i am a new person whenever a new person looks at me.
i create what is said about myself.
my angles, my corners, the gaps in my lips when i smile, the texture of my palm when i shake hands all carve new territory in the mind’s twisted, cluttered desk. but new places are rarely carved. they are pulled together like a dream mosaic of familiar mental schema. i am placed upon the patterns of other people i have never met.
bits and pieces of aunts and cousins and siblings and friends and lovers and short acquaintances all pull together in the soup of psyche until my face is recreated behind the face of the new person i have just met.
my smell is actually full of other smells. my sounds – my voice, the sweeping muffled insect call of corduroy when my legs cross, the way my jacket grinds gently on the suede chair – are not my sounds inside your head because i am a new person to you. i am made of the sounds of them that came before.
and you, new friend, new lover, new enemy, else newly to be forgotten: you, too, are a frankenstein monster in my mind. we gape and pose at each other like foreign embassies posturing in diplomatic relations. we are, both of us, foolish and not ourselves at all in the other new person’s head.
and i look upon you, new person, fully aware of the bric-a-brac of brains, and i am still incapable of meeting you any other way.
perhaps a holy person is the one that has no head for faces, voices, and identities. ’tis easier to love all when that love is uncontained by the history of bodies and faces and voices and smells. the holy one shakes hands with another formless, gormless entity. all they can sense inside the head is the luminous light of life. all bodies are just souls and everyone looks like a brother and a sister.