There are a lot of me.
There’s a me who lives and writes at night, and a me who feels guilty about waking up at noon. There’s a restless me who’s constantly on the move, and a jet-lagged me who can’t wait for teleportation to become a thing. One of me is a social butterfly, but he’d rather you call him a moth. He says moths are more fascinating, but this me thinks he’s being a little shifty. As you can imagine, that me and this me aren’t on the best of terms.
There’s a me from a bygone era who’s an iconoclast and also a smartass. He’s got a laundry list of minor peeves and hang-ups, all of which he blames on the status quo. Unfortunately for him, another me is a draconian linguaphile who thinks using the phrase status quo to criticize the status quo is the verbal equivalent of putting out a house fire with a flamethrower. That me is obviously not very good with analogies.
There’s a platonic me who believes life is filled with meaning, a cynical me who thinks it probably isn’t, and a stoic me who doesn’t care – but all three somehow manage to get along.
One of me is troubled by the unknown; and another me, captivated by it; but neither of them would recommend staying inside your comfort zone all the time. There’s a me who is very clever and hardworking, but he has no common sense. This makes the last two of me wonder if he should consider staying in his comfort zone more often. Another me does have common sense, but not very much, and if prompted would probably claim that common sense is overrated anyway. “Common sense,” he’d say, “tells you an inchworm is an inch-long worm, which it isn’t; French fries were invented by the French, which they weren’t; and that the Earth is flat, which is ridiculous.”
Now there used to be an anxious me who worried about everything, but then one day the rest of me got together and staged an epic intervention, and I haven’t heard from that me since. He was replaced by a productive trio of me: a creative me who writes fiction, an academic me who writes non-fiction, and a rebellious me who resists labels and is really just trying to create something new. That me is clearly an eccentric and a song-and-dance man as well, because it’s never quite clear what side of the bread he’s buttered on – his own words. That me is also a knowledge junkie, particularly when it comes to everything. He also loves fictional maps and female robots, so much so he built his own!
Like I said, there are a lot of me: my identity is not fixed. Each is like a mask onto which ideas have been attached. One within another, like a Russian nesting doll. At the center is yet another me, but he’s not that interesting.
All he does is breathe.