Saturday, August 18, 2007

Mirror mirror on the wall

Every morning I stand in front of my mirror.

The hour when I do this most habitual of acts varies. Sometimes it’s at 5 in the morning. Other times it’s at 10. There are the occasional weird hours of 2 or 3am. None of this really matters.

What is important is I do it.

Every morning I stand in front of my mirror.

I’ve been standing in front of the mirror for a long time now and every day the same face appears to stare back at me. Except it’s not the same.
Not really.

You see, during the rest of the day and subsequent night between my morning mirror rituals, life gets to work on me. My cells, God bless their million souls; start to decide amongst themselves who should go and who should stay. My skin is flexed and unflexed with countless emotional changes. Every now and then it decides to add a wrinkle here. Another there. It’s always for convenience. Never for beauty.
I think his smile would feel a lot easier if the laugh lines were more enhanced.
Let’s do it.

Work work work.

There are over a million little things that my body decides to change during my 24 hour away from the mirror. How my skin looks. The amount of leeway beneath my eye. The length of my hair. The width of my skull. In 24 hours I age in so many ways.
Only I never see it.

The next morning when I stand in front of the mirror and look at myself,i look exactly the same as I did yesterday .Barring the occasional red eye from a wild night of drinking.
Or kissing.
But I’m not. I’ve changed. I’ve aged.
Life doesn’t wait for you to adjust to it.
It sneaks up on you.

Between the ages of 5 , when I finally persuaded my mum that I was old enough to own a mirror in my room ( yes mum , I wont throw toys at it) and now , with about three mirrors hanging in different spots in my room. I must have stood in front of the mirror over 10,000 times. Not once have I caught a change between my daily appearances. Every time I pause too look I’ve always looked unchanged.

Yeah right.
If I’m going by that theory I must have had a beard and moustache when I was five.
Where did it all come from? How did it all happen? All of a sudden, I’m an adult.

Ten years after my first mirror, I caught on to what was happening. I couldn’t actually see it, and believe me I tried, but Time was slipping by. If I wasn’t careful I’d wake up one morning with gray hair all over my face and saliva dribbling down my sagging chin line.
If I was careful I’d still wake up with gray hair. Only this time I wouldn’t have the Saliva dribble.

Now every morning I wake up and start racing against the dribble. I Know I dont have much time. I need to accomplish all that needs to be done before the deadline.
Make no mistakes about it. There is a dead line.

You should see my list.

I’ve got to somehow be in France, Brazil, Spain, United Kingdom, Australia, Rome and Ibiza although not in that particular order.
I’ve already managed the United Kingdom and France visit. 2 out of 7 ain't bad right?
I’m supposed to kiss a girl from each of those places. The girl has to be over 18 which means there’s no cheating on that score. I’m supposed to somehow get married to an Indian lady because they’re the most beautiful ladies in the world ( Next to Nigerians).They’re renowned to be great cooks. It’s an established historical fact, that the best pancakes I’ve tasted thus far was prepared by an Indian lady. They’re also responsible for the Kama sutra. Between you and me, I think its all myth and hearsay, the claims in that book. But there’s no harm in trying.

Is there?

Then there’s my dream. I’m a physics graduate.
Bummer that! What I really want to do with my life is draw animations for the giant animation kings out there (Disney ,Pixar or DreamWorks )and thereafter sit back with the crowd in some nondescript cinema. Hear them laugh with abandon as they watch my contribution to the animated reel. When the movie ends I’d wait till the credits roll by. Watch my feet on your way out. Watch my feet!!
See my name in the cast list and smile in content.
That’s one of my dreams.

The other is to sit back in my apartment and churn out as many novels as I can. It doesn’t really matter if they top the New York Times list. Just as long as I make enough to feed my self, the looming family and sponsor my trip to the seven countries of my dreams.
I’m happy.


Sadly both dreams appear unlikely.
With each passing day. My dreams seem to fade farther and farther away.
Life giggles on.

One night I went over my list trying to see how much of a dent I had made .
Visit countries: Nope.
Kiss Shakira. No
Buy my mum a Yacht. Ha Ha.
Publish an article: You’re kidding.
Buy a decent note book to write my list in: Er….No.
Start my Blog: Nope.

I put down the 3 paged book that had been mine in nursery school. It still had my scrawny handwriting in it.
Besides the question 2 X 2?I had answered 97.
I looked thoughtfully at the ceiling, ignoring the cobwebs and descending spider overhead,
Start my blog?
I can’t remember when I decided to do that.
Must have been between my 7098th and 8976th stand in front of the mirror. That was shortly before I got the moustache and a bit after my first wrinkle appeared.
That was ages ago.
Over 3000 mirrors visits ago.

I’d always had a diary as a kid. Filling it had been gratifying fun. Reading it afterwards had been even more fun until I forgot exactly what the codes for my secret language were. I still had the diaries. They were living testaments of my life and also evidence that hieroglyphs were no stranger to an 8 year old. I had always enjoyed keeping a journal as a kid. Had that changed 8000 mirrors later?

Just about when the spider dropped on my face I had an epiphany.

The next morning as I brushed my teeth looking for the tell tale sign of life at work I had a smile for the first time. Today I was going to accomplish one of my many wishes. I was going to start a blog. I stopped brushing my teeth to look at the face staring back at me. True I was no Denzel Washington or Taye digs or Michel Jackson( the earlier version).
But I also wasn’t a Taribo west, William Dafoe or Michael Jackson (the later version.)
I gave a grin at myself and watched the reflected face grin right back. This was as ridiculous as grins go, I had toothpaste dribbling through, but this morning I didn’t care. Today I was going to go to bed with one tick against my must do list. So what if the tick wasn’t against learning how to fly.

Today was going to be a good day.
Today I would publish my first blog.

That day was 12 mirror visits ago.


Toochi said...

Hey bud...nice to see you finally made it to this part of the world;)..
nice write up too....expect that traffic as you are a fantastic! writer!

Toochi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
UnNaked Soul said...

nice nice nice
blog on son *wink*

Janet Rubin said...

Welcome to blogdom, Carl with a C. Just be careful. It's addictive and can swallow up all your time. Next thing you know you've forgotten to eat in 3 days, nevermind mirror-gaze! Don't give up on those dreams, by the way. Keep writing:)

catwalq said...

u are so vain...
three mirrors in your room?

lovely post. easy to read. that's the trick to long posts.

welcome to naija blogville. watch out for all the unexpected drama

Queen of My Castle said...

Very nice post. I think I am just as envious of your writing as you are of mine. Hey, you failed to mention us American women. My heart is saddened...LOL

Nice to see a man with dreams and ambitions. Very attractive and admmirable traits, in my opinion.

Ciao babe!

Ugo Daniels said...

Let me welcome you to blogville and goodluck with them lists :)

Jeff Corbin said...

And you said am the crazy one huh?

Well at least am glad the remaining member of the KIA Writer Squad is finally here. Lets go crazy....please?

lisa said...

I told you ur crazy.This is really nice.well done.Am glad uv ticked one off ur list,goodluck with the rest.Wats up with the 3 mirrows?Snow white's step mum had just one.Take care dear. Chinwenwa

femme said...

omg! u are wonderful
life giggles on?
i dont even know what that means.

what are the chances there is more than one carlang in nigeria?

ozaveshe said...

nice, nice.

I'm really impressed. very funny too.

get set to rock blogsville. Methinks you got all it takes