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I am not she


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It feels treacherous to pen my tales from the mind of “I.” For I is the most delicate of all pronouns; it is preserved for the self-assured, the single-faceted, the lion-hearted who dare define themselves so aptly. I is solidifying, it transcends you and he and she and they, I is for those rarities within the fickle race of man who can contain themselves into a single persona, a steadfast psyche and consistent soul.

To say I is the upmost treachery, for it fragments myself and refers to a single dwarfed star in the galaxy that is my being. The only thing that is I is a living paradox, a multitude of multitudes within a single body: that I am. To write from I is a dolorous tragedy, narcotizing the others within me that may pitifully object to the words splattering upon paper like a deer’s intestines on tar. I cannot possibly narrate what is ME, all that is me, all the me’s that run through my veins and dwell in my four-chambered heart, all the me’s that sing and whisper in the eaves of my cortex or sleep and run in my chest wall.





I love to write.
Treachery. The I who dominates this phrase is the inspired, the artist, the lover, the sweet crooner of words and possessor of the malleable tongue of three languages. I manipulates, I weaves and spins to find the mot juste and try to deliver it free of pretensions and bias. Yet, I will never be sated. For what I craves most is the incorporation of all I’s in a single phrase, a call to all I’s in a string of words and letters. Yet, I will remain treacherous, I will remain incomplete. For the I who finds solace within the pen will forever lack the bittersweet voice of the shadow I:


I am worthless.
I hates to write. I is engulfed in such a maelstrom of despair and self-loathing that I cannot even summon words to express the insigifiance that is I. I is so riddled with angst and paranoia that I is afraid of the words that may be anything short of a paragon. I is the hindrance. But I is the black truth.

A name is the erringly human attempt to make definitions, to craft semblances of identity. My name makes I all the more motley.


I am Anita Carroll.
I am Anita. I am the one who spoke only Spanish as a toddler with a newly widowed grandmother in an exurban estate. I am the one whose brown eyes recall the darkness of the Incan fall, whose European countenance is the resilience of the Spanish in Peru. I am the one whose name means Grace but stumbles over every step, who has palpitations when speaking and whose sinew is imperfection.
I am sprouting from the roots of my mother and the language of sensuality. I am Anita, and I am therefore my mothe: I am the aspirations of a first-generation American, I am astuteness, I am unfailing ethic, I am criticism, I am my best friend and my worst enemy. I am the small-town overachiever; I am the one who returns to the exurb after living in the nucleus of the city.

I am Carroll. I am the bluffs of Ireland, the song of Belfast and the lushness of the isle. I am the cold sea instilled in the hearts of the Northerners who wish to be free. I am the chant, the perseverance that is Ireland. I am Carroll, and I am therefore my father. I am the thick Italian hair and the almond eyes, the blatant sensitivity and the aloofness. I am the son of an Irish immigrant and an Italian-American. I am the maternal grandson of a blue-blooded Southern sophisticate and a Calabrese man. I am the boy of Brooklyn, the disdainer of the Catholic Church, the wanderer who left home to the sea for three years. I am the one who lived and breathed New York City and moved to the land of no sidewalks for the woman I loved.

And Yet, I am Anita Carroll. But I cannot be Anita Carroll. Anita Carroll is the amalgam of the contradictions, the one whose makeup of dizzying paradoxes prevents from being and yet is the defining sustenance.



I am a living paradox.
I is not treachery: for the paradox is the only I which encompasses all I’s, the one that is the vibrant truth and does not dominate, the one that does not deceive and does not hide or efface. The paradox is the only reality.




Join the Discussion


This article has 12 comments. Post your own!

BeccaKoko said...
Mar. 18, 2011 at 5:26 pm:
This is so beautiful and meaningful! Almost like poetry:)
 
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Starkid42 said...
Mar. 18, 2011 at 2:30 pm:

This is a wonderful, philosohical piece. It takes immense skill to turn "I" into a third-person pronoun, but you did it masterfully! Wonderful, wonderful work. 5 stars for sure.

And just wondering, have you ever read Anthem by Ayn Rand?

 
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The elf said...
May 7, 2010 at 10:08 am:
WITH A PHILOSOPHICAL STYLE , A GREAT CREATIVITY, INSPIRED BY THE ANCESTRAL LEGACY OF YOUR ROOTS (PERUVIAN , ITALIAN AND IRELAND). WROTE "I AM NOT SHE" WITH DIFFERENT POINTS OF VIEW, AND A WELL WRITTEN STYLE
 
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MikeO said...
May 6, 2010 at 9:46 pm:
Evoked thoughts of the paradox that I see in my own Italian and Irish daughters. Nicely done.
 
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Bob12345678 said...
May 6, 2010 at 10:41 am:
Beautifully written!
 
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Jeb41 said...
May 5, 2010 at 6:13 pm:
Sensitive articulation of the  complexities  of  living in two cultural traditions, evocative Bharatai Mukherjee  and other great writers.   Defintely top rating, a 5 for  sure. 
 
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James said...
May 5, 2010 at 12:41 pm:
Passionate yet introspective, exuberant yet philosophical. Prose that crackles like fire consuming an oak log. Written by a lover of life and language. Bravo! 5 Stars!!  
 
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Eileen said...
May 5, 2010 at 9:11 am:
This is truly amazing writing. Well done!
 
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poppi said...
May 4, 2010 at 1:24 pm:
This eloquent composition makes me want to cry. And I (almost) never cry!
 
sonnyboy replied...
May 21, 2010 at 9:10 pm :
i make you cry all the time
 
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h356 said...
May 4, 2010 at 11:57 am:
very well written,strong words but very sensitive. very intuitive.great job. you should be very proud.
 
Healing_Angel This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Aug. 5, 2010 at 3:19 am :
Very well written. Nice work!
 
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