background image background image
meta background image
background image background image
background image perseveration
background image background image
metaphor background image
background image defense theory (of mind)
background image background image

I know how to write. I can speak. I can lie—with practice and rehearsal. My voice sometimes takes advantage of inflection.

I have a friend, maybe even two. I am deathly polite. I stare at the bridge of your nose when you speak to me, and I nod, even if I haven’t the slightest idea as to what you’re saying, because I know that nodding is appropriate, as is the illusion that I’m sharing an eye-gaze with you rather than counting the pores on your cheekbones. I empathize with your ear lobe. I know the feeling of hanging—I languish in my chair and reflect on the sadness of your reddened hair, so absorbent, so not you. We are soul mates, and your eyes are sinful, and I cannot tell you where they have been, what they look like, how long they’ve been missing, with whom they’ve shared their fluids.

If someone asks about you, I will tell him that you wear opal rings on your passenger-side middle finger. I will tell him that your fingers, slightly touched with middle age, grasp white mugs laser-branded with the drawings of your children. I will tell him that your most-used word is “OK,” that you keep three pink pencils in your upper-desk drawer, that you once told me I’m shyer than most. I know that you eat Dannon yogurt, that your birthday is October 8, that your son’s middle name is Andrew. I will tell him that I forget your face, that I forget your name, but I know your voice, I know your Emily Dickinson collections, I know your bottom tooth with the silver filling, I know that I have made and remade your image time and time again. I imagine that I know you.

previousnext page