No one was in the house. I probed the mirror for while, waiting for a catch. I stared into my own eyes until the space around me became a negative, darkness with only two eyes hovering before me, deeper still. I watched my features age. Horns grew from my head. I turned into a devil.

Nope, nothing. No sudden attack from out of nowhere. Nothing crept from the closet behind me, the one with the door that swelled shut when it rained. All my life I had been afraid that something would rush out of the shadow to grip me. I believed having someone there to validate my existence would save me. As it turned out, it was the presupposition of the Otherness that terrified me. The other people were the monsters, I realized. There was nothing frightening about evacuation.

The stillness, the solitude. I felt at peace.

Not the constant fear of sudden inversion, the tenuousness of the solitude as if I had fallen into the clutches of death herself, into that sieve of holiness, that sieve of the animate.

Death like a sieve singles out individuals, isolating them to usher them more effectively to their demise, spiraling fractals of isolation and death, trills of mental implosion and so maybe you’d ask me whether I feared my own mind, if it was the Otherness of my own mentation that tortured me in the endless hours, lying in my bed, staring into black apertures of midnight windows, beset upon by closet doors, and air conditioning vents, and I must answer that I don’t know, and that the fear never leaves me, always approaching zero, but never quite. And that remainder, that remainder...

But never mind that! Because at that moment I decided to break off my love affair and indulge myself in the supreme virtues of narcissism, which is the only true emotion we have left--endeavored to create a perfect clone of myself with a little knowledge of chemistry and computer science...