I’m currently ‘reading’ Water for Elephants via Audible.com. I think it’s another case of where the audio version outdoes the printed word. Sara Gruen’s book is written from the perspective of the young and the old Jacob Jankowski. Each of the Jacobs has a different reader rather than a single actor trying to portray both parts giving the story a unique ‘feel.’
The old Jacob is 90, or perhaps 93, and, naturally he thinks about the aging process. Looking in the mirror one morning he observes, ‘I still expect to see myself. Instead I find an Appalachian apple doll…I can’t find myself anymore. When did I stop being me?’
I know the feeling. I go to shave myself and it’s my father’s face in the mirror instead of mine. I look at my gnarled and twisted fingers. They aren’t mine; they’re my mother’s. Sometimes, riding on the bus I look up and catch a glimpse of an old man in the rear view mirror. I know it’s me, but I wish it wasn’t.