(Untitled, from We Soon Be Nigh!, 2011)
Sitting across from a complete stranger I stare into his diverted eyes, he's reading something. He looks up and sees me, I am an attractive young woman, I have very beautiful eyes, and he smiles, I don't smile back, and my eyes continue to stare, looking for something. Eventually I divert my eyes, off to the scene behind him. He didn't have it. Have it. The room grows cold, people leave and people come and the hours pass unannounced. It is going to rain today, the air is cold, stiff, and almost completely dead. It is a feeling that stirs in my head, that I need to get out of here, but I don't leave, I go nowhere, for there is nowhere to go, I am neither here nor there. The room itself fades away and I am left alone. All is quiet, the book in my hands fades into a new reality, I make my escape and I am gone, so gone that I am dust, dust that is so fine that if it wasn't for the occasional sparkle in the dark it would seem not to exist. Just. Like. Meeeee.
When I return to my body it is no longer mine. I walk, my feet which aren't mine touch the ground differently, the bareness of flesh against the hardwood has a different slickness to it, I could be pushed and I would fall. In the mirror I see a face, my mind tells me it is mine, but I know it isn't, something else tells me so, something hidden and ambiguous, it is my heart. I point and probe my face for minutes, trying to return it to normal, normal whatever that is. Normal never happens. I put on clothes that aren't mine but are, I play a role that isn't mine, and I leave the apartment I woke up in. Down the street it is spring, it is in the flowers, it is in everyone's hair, a small white dog comes up to my leg, it seems to know the leg I move to walk more than me. My feet seem to walk for themselves, where I am going I don't know, I move with the flow, hiding amongst strangers.
"How's it going?" says a young woman, her eyes shaded by sunglasses.
"Oh, you know, pretty good."
"Here." The young woman points to her chest, she starts unbuttoning her brightly colored blouse, then when she peels that off she starts to undo her bra. Her breast sit there in front of me, I look at her face then back to her nipples, feeling like if I look long enough some form of answer will appear in their shape. Her hand grabs mine, they are cold and dry, and she places it over her left breast, it is not cold and dry. I try to say something but she shushes me before I could complete a word. She closes her eyes, opens her mouth slightly, taking a breath in, I follow suit, closing my eyes, taking a breath through my mouth, and focus on my hand within her hand lying on her soft left breast. In the veins of my hands I feel a pulse, at first it feels violent like an erupting volcano, it kicks my hand, it turns into a sort of pain only a heart can produce, I am being kicked, my eyes still closed, I am falling deeper and deeper into a darkness. The pulse continues, the connection between my body and mind grow in distance, I no longer feel my palm, the pulse is all that is.
A voice in my mind starts to speak, it is not my voice for I still have my own voice as I think, as I realized this voice is not mine.
Do you feel me. Are you apart of me. Are we one. Are you there. Are you afraid. Come with me. Follow me. Don't look back. Just come. Bummm-puh Bummmmm-puh,..Bummmmpuh-baaaaah-bump. Follow me.
My body no longer feels surrounded by my person, I am freed of it, I float, without levitating, I roam without leaving, I am one but now two, I carry the voice inside of me, the darkness echoes the pulse, and I am two, three, four, diversion, cells multiplying, becoming two, four, eight, sixteen, thirty-two, etcetera, etcetera.
And soon even the pulse of the heart disappears like the constant of chatter that fades to deep thought. The feeling of my hand that isn't my hand is gone, and I reach a new level of loneliness.
The woman that was before me, the nude one, falls to the ground, I look down at her, her face is in stock, I don't know how to feel, I feel an impulse to feel sad for her, but there is no sadness to feel, just a voice that tells me I should, but I am not. I reach my hand down only to fall myself. There is something in the air, something on the ground, something that is making everything fall apart. I lie next to her for what feels like eternity, I look at her the same way I looked at the man yesterday, when I was more myself, and in her eyes I search. Is she, I wait for a feeling, a gut feeling telling me yes, without a doubt, she is a clone. I look at her, something tells me something but I can barely hear it, my heart is being pushed down my throat by my thoughts. Like Galileo, I have discovered something profound and yet far away.
I cannot feel like you human, your flesh is not right to my soul, my body is too large too clumsy, your feelings are not mine, your life is not mine, you may fall, you may cry and I may cry back, only because I am confused, I don't know what you want me to do, I feel void when I am here, I feel lost in thought, not as much as heart. It is gone...
The voice within me called me out, put me in my place, my face which was never my face looked like mine. I looked at my body, it wasn't mine a minute ago but now it is mine. And as the rolling stone raced down the hill, the mountain, the peak, the erupting volcano, I realized this life is mine, very much mine, the only one of mine, and the only one I'll ever get. One step into the future, dragging my hide leg from the past, telling it, it is time to leave now, come-come-now.
Outside it is a city I am familiar with, I have lived here for five years now. In any moment now it will transform into a place I am vaguely familiar with, the landscape will be a distant memory, one in which could be from my distant past or embedded within me from someone else, all-in-all, uncertainty covers the land. My hair will turn from black to blond, my heart will oscillate from there before me to once there behind me. I care or care not, I see and see not, for the person inside of me is shifting, I am losing grip of who I am, the only notion with foundation is the only notion that is challenged the most. I slip away, I turn into her, I call up her friends that are strangers to me, I lie to them with my eyes, my uncanny resemblance to their friend, snickering at the fact I am getting away with it, without a doubt without a thought in their minds I am not who they think I am and yet there is no mistake, I am who they think I am. We decide to go to the movies, we see a film, we talk, we head to the bar, we drink.
"Hey, Charlotte, remember that time you fell so hard you fractured your hip?", says Charlie with a face I mistaken for a goofy expression but really is just his dumb face.
I think hard, what would Charlotte think, how would she feel,
"I try not to think about that, when it rains I still feel it."
"Sorry to bring it up."
"That's ok, what is done is..."
"Done. Yes, buried."
"Yes, buried, alive."
"Why alive, it didn't die before it was laid to rest?"
"Did you at least say goodbye?"
"I was done with it as soon as it stopped hurting."
"Besides, pain is all the same, it hurts, it reminds you that your body doesn't like falling, neither should you, so you should try not to fall so much."
"And. What, there's nothing more, nothing less, we fall, we get back up, we continue whatever it is we were doing before that, avoiding making that same mistake twice."
"And so goes life."
"Exactly. Now enough about my hip, my fall, I want to let that movie soak up inside of me for a while."
"Wasn't it good?"
"It was, but I'm not sure yet."
"Sure of what?"
"What kind of good it was to me, I mean, somethings take time to comprehend, you need to experience a bit of life with it inside of you, and then when you have some good examples you can compare your life with a story you saw, you read, you heard."
"You lost me."
"Forget about it, are we going to dance or what?"
"YES!" says the entire group unanimously.
We're all walking down the street, it is a Saturday night and the feeling is alright when I stop, leaving them to carry on a few steps before they realize they're missing one.
"I hope you've been practicing those dances moves because this time there will be no curfew to save you from the Lord of Dance." I gave one of my menacing smiles but it didn't translate as devious as in my other body, the one in which was truly mine.