My maternal grandmother lived into her eighties, her last months bed-bound in a nursing home. Up until the end, she cared about her appearance and insisted on having her hair and makeup done regularly. I couldn’t imagine what comfort she found in the mirror’s reflection of sparse hair and time-eroded skin and features.
Twenty years later, the realtime image I perceive in my own mirror appears decades younger than the person staring back from a still photo snapped moments before. The fixed, permanent self is an illusion. It feels like I’m killing time, but time is killing me.