To Be

July 27, 2011
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I am. I am alive. This is what I know. I am a who. I think. I have hands and feet, but don’t think I have a head. I am uncertain. I cannot see it. See! I see. I try to find my sight’s source and touch-a head! I do have one. I have thin fingerlike things that come from it. Hair? I think so. I move my hands up. There is rock on my head. Or something of that sort. My hands slide up. The rock thins out. The rock curves. Finally, it points. Horns? Names are occurring to me. Names. What things are called. The names seem right. I touch my back. Plumage. I can feel with the plumage. The plumage stretches out. Wings? How peculiar.
“AAIIIIEEE!!!!”
This is a sound. I know that I did not make it. This suggests that there are other things. They make sound. I must find them. I move my arm. There is a rustle sound as it rubs against something cold. Cold and flat. I drag my foot. It makes and another rustle as it drags against another cold-flat. This one is low. What is Aaiiee? Is it a name? Is it mine? I am Aaiiee. Am I being summoned? Summoned. To be wanted. That want being expressed.
I move.
I stand.
I walk.
More rustles.
Now Clacks.
Clack, rustle, clack rustle.
Movement must be what sounds are.
“AAIIIIEEE!!!!” I am wanted. A who must want. I want to please other whos. Whos are allies if pleased. How do I know this? I do not know how I know.
Know.
To comprehend.
To understand.
To begin to be a who.
My horns hit a high-flat. I do not know if it is cold. I walk again. One foot placed before the other. Over and over. My horns hit the high-flat again. I cry out.
“AAIIIIEEE!!!!” Aaiiee. My name. It is bad. When my horns hit the high-flat I felt…. Pain? I am pain. I am Aaiiee. I feel an emotion once I think this. Emotion. Inexplicable. A feeling? Of a mind? This is close. I am sad. This is the feeling. Sad is correct. I bend. Bend. To unstraighten. I bend and walk out of some sort of angular hole. I am walking in a long angular hole of gray cold-flats. A corridor.
“AAIIIIEEE!!!!” The other who is feeling pain. How sad. I must teach the other who to bend. I follow the corridor. I find angles that climb up. Stairs? Yes, this is the name.
“AAIIIIEEE!!!!” I hear that the who is up. I follow the up-stairs. Once I finish, I realize that from this perspective they are down. They are up-down stairs. How clever. But I feel that this is all unnatural, the up-down stairs, the corridor, the cold-flats, all of this. But I feel natural. Perhaps I am responsible for this. No, I don’t remember that. Then again, I don’t remember anything. Perhaps I am new. Perhaps the unnatural things are responsible for me. Whos are natural. Perhaps another who is responsible for me. I must ask the one who summons me for the secret of stairs. I follow another corridor. I find another angular hole and step through. Then, I remember, this is a doorway! And the cold-flats are walls! The high-flats are ceilings and the cold-low-flats are floors.
I see two whos.
How great! I feel another emotion, it is called joy, the whos turn to me. Their eyes seem to pop. Is that how I look? I feel my head. Eyes. Made for sight. Nose. To breathe. Mouth. To…?
The whos are different from each other. And me. One is larger. The larger has hair surrounding its mouth. The smaller has none on its face but long sleek hair on its head, like me. They both have things covering them. Garments, I realize. I look at myself, I have none. Is this bad? Or simply different? Most peculiar of all, they have no wings or horns.
“I can’t believe she’s dragged it out for this long,” says the larger who. The smaller who barely reacts. It has its eyes trained on me. Something trickles from them. I go up to it and touch the trickle. It is called water. This kind is called tears. The smaller-who does not respond to my touch. It simply keeps it eyes trained on me.
“God help you.” Says the larger-who.
“I am Aaiiee.” I say. My sounds surprise me. They are like thought, but from my mouth. I realize that I am imitating the other whos. They must have so much to teach me. Teach. To cause someone to know. How clever. I tell them,
“I am Aaiiee. I am a who. I am pain.”
The larger-who makes a strange face. I sense that he is pained. I decide to leave. I turn and begin to walk but the larger-who grabs my waist. He does something awful to my back with his nails and lets me go. I walk quickly, and then I run. These whos are strange. I follow the corridor again.
“AAIIIIEEE!!!!” This sound is too far. I realize that I was in the wrong place. This means that these were the incorrect whos. The one who summons me is probably the clever one. I check all of the doorways. I do not find the clever-who. But, I stumble upon a doorway that is blocked.
“AAIIIIEEE!!!!” This is the correct doorway. But a door blocks it. I do not know how to open it. It is blocked. Block. To make difficult. Whose wisdom is this? Surely not my own. An unknown who’s wisdom. Perhaps the unknown-who and the clever-who are one and the same. I do not know.
