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Eighty percent of the human body is made of water, so it isn’t surprising that one sees a different face in the mirror each morning. The skin of the forehead and cheeks changes shape from moment to moment like the mud of a swamp, shifting with the movements of the water below and the footsteps of people walking above it.
I had hung a framed photograph of myself beside the mirror. The first thing I would do when I got up was to compare my reflection with the photograph, checking for discrepancies which I then corrected with makeup.
Compared to the fresh complexion shown in the photograph, the face in the mirror looked bloodless and pale, like the face of a dead person. Perhaps this is why the rectangular frame of the mirror reminded me of a coffin. When I held up the candle to look more closely, I saw that my skin was covered with fine, overlapping scales, smaller than the wings of tiny insects. Carefully I inserted one long thumbnail beneath a scale and flicked it off. In this way I was able to strip off the scales one at a time. When I unbuttoned my pajama top, I saw the scales covered not only my face but my chest and arms as well. If I began removing them one by one, I would be late for work. I decided to take a bath to soften the scales and then rub them off.

(Inledningen till The Bath i samlingen Where Europe begins, Yoko Tawada)

Min läsning är utspridd över hela lägenheten just nu, ingenting blir utläst men fler böcker påbörjas hela tiden. I tilldragelsen efter att få något avslutat satt jag och läste i Den håriga spegeln, och kom att tänka på den här. Egentligen tänker jag på den hela tiden, fast nu kunde jag förstås inte komma ihåg berättelserna längre. Sist jag läste boken var 2003 i en kurs som hette Japanese culture through literature, eller något ditåt. Det blir första boken på länge som jag läser om.

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