I can’t say that is true for me today. It all began when I was looking for something unusual from the ordinary yard sale items. It was a large one, at least three home’s worth, on an old backroad out of town. So many things to see, but I just wanted something special to grab my attention.
I was fairly new to this community, and not familiar with the neighbors. I had purchased my antique treasure of a home after retiring. It used to be a regal structure in its prime, but now, like me, it was showing its age. I was fortunate to have enough savings left to fix the most needed repairs, but the cosmetic work I preferred to do myself. I was retired and needed a hobby. This new home was more of a full time job.
After deciding I didn’t really need anything at the sale, I was struck by a reflected bolt of sunlight. I was startled and turned to see a tall standing mirror next to the shed wall. I hadn’t noticed it previously, but there it was in all its time worn glory. Immediately attracted, I purchased the mirror and asked to have it delivered.
Early the next day the neighbor’s son delivered my new purchase. I had always wanted an old fashioned standing mirror for my bedroom, but never found the right one. This one actually glared at me, so I knew immediately it belonged in my bedroom. As he carried it upstairs he was mumbling something I did not understand, so I just ignored him. Setting it down where I directed, he polished off the dust from the outside sale yard and muttered again. I asked him to repeat, I didn’t quite catch it. He finished the dusting and faced me with a strange look. He asked if I was very sure I wanted the mirror. I replied that of course I did, and thanked him for bringing it upstairs. I offered a monetary reward for his labor which he refused.
The next day I was dressing in front of the mirror, and noticed the back of my shirt was frayed. I removed it and chose another. I quickly finished and went to the kitchen to fix breakfast. My hands didn’t want to cooperate breaking the eggs, and I ended up with scrambled with shells. I supposed I should get used to the idea of arthritic fingers, I thought as I cleaned the dishes and went to the conservatory. Since the autumn season was fading, I wanted to paint this room in a bright hue for the coming winter cloudiness. I readied the supplies and fixed the step ladder next to the wall. My arms felt heavier than usual, and I tired easily, but I was determined to get most of this room done by the end of the day.
After putting my paint brushes in some cleaner, I was feeling tired enough to need a nap. I settled in on my bed. When I woke up, it was already getting dark outside. I went to the mirror to check if I had any leftover paint in my hair, and received a shock. At first I thought it was my tired eyes and the darkness of the evening. I switched on the light and took a closer look. My reflection showed an old woman staring back at me. I ran to the bathroom and checked the mirror there. The image was the same.
It was incredible. I thought I was dreaming. I started to run downstairs to check the hall mirror and was stopped short by pain in my knees. I grabbed the stairway rail and was surprised to see a stranger’s hand holding it. I sat down on the step to catch my breath. I surveyed the rest of my arms and hands, my knees, and felt my face. I had wrinkles everywhere. My body felt foreign to me. My face was unrecognizable at my touch. My hair felt scraggly and thin. I turned and went slowly up the stairs to my bedroom. I stood in front of the mirror to envision an old woman, myself.
I called the neighbor to have their son pick up the mirror. I hoped taking it out of my presence, I would return to normal. He came in, went upstairs and retrieved the mirror. I was surprised at his nonchalance, seeing me in my changed state. He quietly removed the mirror from my home. As weeks went by and autumn fell into winter, my body recuperated and I was myself again. I wonder if I would be alive today if I had kept the mirror.