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All the little pieces — Alexandra Jarvis


Medium: Prose

Instagram: @alexejarvis

I don’t know who I am. I look at my name and try to decide if I like it or not. It doesn’t refer to anything, least of all me. I can’t think of anything to replace it. I pause before adding pronouns to my emails. Who I am to decide that? I hate assumptions. Let them think what they want, I’m past caring, and don’t know, besides. What I do with what I have changes as the moon cycles through its phases, all I ever do is look at the same body with different eyes each time. Nothing is in retrograde — what can I blame now, if not myself? It must be Mercury. It’s always Mercury.

I don’t know who I am. I am all of my favourite songs from my mum’s iPod in early 2012 played in a particular order. I hate that I have a history. I feel sorry for those that don’t know what it’s like to listen to Dragon de Chimay en route to see family about which they haven’t yet found out dark secrets. I am eleven and saying goodbye to a friend who is emigrating to Australia. I fell out of touch with her. I still see her Instagram posts. The number of people I lost to the far side of the world is more than zero, and some of them can’t be reached anymore.

I don’t know who I am. I wish I could introduce myself to my grandmother once more. What point is there in trying to find someone who would love me if I can’t give them anything concrete to love? My face changes with the days, my heart never satisfied. How harsh, then, to offer this to someone and ask them to accept it as it is? I have more reflections than those I see in the mirror. I do things my mother never did. I tell her about them and am more like her than I know. I hate the idea of love, because it feels like it only exists to be unfulfilled. I didn’t go to my primary school dance because I couldn’t wait to leave. I get so nostalgic I feel sick. I want to be in love.

I don’t know who I am. A laugh up to the sky, a smile cracked wide as an ocean. Directed at me, at myself, at whoever and whatever I am on that day. Don’t refer to me/I don’t know what to tell you, I don’t like any of them/use my name, hold it on your lips and say it like a prayer. I hate my name. It is all I have. All I have is this body that refuses to do as it’s told, stoically continuing to exist as it wishes, and I love it for that as much as it makes me weep. And I do weep. But the moments in which I glance upwards and see the rain, feel the water down my neck and the damp clothes I will have to dry in the morning. My feet hit the ground and it doesn’t matter who I am, all that matters is that I am. The lights change to let me cross the street all the same.

Today, I don’t know who I am. But I find traces in the past that sound like me, people that know me, and that means I can find myself tomorrow. I am there to be found.

Cover image: Alexandra Jarvis



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