How ironic that so much information should be bundled in a single letter: I. It looks like an I-beam. I is eyes. Nose, chin, legs, arms, fingers, thumbs, knees, nipples, testicles, ovaries, bones a complex nervous system, hair, eyebrows, elbows, blood, a personal history involving uncles and aunts and parents and kids, maybe kings, maybe queens, maybe a bloody civil war, rivers overflowing their banks, barns vomiting sparks into a prairie night, guns and outlaws. Consciousness in a gliding vowel. I hear by my eye that I is a cry in the sigh of the sky.
When I say I what is meant is consciousness, my consciousness, the activity in my head, the feeling in my nerves, the grout holding my condition together in a coherent mass. When I say you what is meant is you, whoever you may be, you the one who is reading these words, assisting in these perceptions, these thoughts, you in a situation similar to mine, a being with skin and blood and bones, a taste for anchovies perhaps, perhaps not, but passions, likes, dislikes, not my passions and likes and dislikes, but your apparel, your zinnias and kettledrums, whatever makes your world, that is who you are. So who am I? I am the one telling this story. Which isn’t even a story. It’s more of a collage, a beam of light in an attic, a bumbling, a mumbling, a search for jelly and paste, correspondences and coleslaw, meditations on death and life.
And here is the reason: it’s fascinating. Life is fascinating. It’s so fascinating that there is never any single way to get it out there, put it in words, frame it in paragraphs, in a plot, bring it into focus like a smear of bacteria on a glass slide, or a constellation of stars in a distant galaxy. Life is a momentum, a motion rolling through the medium of the world like the motion rolling through water that we call a wave, a swell.
I can tell you who I am not. I am not Jeffrey R. Immelt, the current CEO of General Electric. I am not Bob Dylan, most definitely not the Bob Dylan who did the ridiculous Chrysler ad that aired during the 2014 Superbowl, nor the really cool Bob Dylan on the Blonde on Blonde album cover, the Bob Dylan who wrote those marvelous songs, who brought Dada and Surrealism into rock ‘n roll, who unleased the imagery of surprise and ferocity into the kettles of the night.
I am not Iron Man, Captain Kirk, Jennifer Lawrence, Scarlet Johansson, or Angela Merkel.
I am an immigration of ideas, a cluster of feelings, an emotion, an emulsion, a constellation of opinions, a variegation of paint and apparel, a vascularity, a distillation, a diffusion, a contradiction, a walking antique, a story in search of a plot, a lambent introspection bubbling over with words, an ornithological disgrace, a love of literature, a gathering of skin, an appeal to common sense, a bizarre bazaar, a group of intentions, an incentive to lie, a jackpot of truth, a memory of hills, an aesthetic, a Weltanschauung, a polymer, a pulse, a polemicist, a pronoun.