Posted by Paul McCall on December 18, 2014 at 9:25 PM

At times when I shave in the morning, I can’t help realizing the old man that I have become. After all, there he is looking back at me through the mirror, mimicking my every move, I think sometimes mocking me. I lean forward; he leans forward, reciprocally studying my face as I study his. I'm surprised at times when tears well up in my eyes and I begin to choke up as I think back on the many wrong turns I have made on the road for success, success I never found. Then I look again as a small boy from long ago materializes. I'm back to Christmas day 1953 when that little boy, still in his pajamas, standing on a chair in front of his parent's bedroom bureau mirror, leaned forward and stared back at me. His little face covered in shaving cream, leaning still closer as he studied himself while shaving for the first time using his new red plastic toy safety razor that came complete with cardboard razor blades and how he gazed in the mirror making funny faces as he imitated what his father did when he shaved. Pretending the blade was real carefully scraped the shaving cream off his small face. I think of my lost youth as though it were a child who has passed away. So innocent and full of hope, a child who I know I will never see staring back at me ever again through the mirror. It is a painful genuine remorse, a genuine sorrow, a genuine feeling of loss, a genuine regret for the life I have wasted. As I silently mourn, a voice calls through the bathroom door, “dad, are you almost done?” I shake out of my self-hypnosis. “Yeah, be right out!” I finish shaving and carry on with the time I have left.

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