"What" Writing - Bathroom Mirror

Today is the same idea as yesterday, ten minutes of object writing to activate your senses. The object of the day is “bathroom mirror”. Again please don’t spend longer than ten minutes on it otherwise the additional energy spent will put you off turning up again tomorrow. Have fun!

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As the shower door squeaks open, the room’s chill invades my humid sanctuary and each droplet on my skin begins to shudder. I reach for the safety of the towel, my bare feet skipping across the cold tiles to leave as few slippery drips in my wake. The reflection in the mirror begins to fade as the chasing steam engulfs me. The extractor fan shakes as it tries to clear this rainforest air, filled with the aroma of my fruit-scented shampoo.


The mirror is coated in a layer of misty streaks and swirls, masking the reflection of my face, which I try to excavate from behind the wall of cloud. The droplets gradually fall like tears, and my silhouette reveals itself as if an actor entering a smoke-filled scene. My face renders into higher definition with the fading fog, the wrinkled lines on my face a reminder that time passes in only one direction.

I watch droplets coalesce and form, till gravity carries them down to reveal reflective pillars in the bathroom mirror. I catch the corner of my eye, the small protrusion of my collar bone, the fold of my armpit, bare glimpses in the striped glass. Humidity is rolling down the room, water in the air, on the walls, on my skin. The small weather system created by my shower hangs heavy in the room, lingering. I relax into this misty ritual, my gaze softened by the foggy air, and let the hazy light illuminate pieces of my reflection. The blurred lines of my skin stare back at me.


Everything about this space is too small. Claustrophobic. If the room wasn’t filled with steam, you’d see your face looking back at you from the tiny mirror glued to the drywall. There’s no counter, just an ancient chipped sink that was probably white once. Stale dust lingers in the air and in your nostrils. At least you can’t taste it right now over the powerful flavor of that last squeeze of Aquafresh. You’re reminded of something your mom always used to say, “Bathroom dust is the worst because it gets wet and sticks forever.” Maybe she never tried Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. Your elbow bumps the wall as you try to brush your hair - there might be more space in an airplane toilet.

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I like how you used all the senses (i forget scent a lot!), it’s easy to picture the scene of you exiting the shower and entering a humid room, I can see the wet floor, feel the contrast of the cold tiles and steamy room. Love the “rainforest air” and “reach for the safety of the towel”

A pine-flavored mist strikes the once shiny surface. Specks of mint and grime are strewn aside to reveal the fresh light. My eyes burn with the reflection of knowledge and regret. My back aches with the weight of years once hidden.

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Love the line “My back aches with the weight of years once hidden” encapsulates the feeling of aging so well!

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There’s rust on all the corners, tarnished silver beyond the clear. There are nicks and scrapes covering the surface, put there by keys. These scratches are lower than yesterday’s, which were lower than the day before, which were lower than last year’s. Before long, I will hunch and degenerate enough that I will not need to bring my keys into the bathroom to hide my scars and signs of breaking down. On my tip-toes, I can hide the wrinkles of the past reflected back at me, but new ones betray the mirror’s discretion. It would be easier to remove the bulb instead, but there are other surfaces the point their finger at encroaching death: screens, windows, drinking glasses, even the morning’s first cup of black coffee. All betray me, all lie to the enduring sense of immortality. For now, the door is closed, the exhaust is off, and the water is pure heat escaping the pressures of pipes lost in the foundation. Soon, the signal will be lost, the frequency distorted as the mirror fades to become simply a perch for minuscule droplets feeding on lost esteem. Damn the shadows, damn the reflections, damn the hopes and dreams. It takes a village and I am the lone inhabitant on this island.

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I love the fruit-scented shampoo line, it brings in the reality. Even though it is not specific, it allows us to fill in the space with the fruitiness we smell. It makes me think of college when you forget your shampoo, and have to use the stuff you find.

Great use of time lapse here. You can feel the time go by as the mirror becomes more revealing!

Great work Harry! I love the implied metaphors in here, they really bring it to life.

It doesn’t hang on the half white half greyish tile wall, it is held by a set of three screws, on used screw plugs, stuck to holes on the concrete, punctured by the previous owner, it’s frame, chipped and stained by the mold, from back when it laid on top of the sink, it’s glass, also stained, water marks, with sprinkles of cat hairs. It does its job pretty well, sometimes reflecting light right into my eyes leaving me blind for a few seconds, sometimes reflecting conversation, affection, love, beauty, smiles, age, hair, marks, lines, fat, uneveness, droopingness, big ears, excess skin, unwanted feelings of an unwanted self.

I really like how you have captured that vacant feeling you get sometimes staring in the mirror after you have gotten out of the shower. Also you have created a really nice little micro-climate in the room!

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Thank you! I have taken to having the seven senses on a piece of paper in front of me when I write these things. When you can associate a familiar smell it works really well.

It’s cool that you started off by saying it doesn’t hang, it’s restrained. Like it has a life of its own that wants to show you everything you state at the end whether you want it or not. Really awesome.

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Tap tap tap, everytime they touch my portal I respond in kind, their passage blocked. Tricky movement on their part is mimiked by instant instinctual response. Smoke, steam, toothpaste, even excrement produce often commented odors, yet I remain ignorant though so very curious as to the nature of these scents. Perhaps one day they shall be allowed to pass through and experience my universe of silent indifference and I might take their place in their universe of wonders.

I haunt this vessel not forced to see what the walls, and, doors, and floors might see. I can hide from the sounds of reality. But for one wall in one room where a portal suspends. It will show which colors are true. It will show those poking bristles are a part of you. It tells which, and what, and when ends. But lends not help.

It’s cool taking the mirror’s perspective!

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The tiny mirror glued to the drywall really sets up this scene beautifully. You don’t need to tell us it is claustrophobic explicitly because the description does all the work for you! I really like the fighting flavours of dust and toothpaste. Great work!