Looks, stares, gazes. Alias, alone (with ants). In bathroom. Facing mirror.
Is reminded (from whence and where?) “My way of not being the same is, by definition, the most singular part of what I am.” Remembers Foucault wrote that (how? why?).
Contemplates. Scrutinizes. Reflects. Adorno: “To make things of which we do not know what they are.” Wherefore? Examines his old face for repetition. For resemblance.
What ever did he suppose the “self” was? Leans closer. 12 years old, exploring raggedy woods surround childhood farm in the Kansas countryside with a crooked clumsy stick (a settler’s gun). Who did he posit “others” to be?
Laramie, somewhere far. Laramie: OFF. Sister. Sometime “friends.” Lucy (before that H____, before that T_____, and prior A______, D_______, J_____, and so on). Had he come to approximate “himself” at all? And who and what and where determined that? Where is the Observer?
“What constitutes the subject in its relations to the true, to rules, to itself?” (Foucault had queried) – the “I” in a sentence – and why had he ever read that stuff? Why did he feel himself “drawn” to it? Magnetized to self-reflection, chaotic perspective gyroscope?
Can almost see the swallowing snake. How long he’s longed (like Laramie) to shed obligations and self-evolving charges (children, lovers, homes and labor)…and how lonely alone turns out to be.
Leans back. The hair, the shoulders, the wrinkles and beard. Sheer size alone an entirely variant specimen from 12, shape of 20, motility of 3, vim of 47.
But the naming remains: Harlequin – spanning centuries, derived from ancestor’s medieval roles. “Ignatius” and “Evgeny” – monikers pilfered from grandfathers – representing both (or some) genetic “sides” – the mother’s and the father’s. Then Alias, alas – selected purely for sound and almost a joke – “let him make his own name” his dad was supposed to have said – “make a name for himself.” Alias i. e. Harlequin – an identity of shifters. Contentless, versatile signs. This or that, also known as, patchwork jester. Volatile collage.
Multi-colored robes of Joseph – Alias certain he’s never led anything out of bondage – let alone himself. A joker then? Entertainer with a deathly fear to perform. Chameleon, hodgepodge, bum. Rag-tag coddle of experiences, interests and events: people, places, actions and things. Jumbled potpourri of knowledge sans expertise. “Who is this what that I am?” he thinks, unattended, gaping at the bathroom mirror. “How?”
Sways toward. Yellowed teeth, crudded sockets. Webs stringing out from the eyes indexing smiles – from when?
Drinks. Diarrhea. Trembles.
Considers process of elimination. Engages, ingests, transforms…and turns it all to shit.
Precisely! If we could do without metaphor! “The real,” “the rules,” “itself” and “other” hacked, torn and blundered, mulched and mushed, pulped and extracted…some to nourish, some to harm, random keeps and passes…What if “itself” were able to masticate, dissolve and disperse, digest and diarrhea itself? If thinking passed like food and water?
Crush the judgments, statements, words and perceptions. Struggle to swallow. Swill the pains and fears – chug through the gullet – expel from the sex. Crap the hopes, the dreams. Piss prejudice and myth. Ingurgitate logical systems, impressions and lust. Eliminate ruin and waste like a transitioning, dynamic…eroding, decrepit, diminishing body.
Examines physique – misshapen shapeshifting slush. Deliberates learning. Vocations. Training. Behaviors and “talents.” Successes.
Swallows again, more of a choking or gulp. Peers closer. Slurps and gobbles, wriggling it down – acids and micro-solutions…expel, eject, devour. Autosarcophagy, necrotizing fasciitis, auto-immune (how did he know these things?) parasiting himself – is it possible to empty? To void? And where’s Laramie? Lucy? The children?
The trots again. He starts to gag.