When I was applying to colleges, I was tasked with telling the countless admissions boards about myself. What I was. What I did. Why I did it. I had about five hundred words to work with and nearly as many rough drafts. What I eventually decided upon was a piece that related who I was, by investigating exactly what I was not. Upside-down, perhaps, but most would deem the attempt a successful one.
I have not read that condensed anti-autobiography in many years. But I’ve been having a desire to do so lately. So, for the purpose of comparison, I am going to use that technique to describe myself today. So let me begin: I am not sure where to start.
You find yourself in a loud room with lots of people around you and smell some type of alcohol… I am not there. You imagine that someone avoids these type of gatherings because he/she is very dry, shy, or too busy. None of those apply.
Sometime else, someone is sitting in the park with their feet dangling over the water and a book in their hands – it is not me either. You will not find me in a coffee shop making small-talk with strangers. You will not find me acting on emotion unless you are directly related to the action at hand and have made me smile at some point in time.
You may look at me, and I may smile at you; you almost never induced the smile. Smiles are quite rarely an unconscious decision.
Something about you is truly hideous… I am not in your company. I do not spend time with ugly artwork. I do not loath time spent with interesting people. I do not find projections interesting; transparency is the most interesting complexity.
I do not smoke, I do not drink, I do not attempt to escape reality, I do not run from anything (I do not NOT run towards somethings.), I do not value anyone simply because they exist. I am not convinced you do exist.
You think I am looking at you, but I am usually looking beyond you. You think you go unnoticed, but I am aware of you. I am no drowning my mind in noise and images and fantasies when you might see me.
I am not a hopeless romantic. anymore. I am not going to proclaim that love is dead. I will not pretend you are special. I am not you, as far as you know.
I do not sleep with stupid women. Even if they are gorgeous. anymore. I do not think small. I do not act gently. I do not hide anything. anymore.
I am not dead. I have never been dead. I am not opposed to logic. I am not opposed to beauty. I am not opposed to love, or ideas, or the dark. I do not like anger, or weakness, or fear. I will not watch you bear those things. I am not opposed to taking them for you, or carrying your luggage if I am in the mood. I will not, however, mindlessly heed your demands.
I do not like to swim. anymore. I do not think you are a genius because you can recite others’ ideas. never have. I do not respect authority without personal investigation and approval.
I cannot stand humidity.
I make few guarantees. I make fewer promises. I never fail a promise. I think it is impossible to fail yourself. I do not watch network television. I do not like commercials. I do not require myself to speak to anyone.
I do not forget what is important. I do not remember what is unimportant. I do not pretend interest. I am not impatient.
I am not. I am not. I am not.
I am not, more or less than I am. anymore. yet.