Cobwebs

Cobwebs hung on the frame and fluttered in the breeze of the open window; the sunlight illuminating half his face, as he gazed in the mirror.

He traced the lines on his forehead and picked at the corners of his mouth, where part of his lunch had dried. His hand reached for his hair line, pushing the skin up – making it taut. Then he placed his hands on the sink, leaned forward and just stared.

Clouds passed across the sun, darkening his face as the cobwebs lay still; outside he could hear the gentle pitter patter of rain.

He stood upright and reached for the uncapped tube of toothpaste sitting on the side of the sink. Squeezing it, it erupted, spewing white paste all over this hand. Dropping the tube into the sink he spread the toothpaste over half of his face, working it into the cracks and farrows of his brow, under his eyes, and down to his chin.

The sound of the rain grew louder as it hit against the window pain, the cobwebs whipping up again, but still clinging to the frame.

He reached for her make-up bag, still sitting on the edge of the bath from the morning. Rummaging around he found the eyeliner and drew a circle around his eye, closing it, filling it in with black. He dropped that into the sink too.

The door knob rattled ‘Are you in there, Terry?’ her voice. ‘We’re late’, insistent.

She stopped and he began rummaging again, lipstick ‘Hollywood Red’ he whispered. Around his mouth his nose. ‘Come on’ she shouted. Again, in the sink.

Thunder rattled in the distance as the cobwebs were finally flung out into the room, whirling, and twisting in the air until they settled in the bath.

He looked at himself, turning his head, one way then the other. Half creased lines, furrowed brows; the other, a mask and he smiled.

The door rattled again ‘Terry?’ – ‘I’m coming’ he said as he ran the water, leaving the contents in place. He heard her footsteps and then washed it all away.

The rain stopped, the sunlight again illuminating half his face, as he gazed in the mirror.

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