The Bathroom Mirror

Stephen stood in front of the bathroom mirror and gazed at his naked body. The bright light bulbs glaring from the perimeter of the mirror prevented the appearance of shadows on his face. Exposed by the harsh light, Stephen had nowhere to hide, like a prison escapee caught by a spotlight.

His dark melancholy eyes seemed both familiar and remote, as if he was looking at the eyes of someone only vaguely known staring back at him in an endless recursion. Stephen covered his face with his hands. He felt the texture of his skin, the contours of his face, then moved his hands over his chest and abdomen as if to assure himself of his physical presence.

One hand slid further down. His fingers travelled through his pubic hair then touched his cock, sparking a small surge of excitement deep within his groin. Imagining his fingers to be those of his lover, he gradually caressed his cock into an erection that became painfully hard.

Stephen gripped himself and accelerated the pumping motion of his fist. In the reflection of the mirror, he watched the muscles of his arms and torso tighten, watched his chest rise and fall with deepening breaths, watched his face distort into a grimace of pleasure that shocked him with its perverse ugliness. Under the heat of the lights, his skin glistened with a sheen of moisture, like the wet wings of a butterfly newly born from its chrysalis. A few moments later, Stephen’s body, in a predetermined response, shuddered and culminated in orgasm, his cock spurting viscous globs of come onto the shiny black floor tiles.

As soon as the last white bead of fluid had fallen from the tip of his cock, Stephen crouched and studied the splatter of his semen on the bathroom tiles, as if the meaning and pattern of his life might be revealed there, like a fortune-teller reading tea leaves. Still flushed and breathing heavily, Stephen reached for the Polaroid camera on the vanity unit and took a picture of his ejaculate lying wet and abstract on the bathroom floor. The flash and the whirring sound of the camera ricocheted like a gunshot around the hard enclosed surfaces of the bathroom. He pulled the developing photograph out of the camera and watched as the stark glossy image emerged like an apparition from the chemical substrate.

Stephen dressed and returned to the bedroom. His lover, cocooned in sheets, slept soundly, an expression of satisfaction on her face. Quietly, and without hurrying, he retrieved a pen from his coat pocket and wrote on the white border of the photograph: I know about your other lover. Consider this my parting gift.

Then, with a flick of his wrist, he tossed the photograph towards the bed. The obscene image spun in the air like the blades of a helicopter, landing silently near her wrapped torso. Stephen took a last look at his sleeping lover, blinked once, as if to record a mental snapshot, and left.

© 2008 Nick Nicholson. All rights reserved. Content may not be copied or used in whole or part without written permission from the author.

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