Tales from the Café: Man in the Mirror

Time: Saturday, 8:35 pm

It was a quiet night, and a welcome one at that. Friday night had been an absolute nightmare; it had been me, a returning college student, and three new hires working, and I’m fairly certain everyone in a thirty mile radius had decided to come out. So a quiet night shift was all I really wanted. I love busy nights, because it kept me busy and made us good money. But enough was enough.

I was standing at the bar, making a Dark and Stormy for Corey, one of the kitchen crew done with his shift, when James came walking over from the direction of the bathrooms. “Uh oh, this could be bad,” I muttered. Corey laughed.

James ran a hand through his hair, frowning. “I have a weird question.”

I raised an eyebrow. “Okay, I may have an answer.”

“So…” He held up his hands. “If you look in a mirror, what you see in it. Is it the same as what you see when you look at me?”

I blinked. Is your reflection…the same…um. James and I watched each other, as my mind tried to wrestle the question. I raised my left hand, trying to envision what it looked like in the mirror. Okay, so if I raise my left hand…in my reflection…no, that’d be the person’s right hand. So I guess not?

I waited another moment for my brain to give me a valid argument and got none. “I…no. Because if I raise my left hand, in the reflection my left hand would be a real person’s right hand. …if that makes sense.”

James’ eyebrows furrowed, and he moved his left hand, waited for a moment, and then nodded. “Yeah, that makes sense. Man. So…”

“So everything we see in the mirror is backward from what everyone else in the world sees.”

I nodded. “Seems like it.”

“So there’s really no way to tell what you’d look like to other people?”

I shrugged. “I mean, you could get one of those mirror that flip what you see, or use a camera?”

James shook his head. “That’s too much work. God, that’s so weird.”

“I’d honestly never thought about it until you said something.” I scratched my head. “That’s a weird feeling now though. Maybe that’s why people always seem to hate the way they look in pictures? You never look like what you expect yourself to.”

James’ eyes got wide, and he just shook his head. “That’s absolutely possible. Oh my god.”

I just smiled. “James, manager extraordinaire and paradox provider, only available at Mocha Time City Center.”

He just laughed and headed for the kitchen. Corey and I just exchanged an amused glance as I handed him his glass. “Well, I’m going to have trouble falling asleep tonight.”


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