He wiped the condensation from the mirror and inspected his reflection, the blue of his eyes, and the lines at the corners of his eyes. He lathered his face with shaving soap.
“I look old,” he said. He sighed.
“Yeah, you do,” said his reflection.
He unfolded the razor, raised it to his cheek, then stopped. “What?”
“You do look old.”
He began, hesitantly, to shave the whiskers from his face. “Oh, come on. I just worked nine hours in a hot, sweaty factory. I don’t look old. I look…tired. I look tired”
“You look old.”
He put the razor down. “That’s not…”
“You said it first,” said the reflection. “You said it. I can only repeat. Reflect.”
You’re nine. You’re nineteen. You’re forty-three. You’re getting up at five in the morning to go to work and there’s hair growing on the back of your ears. It’s all there in the reflection for you to see.
Clean shaven now, he wipes his face. He didn’t nick himself with the razor, not even once. The mirror is silent. The mirror has nothing to say. The mirror is unresponsive. He wonders if he should grin.