out a tool for this purpose, and then to blame it for the feelings that you feel probably means that you can go ahead and add masochistic sociopathy on top of that body dysmorphia diagnosis.

No, there are far better, more legitimate reasons to hate mirrors. For instance,if there are many mirrors hung on the walls, one can be fooled into thinking that the restaurant is bigger than it actually is. You spent the first part of the meal feeling mentally and emotionally spacious. You remarked to companions how an open layout is conducive to creative thought and good conversation. You privately congratulated yourself on having arrived at a place in your life where you can afford to eat in places like this. Usually you wind up at cramped little places that are, oh, about half this size.

If you are especially dumb or drunk or both, or if the lighting in its shittiness is conspiring with the mirrors to ensure the legendary status of your embarrassment, you might take your error even further: "Hey, Dave, don't look now, but there's a guy at a table on the side of the room that is your identical twin. No I'm serious. I am not even kidding."

Mirrors also have the unsavory ability to make you feel like you are not alone. For an introvert, time alone, truly alone, is a chance to drain the bilious fluids which are natural by-products of human society. The same pre-rational component of our psyches which requires this release is also unable to differentiate our reflection from another separate consciousness in the room, which might at any moment start talking or asking things of us or tacitly expecting things from us, or otherwise doing what makes other consciousnesses horrible to be around.

That little bit of reflected motion in the corner of our eye is enough to ruin the mood and make the cost of choosing isolation over society a losing proposition. A mirror in the room punctures the solemnity of solitude and draws the eye towards another set of eyes that we meet with trepidation no matter how intellectual we think we are.

In other words, mirrors are terrible because they make you want to look at them, and any inanimate object that has the ability to spontaneously manipulate my will deserves repulsion and scorn.

But once a mirror has been created, do not try to destroy it. The mirror's final genius is that when you try to break it, you make more of them.

Don't take away my special too

Don't take away my special too

Our annual Halloween poem: Up the Hidden Stairs