One time in a social psychology class, I read about the concept of “the looking glass self.” Supposedly the idea is, how do I see myself as others see me? It’s like looking in a mirror. Some say it’s a mirror image of who we are, the reverse of that is real about ourselves. So, if you’re looking in the mirror at yourself, you are seeing the opposite of who you are.
One morning, Ed said to himself, “I’m so glad I took the day off. I’ve been pushing it. Burning the candle at both ends. I need a day to rest and recover.”
The phone rings, “Mornin, Ed. This is Edith. Remember our lunch date today? Meet me at the new restaurant ‘Reflections.’ It’s located at Image Way and Mirody Highway. You can’t miss it. It’s all covered in glass. You can seen the sunrise and the sunset in it. A real cool place. Wait til you see it inside. See you there at ten forty five. I’ll make reservations, for the lunch crowd is already there. Brunch ends at eleven thirty, so don’t be late.”
“Edie, I look kind of rough today. Unshaven and in my tee shirt.” “Don’t worry, come as you are. There are many there that look just like you. They all look like gorillas that just came in from the jungle. I think you’ll be quite comfortable there. Just wait til you see it. It’s operated by my friend ‘Beau.’ He used to own a diner and is used to short order cooking. Again, you’re in for a imaginary experience. I’ve never seen this concept ever in a restaurant. Beau is a former college professor of sociology. He created a unique theme with this restaurant.”
Ed to himself, “It’s seven a.m. I’ll lie down for a few more winks.” Beep, beep, beep. Radio news. “Good morning. Here’s the latest top news. The Commerce Department reports that the economy may be on an upswing. Retail sales are up and new job growth of two hundred thousand this year, thus far. From Hollywood, a remake of ‘Alice through the Looking Glass’ debuts this week. An extraordinary story, anthropologists believe that humans and gorillas may share 98.6 % DNA. Are we apes now? What do you see in your mirror? After the break. Stay with us”.
From Now Radio News. “We are joined by phone with Dr. Bradley Holway, an anthropologist who has studied primates and humans. Dr. Holway, what do you think about this find?” “It’s probably true, but we are more kin to the chimpanzee than we are to gorillas, but they are primates too.” “Are you familiar with the concept of ‘the looking glass self?” “Yes, I am, but I have never seen a gorilla in my mirror.”
Dr. Holway laughed and said “Maybe I should take a look to see what may be there. Chimps first, then gorillas. Do I look like a gorilla? Do you look like a gorilla?” Dr. Holway finally comments, “When I see a gorilla in my mirror, I may become a believer, but not just yet.” “There you have it folks. What do you see in your mirror? Send me your responses to firstname.lastname@example.org.”
“All right it’s time to rise out of bed, Ed. Brunch at eleven.” Ed grabs his tooth brush and his shaving gear. “Okay, it’s time for a warm invigorating shower. It should clear my mind. Ah, this is so stimulating. My body is coming alive. Must hurry, I must get out of here soon, time can’t wait.” Ed towels off and goes to his vanity. The mirror is fogged and wet, so he wiped off the glass with his hand. “There, I can see now. Wash my face, brush my teeth, and shave myself back into my human likeness.”
Ed turns on the TV news. “Good morning. NCN reports an astonishing find. Humans and gorillas are kin. It’s believed that man is more ape than man and ape is more human than ape. Scientist report there is a strong connection sharing 98.6 DNA. Do you see a gorilla in your mirror? More after the break.”
Ed picks up his “Morning Daily News” at his door step. He unfolds paper and the headlines read, “Gorillas are Men.” More inside about this amazing story. Do you see a gorilla in you mirror? ” Ed says to himself, “They’re all talking about gorillas in mirrors. Can’t be real. What we see in the mirror is only a reflection and nothing more.”
“Now that does it. I am not an ape and certainly not a gorilla. Let me prove it to myself. Now, Ed go to the mirror in the hall and take a look at what you see. All I see is me. That settles it. Take another look. What is that? Oh no, did I just see a gorilla in my mirror? Let me look again, there’s me again. I knew I wasn’t a gorilla. I just don’t believe this nonsense. There’s that gorilla in my mirror, again. I am not a gorilla. I am not a gorilla. I am not a gorilla. Good, I just saw me again.”
