In a world dominated by the smiling safety net of modern medicine, it becomes easy to forget how vulnerable you people truly are. In a world where self-love sells more than love for all, you tend to ignore the manufactured risks of your own ravenous species while you soak in the pleasing rays of light that stare back at you in the mirror. Enter Exhibit Four – Ana Fitzpatrick.
Born after the collapse of her parent’s marriage, Ana was promptly made custodial property of her mother, and borderline narcissist, Rebecca Lockemore. Growing up, Ana rarely saw a mirror without her mother’s reflection in the middle of it. Whether in her purse, or passing a shop window, Ana quickly learned the true meaning of vanity. This, in turn, transferred onto her; self-admiration gradually becoming a large part of her life.
She’s now 41; her mother is dead, her father could be anywhere. To this day, she ensures that she stays in shape – if not for sake of societal judgement, then for her own. Ana is the woman you see on any street; jogging a sweaty pace, leaving a sweaty trail behind them, luminous clothing for all to see. To see her hard work, to make you question your very life choices. And she is to be applauded for her efforts; her willpower to maintain a healthy, admirable lifestyle is not a common feat seen.
But do not overestimate the power that she has over her body, her future. For powers that I dare not disclose are too at play, powers that are turning Ana’s enriched body into a graveyard with each passing day. With every breath, her cells are, one by one, becoming cancerous shadows of their former selves, something that she won’t notice until she’s coughing blood and wasting the last hours of her life attending to futile waves of radiation. Her hair will wither, along with her spirit, her need to even look in the direction of a mirror will vanish, and on one unwelcome evening, she will die. A warm body awaiting decay and dust. And she will neither be remembered by her toned muscles, nor her silky smooth skin, but by the love that she made others feel for her; the invisible impact she made on people. That which was consumed by her self and her vanity. Stay humble, for there is more than enough dirt to cater for you one day too.
‘With pride there are many curses. With humility, there come many blessings.’ – Ezra T. Benson
My final exhibit awaits…