I have no name. No parents or brothers or sisters. I am not biochemically linked to any organism on this planet, not the trees, the fish, or the humans.
I suddenly emerged from a fissure in the ground like a sprouting seed, between granite rocks near the peak of a mountain by a stream of melted snow. I was there. It's all I remember. Being there with a huge crack in the earth, smoldering and bubbling behind me, my long shadow cast against the granite rocks.
It was the shadow I investigated first. An elongated appendage like a finger held to the wind, twisting it slowly around. Staring. This black blur against the rock held my fascination as if, when looking back on it, I had an instinct of instant recognition. It was me, whatever me was and that's when the trouble began and continues as I write this.
I found that everyone needs a name; no name, no life. When I found this out I remembered the shadow that cast up before me like a broken mirror so my name was born and so was I. I've found that I've had to do a lot of inventing along these lines.
Someday I will get back to that place where I sprang from. My sense of direction is quite bad. But these few months or years - time has become as fluid as the stream- that I roamed in naked delight searching for nothing, trying to catch the shadow that played up in the tall trees and on moss crawling rocks. I dream every night that I'll return to it.
Ah, up there, every color imaginable flashed around mysterious but enwombing form. It was as if I had gathered all my brain and soul strength and that the whole sounded portion of the inside of my skull was a slowly revolving pinwheel of every color sensation. Well, this was how it was at first. Every color bursting in my eye like fire, igniting in my head, throwing me off balance. And each form in front of me awesome, treacherous yet compelling as well. The forms were giants and I felt them with my hands. They were my first family. And I trained myself to feel around the most imposing form as a mountain or even, a sky. Then I would find myself filled with laughter and thrilled with the freedom I had to go where I pleased and do what I wanted. Of course, at that time I didn't know all that could please or all the things I could choose to do. But within the limits I was free and joyful at the new sounds, new forms, new colors that kept reappearing in my head until I had to do something with them. The moment I did something with them, at the beginning, the moment I consciously set up to do that, a new, strange, awful adventure began that drove the joy out and the freedom. I often thought, "now that I have captured this and put it in front of me I am committed to it." And as I got committed to it a prison formed around me that I was completely unaware of until it was too late. That's when the bitterness became my favorite joyful freedom. The bitterness drove me from everything that had become familiar.
Years passed as best I can figure it. Perhaps it was a minute who's to know these things. After all, I had been learning about the size of things and how the size of them makes time squirm and laugh and fall off every horizon one puts up there until you give it up with gusts of laughter. But, even there one has to be circumspect because laughter can be interpreted many different ways. And I certainly learned not to stir the pot of human nature, let it believe its stupidities and narrowness, let it seethe in its frustrations and sooth it if you must but don't jostle it. That was one of the first tactics I learned after I got my bearings or what someone called "your bearings." It's the way angles attack each other I finally decided and became acutely aware of intersections, understanding very few of them but knowing them, peering into them until I was predictable to myself and so less anxious, less vulgar.
I presented quite a figure in those days. I wore ropes and would invite women to pull me along as they wished. This is how I met the mean ones. The nice ones would fit the rope around their necks and then make a choking gesture with their eyes bugged out before throwing it off and leaving me to decipher what they had tried to show me. The kind ones were the cruel ones but that was life wasn't it? That's what we were going to suffer. That's what we brought into ourselves and made a daily ritual and that was what we ran from like a mad dog. I see it now but in those days I was still new, still fresh and not at all immune to the quiddities of this fleshy thing. And it took me awhile to get used to the smiles as you suffer.
I was at a disadvantage with people since they knew their mothers and fathers for the most part. I just showed up. Why? Did nature create some mutation and throw me up from the Earth? I don't remember residing in it, only standing on the surface and thinking things. I knew where I had come from but nothing else of the details. This ill-defined nature followed me for quite a while. I felt like a victim, then felt powerful because all the others could point and say, "I come from them," and while that was good it also made them act the same. And it was funny to me how people thought life and time began with their births from the womb and all that went before was irrelevant. Nearly everything I crossed paths with had that view, at least for a time.
I figured I was human because I had a natural affection for the human being. But it didn't pass me by that humans often show a great deal more affection for a pet horse or dog than human beings. So perhaps I had affection for the wrong reasons. I didn't think too much about it. The humans could project whatever they had onto me and I hardly flinched. That doesn't mean I didn't cry a lot or I looked at humans as pets. They rarely acted like pets. In fact, a good case could be made that they were constantly trying to make others into pets. I suppose observation trumped whatever native-born traits I had gotten from wherever it was I came from, where I originated from. And don't let anyone tell you that I didn't have dreams about the possibilities of my origins. They were vast, spectral dreams that faded quickly when I got awake until during the day they turned into premonitions. It was during one of my free times that I tried to track down some of these premonitions.
I was often criticized for "standing still," or "not moving." "You aren't moving enough," they said. They seemed irritated or angry when they said it but I laughed a little and then watched them move around. Certainly if a movement inspired me I tried to reproduce it in some way. If a person moved without effort I would try and be the same way but usually end up falling down somewhere and embarrassing myself. My movements were awkward, no doubt about it. But I tried. I felt it was up to me to please others than to simply be the awkward goof I saw myself as. "Move!" And sometimes they had taken some alcohol or dope so it was confusing to me. I naturally shied away from intoxicated people it wasn't something I thought too much about. It must have been a tribal thing it doesn't matter any longer. Yes, it was a tribal initiation into a new sort of life. "Move, git up and move it!"
