Selected Minor Works: Address to a Mirror

Justin E. H. Smith

Hail myself! Hail the iron law of my development! In just five years I have increased fat production by ten percent, and average snore decibels by twice that. In keeping with actually existing conditions, I have also reduced shampoo use to austerity-era levels, and increased fourfold the daily repetition of tales of the courage I showed in youth.


And hail my future! In five years’ time, I will surpass my father, that running-dog of the Oak Park branch of State Farm Insurance, in nap-minutes per afternoon, in handfuls of Costco pretzels, consumed without deliberation, as the will of the hand and the mouth dictates.

And the ear-hair harvest will enjoy record yields, as Ninelle procures the latest machine for its removal –the removal of actually existing hair– which works as well in nostril as in ear, the greatest achievement yet of the November 11 Technical Innovation Shock Brigade: The Nozdromat-5!

Lo, but the future burns bright, like the titanium-laptop glow that has spread from capital to province in just ten years, and in another ten will glow in every room of every apartment bloc, in every corner of our steely bathroom. Ninelle will have only to brush the warm screen with her breath, and it will perform her very toilet for her.

And O! how radiant she will be, like the Queen of the Cybernetics Pavilion at the All-Union Exhibition of the Detritus of the People’s Dithering, back in… well, before the end of history, anyway.

And I, adorned with medals of valor –the valor of just continuing on under actually existing conditions, not quite those promised in the frenzied first months of the Revolution, when new hair signaled not demise but unbounded potential– will sit in my own glow, where Ninelle may not enter, in a room I call a study.

And I will study actually existing conditions, and at scientifically determined intervals I will grit my teeth a bit, and mumble nichego, and slip into yet another dream of the kindly, buxom Czarina.

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