Me, I’ve been having a bit of a hard time of it lately. It goes something like this:

Me…?

Do I matter?

What the flip am I doing with this here life?

And I realise that all this clinging to the coat-tails of the big bad wolf, he that is the name-cloaked sweetheart of my once-was life, this coat-tailing, it’s a secret trailing of my long ago loves, a memory-mining of coveted times. It’s a denial of what I have become: naked, running, afraid. Truth is, me, some while ago, some ever after which was not happy, I lost so much; and before that, even longer ago, when I was just a little mite, I lost most of what matters. All in all, me, I lost everything a body could care for.

And now I’m trying to find it (all) again.

Which is impossible—or not—depending on how you view time. It is mooted that time is a manmade construct and that, although we experience it as linear, this is actually not so: everything is happening at once, in a perpetual NOW. In theory, we can step into any time. If every Now is always here…then me, I’m seeking the Now that was Then. The Now that is Now, it’s not a place I want to be. I’m seeking to blot out the sorrows. It’s as if me, I’m trying to explode my cells back to the awareness of Then as Now, vanishing now forever. I’m dreaming the life I used to lead.

I will blur my life with fantasy.

Being of tender stuff, these days, I put on the costume of a tough little customer. That said, I always have. How else would I survive? Sometimes, just to get by in the world, I put on someone else’s smile. I put on someone else’s snarl, I steal their voice, their flashing expressions. I take on characters from films. Taxi Driver. Midnight Cowboy. Always men. Me, I conjure inside Robert De Niro, gettin to feel his blood coursing through my veins; I invite Dustin Hoffman to straddle my heart, vying to be seen, even as I make myself invisible. Inside, he yells, I yell, we yell: ‘I’m walkin’ here!

So here I am: I’m Robert de Niro, Dustin Hoffman, a cookie, a bunny, a pussy, a mouth, a head, some legs. I’m Pegs. Anyone but me. And what is ‘me’? A collection of cells and neuro-transmitters? A psyche? A spirit? A soul?? I can tell you my real name, I can tell you right now: it’s Ariel. There. Does that make a difference? Is that me?

Truth is, we’re still no closer to knowing who I am…

It’s a very, very strange life that I’m leading…or supporting, you might say.

I spend the day mooching in a state of paralysis, feeling that me, I will never, ever get to be inspired again. Yet I marvel in spite of myself at magnolia and things, at the blissful unconscious continuum of nature. Things sprout, they bud, they flower, they fall. The cycle in which we all must live. I marvel at the gold finches flashing in the blue. Me, the birds and the flowers, they’ve always been my friends. The Birds and the Bees, now that’s another matter. And I feel blue as blue can be. Which is black.

And just when I think all in myself is gone, when it feels that me, I am anathema to all that beauty—only then, at my tether’s end, can I thrust myself forcibly into the alive space. The space of creation. And begin.

Again.

All that angst simply to begin.

Again.

Just how many beginnings can this cookie bake?

…You get me?