It’s getting late. I don’t want to be late and Edie is treating. One quick call to Jim. “Mornin, this is Ed. Say, Jim, what did you see in your mirror this morning?” Jim to Ed, “Me, of course. “Not anything else,” said Ed. ” No gorilla?” “Ed, don’t be ridiculous, we’re not apes. Only me in my mirror, a little unshaven, but no gorilla.” “Thanks, Jim,” said Ed.
Phone rings again. “Ed, where are you? It’s ten of eleven.” “Edith, I just had a strange occurrence. I’ll tell you when we chat. You would not believe it. On my way. Fifteen minutes away. Looking forward to “Reflections.”
“Hi, Edith. You made it Ed. It’s eleven fifteen. You made it just in the nick of time. Brunch ends at eleven thirty. Miss, do you have a table for two in the dining room?” Waitress to Edith, “As you can see it’s full. We do have seats at the counter. Will that do?” Edith said, “We’ll take them. Come on Ed.”
Ed to Edith, “This place is just full of mirrors. I’ve never been here. I see mirrors on the floor, mirrors on the ceiling, mirrors on the wall and a mirror right in front of us.” Edith to Ed, “Notice in the dining room, the back wall is mirrored. It gives the illusion that the dining room is twice it’s size and has twice as many customers. But it’s a mirror and not true to life.”
“Ed, look directly in front of us, we can see ourselves and the other diners at the counter. Cool, isn’t it?” Ed sees himself and Edith to his right. On the other side of Edith are four more customers. Over to his left, he sees four other patrons. Total seated at the counter are ten customers. So, there are ten images in the mirror. The counter has ten seats.
Waitress takes their brunch orders and returns with hot fresh coffee. Ed looking ahead, he sees Edith and all of the counter guests. He looks down to mix his coffee. Then raises up his cup of Columbia’s best. What he sees is alarming. He sees a gorilla holding a cup of coffee just like he. He raises his cup again and takes another sip. The gorilla mimics the same. The gorilla mirrors Ed’s every move.
Ed looks over and comments to Edith. “Do you see what I see in the mirror?” “Just us, Ed. Why do you ask?” “Just wondering, that’s all.” Peering up again, he sees himself and Edith. But to the right of Edith he sees all four guests as gorillas. “Ed, why are you looking my way?” “Oh nothing. These mirrors can create all types of illusions.”
They continue in a casual chat. While enjoy his plate and conversation, Ed looks up again for a glance in the mirror. Now, the four guests to his left look like gorillas. All eight counter patrons are gorillas and he and Edith are just the same. Ed, starts to wonder, Is Edith a gorilla? I don’t see it yet. Ed eyes scan the dining room. All he sees are gorillas at the tables and gorilla waitresses. He thinks to himself, “I’m really losing my mind. Gorillas are not people and people are not them.”
“Edith, I’ve got something to tell you. Look in the mirror, we are all gorillas, see?” “Ed, there is nothing but you and me and all these people. No gorillas.” “I think you’re right, Edith. I’ve been working too hard. My nerves are just about shot. I can’t think straight and now my eyes are on the blink. I just don’t know what to do.”
Edith to Ed, “I can arrange an appointment with my friend, Nick. He’s a great psychiatrist. There is medicine to take away these obsessions and delusions. Ed, my friend, these mirrors or any mirror are only reflections of ourselves and you may see a gorilla in your mirror. Just tell yourself, that may look like a gorilla, but it’s not me. I hear once the medicine starts to work the gorillas disappear.”
On their way out, the cashier takes their payment and they leave. Ed to Edith, “Did you notice that the cashier was a gorilla, too?” “No Ed, no. Here’s Nick’s card and make an appointment soon and don’t work so hard.”
Ed gets in his car and adjusts his rear view mirror. Guess what he sees? Ed, of course. Traveling down a busy street at an intersection. He looks over to his left and a gorilla is driving a cab. Over to his right is a police gorilla driving the squad car. Ed turns on his radio and hears “You’re listening to Gorilla 98.6 on you radio dial.”