A man wakes at half past six.
In one well-rehearsed sweep, he pushes the bed covers aside. Their shared corner falls like the first fold of a paper airplane.
He takes in the everyday. His bedroom. Light warms the windows but does not warm him. Heat rises from the floor, but his feet remain cold on the hardwood.
Every thing is in its right place, but his mind has moved again.
At twenty to seven, he stands in front of the bathroom mirror. Symmetry abound. The left and right side of his face, his body, of course; but also the towels, containers, drawers, shelves. Like a surgical suite; elegant design for elegant use. He lives for this moment and this moment alone. Alone. Trying to see through himself to get inside and understand who he is today. Because yesterday is gone, again.
Another man in another place and another time does the very same thing.
And like the first man, he is simultaneously a part of his environment and apart from his environment. He looks into the mirror to find clues that inform his present, past and future. Somewhere inside are answers and numbers and non-superfluous words.
In a way, it’s the holy grail of existence and in a way, it’s a mental plague.
It is now seven, and the luster of life has already been dulled for both men. A foggy bathroom mirror does not wipe off as a clean slate—it is just another consequence that must be corrected.
We know that one man is younger and one man is older, and we know that it makes no difference. The end began the day they were born and the end will be the same for both, regardless of how long it takes or how it happens.
Their dreams are the same. Their intelligence equal. Their capacity for work and leisure and sex are the same. Their reactions to pain and their expression when telling a lie are the same. Their physical stature is the same. And to their respective outside worlds, they exude identical amounts and types of energy.
They are either connected by all these similarities or all these similarities are the result of some time-eluding connection.
If they were to meet, this connection would immediately be broken. The observer effect.
When we want to know more about ourselves, we can only summon representations.
And two self-portraits of identical men can contrast even more than the eras in which those two men exist.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Author: Nick Murosky
Editor: Emily Bartran
Photo: Author’s Own