Another new year has come and gone. The last few haven’t seemed special because I’ve lived through too many of them. I reached out looking for a towel like I do every morning after my shower because I can’t seem to find it through the steam that fills the room. After I dried my face I walked over to the sink in order to wipe off the bathroom mirror so I could continue with the routine at the beginning of my day.
I looked into the small hole I made in the steamed mirror and thought to myself, “Hello, who are you?” This couldn’t be me. It must be someone else looking back at me on the other side of the wall. That person has thinning hair in which his hairline was well above the middle of his head. In fact, the hair on his head has evolved into filling up his ears and even most of his nose.
The person on the other side of the wall has sleepy puffy eyes that look as though they have the weight of the world on them. The person looking back at me has the corner of his eyes pointing down making his eyes look perpetually sad. The man’s face on the other side of the wall looked a bit depressed and worn out.
The nose of the person on the other side of the wall has grown larger with his years. The skin on his nose was no longer smooth. It has funny little bumps on it with tiny purplish veins swimming throughout its surface. The person on the other side of the wall has hair that was primarily gray.
Backing up a bit from my mirror I noticed the man on the other side of the wall has grown larger in size. His body seemed to be filled with some sort of liquid that only comes with time. The color of his chest hair matched the color of the little bit of hair that was left on his head. This made his whole body look like a clouded sky in middle March over the ocean after a late winter storm.
I now see what this man looks like on the other side of the wall. I begin to wonder what his passions are. I wonder if he has any left. I question if he still wants to change the world. I speculate if he still thinks he has the energy to make a difference in a society he knows was abused over time. I wonder if he still cares? I question if he still dreams about what he wants to be? I wonder if he starts every day in hopes he will be challenged and is energized by the reality that every problem is simply an opportunity. Or did he give up because he let time make him give up?
Now that I understand this man on the other side of the wall is obviously older I wonder if he thinks about the importance of God more than he did when he was young. Now that this man on the other side of the wall is closer to his end I wonder if he cares more about what will be when he finally meets his end? In fact, I wonder if the man on the other side of the world still takes the time to think of such things?
I wonder what this man on the other side of the wall wears? I wonder if he still wears jeans every day and doesn’t worry about color coordination or what another guy or girl thinks of him. I wonder if he still likes to wear deep colored pull over collar-less shirts that button down only half way down his front. I wonder if he still refuses to use deodorant or cologne because of his insistence that a man is supposed to smell like a man.
I come to the realization I spent too much time with the man on the other side of the wall because my wife is now telling me it is her turn to use the bathroom. It is also time to do the same things I have done for most of my life. At least the times of my life I still remember. But, before I leave I give one more glance to the man on the other side of the wall. I say good bye to him and feel a deep compassion because he looks so tired and old. I say good bye and wonder if tomorrow I will have the courage to visit again with the man on the other side of the wall?