The Digital Funhouse Mirror

A brief delirium from my sketchbook

The six-foot-tall flatscreen remixes my appearance in fluid real-time. First I’m a gaptoothed kid sobbing puddles, then I’m a majestic old man with the upswept hair of a Romantic composer. Then I’m a woman blowing kisses, then I’m screaming silently, then my back is turned, then my eyes are fire and my sideburns pillars of salt. Then I’m a pop-eyed skeleton whose transparent skull discloses my brain. Then I’m begging for my life—pointing and laughing at myself—groaning with a head wound—staring up in awe at an intense white light. Then I’m dead, riddled with worms and larvae. Finally I am healthy, clear-eyed, well-adjusted, the man I’ve never been able to become, and my better self regards me with a mixture of horror and pity—with unbearable compassion.