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.
4 Replies to “Not: Me”
It seems that you have left the who you are and the what you are and what you believe and what you can do and what you like and what you feel and what you think and what you see and what you believe to the reader.
What exactly is it that makes you smile?
In whose company are you?
Do you spend your time with beautiful art work, whatever that is?
What are you trying to escape?
You think you do not run from things?
What do you run toward?
What makes someone “valuable?”
Are you sure you exist?
What is the view beyond someone that is more interesting than the individual?
What do you drown your mind in?
Do you consider yourself a hopeless realist?
What will you proclaim?
Other than yourself is anyone in your life special?
No one else is me but who is Andrew?
Would you sleep with plain looking woman of average intelligence if there was an emotional connection?
How do you quantify an idea?
What is it you do that is not gentle and is gentle equated with weak?
Haven’t you managed to hide quite a lot?
So you think that dead is not a relative state?
Do you oppose emotion? What was that. I’m going to piss some people off. a while back?
Is that physical beauty, spiritual beauty……..?
Are you opposed to loving or being loved?
Weren’t you opposed to the idea of government bailing out people who had made bad economic decisions?
Are you opposed to rainbows or perhaps twilight?
Do you like happiness, strength and courage?
Is being in the mood a prerequisite for behavior?
Heeding mindless demands making the educational environment difficult?
Is wading chest deep in the ocean or mountain stream the same as swimming?
What do you think constitutes a genius?
Does authority require respect?
Have you ever had a nose bleed from a lack of humidity?
Are the promises you make yourself, thinking grand, made only with the certainty that they can be kept?
Does not failing one’s self require a situational evaluation?
Do you watch television?
Do you watch commercials even though you dislike them?
How is it that you manage to speak to others without requiring yourself to do so, autonomic nervous system?
So, you think that it is possible to selectively forget information? How is it that you know what it is that you will never need to know or remember?
At what point do you know you are or will be interested in someone or something or some idea?
Is there a time limit on being patient?
When will you address what you are? Have you ever looked into a mirror until the person looking back at you is not someone you recognize?
There is no need to respond to any of this or to promise to address some of the issues in a later entry.
These are simply views from the other side of the mirror.
Did you remain in Chicago for the holidays?
Did you get a Chiapet?
I’ll feel the need to address a few of your questions, just for fun. Your initial statement seems right in line with my intentions for this piece.
Merry Christmas? Quite.
Did you get a Chiapet? No. Tell me more.
When will you address what you are? Almost every time I have/will post.
So, you think that it is possible to selectively forget information? Yes.
How is it that you know what it is that you will never need to know or remember? I give it a few seconds. Need to know?
Do you watch commercials even though you dislike them? not anymore.
Do you watch television? occasionally movies. that is all. since 4th grade.
Have you ever had a nose bleed from a lack of humidity? almost.
Does authority require respect? The weaker kind.
Heeding mindless demands making the educational environment difficult? Most of my life. More so for educators, in my experience.
Weren’t you opposed to the idea of government bailing out people who had made bad economic decisions? Yes. But, I said I may choose to help.
Do you oppose emotion? Generally, my own.
Other than yourself is anyone in your life special? I never said anyone was, self included.
Haven’t you managed to hide quite a lot? I try for transparency. Look harder. 😉
What do you drown your mind in? Thoughts, of course. Otherwise, stillness.
What are you trying to escape? Nothing. Taxes. Society. In that order.
No one else is me but who is Andrew? Everything you see here.
Martin, I always appreciate your comments. You’ve consistently neglected my inquires concerning who you might be, or how I might know you. You certainly have a right to anonymity, but won’t you answer me something: why do you come here, why do you read my thoughts?
This is great. You should put this in your poetry section. Really nice.
You know, I never really considered looking at this post as poetry. I think it just might work!
Thank you for stopping by.