I woke up at 5:30 in the morning feeling like I needed another 8 hours of sleep.
I heard the coffee being made in the kitchen. I was going to need at least three cups to get myself through this morning. I grabbed a shirt and a pair of shorts and put them on.
My dog jumped out of bed, sat down and wagged his tail. I scooped up a cup of dog food, poured it in his bowl, and scratched behind his ears as he ate. My body felt sore in every joint and every muscle. I yawned, stretched out my back and headed to the bathroom. When I looked at myself in the mirror, I winced. The bags under my eyes just keep getting darker and darker. I looked like shit.
I turned on the water to the sink and let it run for a few seconds. I splashed cold water on my face, grabbed a towel and looked back at my reflection. The man in the mirror was wearing a big and sinister smile. I stumbled back and fell onto the toilet. The seat had been up and I fell into the bowl. My ass sank down into the cold water of the toilet. I shot up out of the toilet bowl like a rocket.
“What the hell??” I said to myself. I cautiously looked back to the mirror. The man looking back at me still had the same sinister smile across his face. He winked at me.
“What the fuck is going on??” I said. I splashed water on my face again and looked back up.
He was lighting a cigarette. He puffed at it and exhaled a big cloud of smoke. The smoke came out of the mirror and filled the bathroom.
“Good morning sunshine.” The man in the mirror had a deep and gravelly voice.
“Don’t like what you see? That’s hurtful.” He blew me a kiss.
“Who the hell are you??” I took another step backwards and almost fell in the toilet again. I turned around and put the seat and the lid down. I looked back up and he was gone. This time, my own reflection stared back at me.
I stared at myself in confusion, trying to process what I had just seen and heard. I looked around the room and there was still smoke up near the ceiling. I rubbed my eyes and looked around again. The smoke was gone. I shook my head and turned on the water to the shower. I undressed. I took three deep breaths and entered the shower. The hot water felt nice but I couldn’t relax. I reached for the shampoo and started at my hair. Then the water turned ice cold. It hit my spine and I jumped. I fell into the shower curtain and onto the floor. Shampoo had gotten into my eyes. I heard a laugh from the mirror. I clawed at the shower curtain to find the opening to get out. “Holy shit! Holy shit! Jesus Christ!”
I was rolling on the ground trying to get free. I finally found an opening and free’d myself from the shower curtain. I looked back at the mirror and the man was still laughing maniacally. He was back. I glared at him, hung up the shower curtain and looked back at him.
“Who the hell are you??” I asked him.
“Obviously I am you.” He blew O’s out of his mouth with the smoke. The O’s came out of the mirror again. I waved my hands in the air to break up the perfect O’s, as they came near my face.
“You aren’t me,” I said, “I am me.”
“Are you sure about that?” He smiled again.
“Get lost ass hole,” I replied.
He cracked open a beer and chugged it down.
“I am your shadow self. I am all the worst aspects of who you are. I am the part of yourself that you try to hide from other people. I am the darkness, the depression, the ego, the narcissist, the ass hole, the drunk, the loner, the unfilled potential and the bitterness. I am the part of you that you try to starve.” He lit another cigarette.
“Well fuck off.” I said. I reached for my toothbrush, put a pea sized amount of toothpaste on it, and started to brush.
“Aren’t you curious about what I want?” He said as he raised an eyebrow.
“Not really.” I said through the brushing. I spat. He looked at me in disgust.
“You don’t want to know why I am here??”
“Well I am here to get fed.” he licked his lips and looked at me like I was a thanksgiving dinner.
“Yeah, I don’t think so man. You can piss off.” I reached for the door knob, he yelled at me,
“You can’t starve me forever! I am you!! You need me! Everyone out there is a selfish animal! You’ll never survive without me!”
I looked at him with pity,
“Eh, I’ve done alright so far.”
I opened the door, left the bathroom, poured myself a cup of coffee and headed to work.