I knew without looking that on the wall beside my head there’d be a piece of reflective metal: a notional mirror. Do I want to see myself again? Shall I pretend to know me? I turned my head, opening my eyes. In the mirror, my distorted cheekbone swam into view like some asteroid in space slowly rolling, revealing flaws and features. A bloodshot eye regarded me. Every time I looked in a mirror, awkwardness descended, as if my reflection and I were former friends with nothing to say, both of us co-existing in an uneasy silence.
I told myself I wasn’t lying. My eye observed me and I returned the stare, searching for traces of judgment or disapproval. But the reflected eye was neutral, answering me with an impassive gaze. I watched the flesh around the eye crinkle, as if its owner was smiling. I didn’t think I was smiling. But I knew the eye had seen everything I had done, and intended to do, and, for whatever reason, it seemed content to convey nothing of substance about its opinions. I turned the light off; darkness returned; the pressure diminished. I need sleep. I shut my eyes.