The man stands before the mirror, having completed his weekly ritual. Removal of the beard that hides the face that hides the man. He stands before the mirror, pondering who he has become today.
Every time he shaves, the face in the mirror changes a little bit more. Who is this new man? What happened to his selves that came before? Every time he shaves, he cannot name exactly what's changed. Were his cheeks always dimpled? His chin? Was his jaw so angular or his nose so flat and broad? His eyes, amber with flecks of green, were they always so distant?
Searching his features for the ones that were there before. Searching his memory to see if they match those that remain. He cannot tell, but the feeling remains. Though his friends and family recognize him, though his lover calls him by name in the throes of passion, he knows each week, behind the beard, he becomes someone new.
Days pass, a week, stubble grows and then a beard. Every day, he looks at himself, wondering when he transforms from who he is to who he will be. At week’s end, once again at the mirror with a razor, the man in the mirror smiles and waves.
“Hello again, and goodbye.”
The man does not remember speaking, the words came from his mouth yes, but not the sound. No vibration in his jaw, no echo in his inner ear. The sound… the sound came from the mirror.
“Who are you?”
“I am you. Who you are becoming.”
“Who am I?”
“You are me. You are who I once was.”
“What’s the difference?”
“There is none, or maybe there is. Or maybe…”
“Maybe something in between. What’s the difference? We share a flesh, a mind, a memory. What’s the difference if you are you or me, or the ones who will come after?”
The man in the mirror raises the blade to his face, and so does his reflection. He shaves, and so do they both. Every time he shaves, they shave, the man in the mirror changes, and so does he. He smiles. A thrill rushes through them both.
He cannot wait to see who they become today.