It didn't anger me at all but left me perplexed. Did they know what they were asking of me? Did they truly understand this? I carried the question for a long time then they dissipated through a kind of inertia. And I noted early on that a certain inertia created more energy in those who wanted something from me. So it was a tool of sorts and when I saw it work out this way I would go somewhere and laugh myself into a fit.
Oh the buggers could laugh but I could laugh too. And sometimes it was a strange mixture of laughs, one soft and one hard, even sardonic. I got a lot of it when I first told my story, my arrival and so on. I think now I understand that I was trying find those like me, who had come in as I had and didn't realize it was some freak accident. If it was. I've never found that out. There are no texts, no movies or shows that clue me in to what could possibly have happened.
I couldn't have been the only one! That seemed absurd to me. I met people born in Portugal, Zambia, Japan, and Uzbekistan, even Antarctica but no brothers or sisters. I used to sit for long hours thinking about this, how life is rudely ironic. Whenever I heard the phrase, "life is hard," I understood to the root what they meant. So for a long time I ran around like a ninny listening to my CD player plugged into an ear, hiding my own facts from everyone including myself. And the most difficult thing was to learn the everyday normalcy necessary to live well if at all. I observed, I read, I watched TV and after a time I got it down pretty well. Not perfect. But the sense of having to hide something left me by degrees and I felt good, as they say, in my normal day by day life.
Perhaps that was a downfall of some sort that I couldn't identify right off. I could never be normal because I never spent time in the mother's womb. I do admit a feint feeling of birth if that's the word for it. I remember feeling cold and damp walls and what I would term, a launch. Laugh, sure. But it did feel like that in some distant memory. I might have had dreams about it, I've had so many dreams it's hard to say. The seed and egg could have been completely inorganic as far as I knew. I wanted to know but I didn't want to know. What if I discovered I was the product of intercourse between a clod of dirt and the root of a potato? Or two giant worms deep in the nickel of the Earth who traveled through a hard sort of osmosis? It was a blank for me.
I only sweat when they tried to pin me down. There were large gaps between "interrogations" as I called them. There was nothing sinister about them, it wasn't like they thought I was a spy but they wanted so much information! Why so much information? Especially from a guy who could only provide a bare minimum at best. And I think that made them angry so they'd wait a bit and then when my defenses were down, bam! another go at trying to figure out who I was.
This is precisely the moment stories emerge, that was the most delightful thing I learned. Take a bare thing and weave a rich and complex tale around it until the bareness and the richness are a fne mix. A tale for every strata. Or, maybe I mean strategy. Strategic telling of tales! And I know they tried verifying some of them but that was my plan all along. They would trip themselves up or discover something they hadn't figured on and would look at me quizzically, even at times with affection.
I often picked my parents out at random or because I had heard good things about them. I would say, "these are my parents," and then watch them carefully and make sure I did what they did. I learned as much as I could from a variety of these made-up parents, some of whom suspected something I know that. They said I was an odd duck and left it at that but then they would reveal themselves to be the odd ducks so I had another good laugh and moved on to another "community." There were many of those and the wonderful barriers they put up did not allow the community I had left to follow me and demand I tell them the truth or admit that I was using them because I didn't know who I was. A barrier was as good as a secret. How filled they were of themselves! All they could breathe were their ideas about who they were and what they were trying to accomplish.
I suppose people said I tried to fit in, I tried to be a regular guy so I wouldn't be constantly forced to remember myself and my origins. No, I tried to fit in because I was by nature polite and didn't want to make waves. I was only interested in knowing how I had come about. I couldn't leap up at a meeting or party and just blurt it out what would people make of that? No, I had to cultivate people and get them to see me as inoffensive as a pair of old shoes. When suspicions developed I had to make a quick decision of whether to leave the community and find a new one or try to fake my way through it. I almost always jumped ship and joined a new community and then set about to find those I could talk with, in private, in a kind of confessional way giving them, of course, all the power to determine, even, who I was. So I had to be cautious about it. Discrete. It was very difficult when fine looking women tried to seduce me. I didn't even realize I was capable of being seduced and it led to very embarrassing, even humiliating, episodes. For instance, I thought an erect penis was for show and paraded around one night with my back arched and hands on my hips after this beautiful woman had gotten my clothes off at a party. Fortunately it was a small gathering and most people laughed and told me to sober up. I could tell the laughter was meant to change my behavior so ran back into the bedroom where the beautiful woman was sitting brushing her hair out, sitting cross-legged, completely naked with pins in her mouth. "Well, you've must be a nut case so I'm leaving." Then she began to take her hands and fight off the erection, batting it from side to side until it hurt. After that incident I always associated the sex act with pain and stopped even thinking about it.
(Ending) So yes, it is true that men and even some women came into being under the strangest circumstances and were destined the unhappy fate of having to make it all up because their memory was practically null and void. Perhaps many generations of my type have passed through, always at the verge but never quite unlocking the key before they do what they share with all the animals, they die. And perhaps I am the first of a sort, conscious now of this peculiarity and understanding that rather than a great flaw it is a strength. A power that needs a strategy!