My meth head neighbors always gave me the “willies”. I was worried that I would find the shiftiest of them rummaging through my apartment when I was asleep. I would wake up and look around the corner, seeing a mirror. The sleepless zombie would stare back at me. My heart would race.
A few years later, I would find myself in better quarters with better neighbors. I would hear stories about gypsy (Irish Travelers) grifters and itinerate meth connoisseurs visiting a community, boosting ladders and lawn mowers for shit change. I would worry about coming home in the evening, just to chase one of these slack jawed cousin lovers off. I would walk in my front door and making a short turn, seeing a six foot tall man with sunken eyes staring back at me.
I naturally went for my gun, thinking I walked in on a burglary. The man met my eyes for three seconds. I was close to pulling my side arm, assuming a proper stance. The man didn’t flinch. I figured it out. I no longer saw the young man who gallivanted the western hemisphere. It was a slightly graying and injured man of more decades.
I always assumed the worse when it came to bodily harm, but I was never taught that it wasn’t always an external factor. I was also never taught that I would have an issue recognizing the man in the mirror. I was always concerned about the potential violence brought on by mirrors. It only took me a few years to figure it out.