Third Person

In bios, we list all the ways we might seem valuable: the places we’ve studied, degrees we’ve earned, teachers who’ve chosen us to mentor; the magazines and journals where people in positions of editorial authority have considered the fruits of our labor worthwhile; the whole books of ours accepted for publication, the new books we’re industriously working on; the prestigious organizations that have selected us for employment, the charitable organizations that have benefited from the lending of our precious energy; the money we’ve been gifted, the time we’ve been granted in exchange for our promises to produce something important. We are important for all these reasons, our bios say. We’ve got it, and we can prove it to you, to ourselves. Our selves are nowhere to be found in our bios. No doubt, no regret, no fear. No I. I need to put words on paper in order to make sense of all that drifts through my mind. I usually feel confused and disregarded. I wish to be heard. My work is a fragment of all of me, along with my slack, my play, my guilt. I am one of the many, unremarkable. Read me or don’t, I remain the same, going about my days, making what I can of what I’ve been given and what I’ve taken for myself. I do my best. I am like you and I am not like you. I love. I live.

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