“The doorknob!” I realize. It must be turned, and then the door must be pushed. I quietly thank the unknown who for this knowledge. It takes me a few tries, but I open the door. I hear a click and a whimper. The click is the door, but the whimper must be from the clever-who. The one who summons me. At last! I see it. I feel joy. This who is stranger still. I had not realized until now, all things touch the ground, or are supported by something on the ground. Not the clever-who. Long things like hair held it to the ceiling. Dangling. To be held in midair .Effortlessly. Chains were what held it. Chains. How clever! The clever who must teach me its secrets!
“AAIIIIEEE!!!!” It cries out. Its mouth is large and pouty. Its hair is thick, long, and a pretty color. Blonde? Yes, it is blonde. Mine is a darker shade of the walls. Black. The who’s head rests between it’s breasts. It is free of garments, like me. The who is covered in something unpleasant. Grime? Yes.
The who’s head comes up.
There are two strips of cloth where its eyes should be.
“AAIIIIEEE!!!!” It cries out.
“I am here. No, that is incorrect. I am Aaiiee. My body is here. I am pain.” The who begins to thrash its body from side to side. The chains make pretty sounds. Pretty. Pleasant to the senses. Not quite, but I somehow understand. In my own way. The clever-who is pretty. I do not know if I am pretty. My presence seems to be bad. I suppose I am not pretty.
“Why do you thrash?” I ask the clever-who.
“Because you will kill me!” it screams in no particular direction. It continues to thrash.
“How?” I ask. “What is to kill?” The clever-who stops thrashing, “Is it to…end a who?” I ask. More wisdom from the unknown who.
“Yes… I suppose.” It replies. I decide that the unknown-who and the clever-who are not one and the same.
“I see why that would upset you. Is thrashing something you do when you are upset?”
“No, I was hoping to break the chains or fall out of them.” This upsets me.
“They are so pretty!”
“Ha! They keep me bound here!”
Bound. To be trapped .How frustrating. Frustrating is a form of upset. I do not want the blonde clever-who to be upset.
“How can I take away the chains?” I ask.
“With the key.”
“What is the key?” I ask. The blonde clever-who looks puzzled.
“A thing that goes into the chain and opens it so I will be freed.” Freed. To not be trapped. To end frustration.
“Alright. I will find it.”
“It is in the mirror room.”
“Alright.” Mirror? I do not wish to display any further ignorance, so I decide to leave, but, I must ask one more question.
“Why are your eyes covered in cloth?” I ask.
“So I don’t see ugly things such as you.” She replies. I leave. Ugly? What does that mean? It does not matter. I must find the mirror room. I go up and down stairs. I go into an enormous amount of identical rooms, none are the mirror rooms. How tedious. Boring. Neverending. Not quite.
Then I reach a door.
But this was no ordinary door.
It was astonishingly beautiful.
It was beautiful in the same way the blonde clever-who’s hair was. It was a different color.
But not just a color.
It was all of the colors.
I reach for its doorknob but my back begins to throb. It hurts again in all of the places that the larger-who scratched me. I ignore the pain. I touch the doorknob. The pain becomes intolerable but I must see what lays behind this door. I turn the knob.
“AAIIIIEEE!!!!” I cry out. I am in excruciating pain. But I throw the door open. Once I step into the room, the pain is extinguished.
On the back of the door, I see a who.
On the walls there are more whos.
And on the floor.
And the ceiling.
Stranger still, I notice that these whos are all identical.
Next, I recognize my features on them.
Then, it hits me. They are me! Mirrors must show you through the eyes of others! Before I have time to think this through any further, I hear a click from above. Then a large thump, and suddenly a part of the ceiling falls through. The floor breaks. Pieces of it hit me. I feel pain. I scream.
“AAIIIIEEE!!!!”
My name.
I am pain.
I look at myself in the mirror, red is seeping down my body. Then, I notice my back. I see marks left behind from the larger-who. I realize that I can decipher them on the mirror.
DO NOT TRUST THE BLONDE CLEVERWHO
What? Why not? Suddenly, from the hole in the ceiling, falls the blonde clever-who. The cloth on her eyes is gone and she is laughing terribly. She picks up a shard of glass and I notice the red rivulets streaming down both our bodies. Blood. I begin to tremble. The blonde clever-who thrusts the shard of glass into my chest. I fall limp. She drags me by the hair into one of the identical rooms, just like where I first awoke. It’s dark and foggy. I think my eyes have broken. I feel myself being cleaned. The blood is gone. The pain is subsiding. Something is being put into my mouth. Then I remember one last time. I am Aaiiee. I am pain. Then, I learn one last thing. I have been killed.
***
I open my eyes.
I am. I am alive. This is what I know.





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