Reflections of Anton

Anton was afraid, as I suppose we all are, of turning into one of his parents. In Anton's case as he grew older, I think he saw himself turning into me, his "Papa." This fusion - - confusion - - of identities wasn't just psychological; it was actually physical as well. Strange, since I "looked Jewish" and Anton "looked Japanese." Yet Anton worried that we'd started to dress, think, and look alike. (And he'd caught me once working on his own Superman impersonation. See only extant photo of Anton as Superman below.) Cauche-mar, dude!

Anyway - - one of the last times I saw Anton was in Paris. We'd had a wonderful visit together, wandering about, knocking back a few beers in an insignificant café, laughing, always laughing. As we walked back home together, Anton glanced in a shop window and saw my reflection in the window: prominent nose, broad forehead, short sturdy stature. He laughed at the likeness and immediately saw reflected back the same tooth-some grin. Whereupon he realized, finally, that he'd been simply looking at the reflection of - himself!

James Segal