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Through the Mirror
by Bill Tope

Fresh from the shower, he stood naked before the dresser mirror, gazing appraisingly at his reflection and dripping water onto the carpeted floor. He was not one to bother with such things as a rule; he had always had a more than adequate body:  good physique, flat stomach, fine muscle tone, nice hair, been attractive to women.  At least, he told himself, he had done more than alright with the fairer sex and he Indulged himself in a smirk that he didn't really feel.  His reflection shrugged at him.  Enough of that; time to take stock.

The first thing, he noted critically, was that he had gained weight.  A lot of it!  For years he Had weighed precisely 150 pounds.  But now he must tip the scales at 175 or 180.  He struck a profile, noted with disdain that his belly sagged where it had once been so flat and firm.  He remembered seeing other men on the street and thinking scornfully of how they had let themselves go.  How he would never allow that to happen to him!  No, he would age with grace, with some dignity, for Christ's sake.  But now look at him. Ugh!  He looked away in disgust.  He turned back to face the mirror again.  He had always had rather well-developed biceps, he reminded himself.

In his youth--not that long ago--he had frequently donned a tee shirt a size or two too small, in order to emphasize their prominence.  He made a muscle.  Frowned.  Not much there, he noted ruefully, then he gazed down at his forearms. His skin seemed paper-thin; he could barely discern the sprinkling of freckles that had once adorned his limbs. And what was that?  Liver spots!  My God.  He heaved a great sigh, shook his head woefully.
Next he looked at his legs. What he saw there didn't impress him much....then he stopped himself.  On the other hand, he thought instead, he could still run five miles in about forty-five minutes, could still do fifty pushups without stopping.  He was in pretty good shape, really, for a man his age.  He stood a little straighter.  And didn't he have a date tonight with a most bodacious woman?  Maybe, he thought, he'd get lucky.  He'd count on it!  It was a dinner in honor of his birthday, even though he wouldn't be 91 for another two weeks yet.  Whistling a merry tune, he hurried to get dressed for his date.