Identity

by Chris Alaimo

A few years ago my ex bought me a colouring book,

for adults, by “your way to colorcalm” called

“Winter dream”. We never made it to next Christmas.

Isn’t a colouring book a strange parting gift?

Maybe, but I find solace in it, unlike

the HPV she bequeathed me. Aside:

 

I am not who I am, and I am who I am not

so long as the true is the same but then also not

which shouldn’t matter anyway since I’m here--

and also there. Aside:

 

contradictions are just inconvenient truths that

confound the unimaginative, people who claim

you can’t jam a square peg through a round hole.

They might be right but I’m sure as hell gonna try. Aside:

 

speaking of cliché, what’s the big deal with identity,

anyway? To say I is just to shoot up your hand, wave

furiously, exclaim, yes, yes, me, me!, and for that

to denote both anything but, and nothing except,

you—for they/them to settle on the lips. Aside:

 

and aren’t holes just the absence of stuff?

According to Google: stuff, from the Old French

estofffer, to furnish, from the Greek, stuphein,

to draw together. If filling up holes were as easy

as collecting gently used furniture off Kijiji, I’d have

prettier holes--still very empty, but cute. Aside:

 

Last night I found myself banging my head against a wall,

again. Not sure what I was thinking: maybe that a gentle tap

would be more palatable than a slam—turns out that

boundaries feel like concrete regardless of force. Aside:

 

I used to think I had multiple personalities--still do.

One psychiatrist assured me that it’s just my OCD talking,

not me. Shouldn’t come as a surprise that I agree with her

hypothesis: I is plural. Evidence: have you been listening? Aside:

 

and come to think of it, we never really did

a whole lot of drawing, nor a whole lot of

communicating—too busy doing puzzles,

noticing patterns, and pointing fingers.

That holiday season was colordepressing.

About the Author

Chris is an emerging writer from Hamilton, On. He has a Masters Degree in philosophy. When not writing, you can find him lifting or sleeping.