First Person Singular
They wanted to know about his pros and cons. His happiness and his nose-dives. Why his shoelaces were never tied and why didn’t he wear slip-ons. They–no, I’m not talking about myself in the 3rd person. That’s for people who can’t bend down and tie their laces. People who crash picnics.
I’m not talking in the 3rd person, I’m talking about the 3rd person. Cross-dressers and chameleons, slipping through the shadows of their own reality.
This is what I do because I can’t remember what to say next.
When one faculty falters, another kicks in. Blind people who can smell a lima bean trapped in the kitchen sink “J” joint.
HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO REMEMBER WHAT TO SAY NEXT WHEN IT HASN’T HAPPENED YET?
The real question is: Why are they concerned about the 3rd person’s happiness and shoelaces, these third persons plural? And how can we get poor Fred the hell out of there?
Now I’ve gone and dropped his name. It didn’t shatter like I thought it would. It bounced like a rubber ball, and there’s a glimmer of hope in Fred’s eye now, watching his name bounce. All he has to do is reach out and snatch it up before it settles into stillness again. Hold it up like a Eucharist and cry out: “This is my body!”
Then the tables will be turned. Then they’ll run for cover, these plural persons with the effrontery to demand things from Fred.
Do it, Fred.
Snatch up your name and hold it on high.
We’re counting on you.