My Memories — The Mirror
I look at myself in the mirror and see an aging face, with bags under the eyes and ever bushier eyebrows.
I touch my cheeks and feel the soft wrinkly skin and my gray early morning beard.
My pointier elbows. My mangled knuckles and my thinning wrists.
Leaning over the sink, I put my face close to the mirror.
I notice the bump in my nose; the one Doc Rodriguez grabbed and yanked to the left and then to the right.
How he said, “Concentrate, you dumb son-of-a-bitch”. Then Johnny the Tulip put his face close to mine and yelled, “Jab and move to your right”.
Looking across the ring, sweat clouding my vision I see him. We called him Vicks VaporRub; which he hated. Maybe he was pissed because of that.
I jabbed and moved to the right, pivoting back with my left foot, and moving my head from side to side.
Why are these thoughts flooding my mind?
The mirror stares back at me.
I inspect my soft belly. My hands move to the area between my thighs and bladder. It’s mushy. It used to be toned and firm. I push in with my fingers.
As I look down, I see my knees. They have folding skin over them.
My right nipple seems bigger than the left.
I open my hands and look at my palms. My right thumb has never fully come back to normal.
The right shoulder is higher than the left.
“Remember to move your head as if you are drawing a number eight with it.”, the Tulip would always say.
“Use your stomach muscles. Use your abs.”
“Come up and hook.”
“Use your shoulders when you hook down. Go over the top of his defense. That’s knockout time baby!”
I used to have more hair in my armpits. I only have a few chest hairs left. My legs are bare.
My LG phone buzzes.
My daughter is sending pictures.
Just the other day, it seems, I was holding her hand with my right, as the other two held on to each other and I clutched onto the youngest. They all had bags full of candy, Tootsie Rolls, and Milky Way bars.
One was dressed like a clown, the other like a cheerleader, the other like a cat.
The cat’s painted whiskers smudged with the chocolate bar she sneaked out of the bag when I wasn’t looking.
She was the leader of the pack. The queen. The princess. She demanded secrecy from the other younger two. They looked up to her.
I know. I know. They all have their own lives now.
I have a bump on the corner of my right eyebrow. “Stop obsessing over your body”, I say.
The bathroom window is slightly opened so the steam can go out. I hear a meow. I look.
The stray is outside. He is hungry.
I put on my flip-flops and go into the kitchen. I mix a scoopful of dry cat food with some wet. He knows I am coming.
He can see me through the glass door in the rear. I call him Boots. But he doesn’t care. He just wants breakfast.