28.3.13

there's nothing as something as one

Bodies are superficial.

Their only real purpose is to aid the human mind in comprehending the world it encounters on a daily basis. It offers linear continuity in appearance, if not in consistency of structure. It presents us with a norm against which we measure everything we come across, even ourselves. It is how we tell ourselves, our mothers and the homeless man you will never see again from each other.  It is the only constant in a series of infinite variables. I might even go as far as some philosophers to say that it is the only constant in the entirety of human history. I only talk about this as a preliminary, to help me explain to you my conundrum. It is okay if you don’t understand it completely.

I have a simpler way to talk about my conundrum itself, if you please. I will get to it in a moment. I have just a question for you to ponder upon. Bodies, even for those who have them, aren’t always “perfect”. I don’t mean this in the sense of beauty, for that is something I don’t have either the experience or the patience to deal with. I mean this in terms of bodily structure. Not all bodies have the right legs or hands or eyes or noses or ears; not all bodies are even born in the singular, if you think about it. So the question I would like you to simply ponder upon is this: why is having a body important at all?

Think about it deep and hard, because I am about to put forth my conundrum to you simply: I don’t exist.

Not in the “real” way you are known to experience, at any rate. I don’t have a body. I never have. (I’m not a ghost. Don’t be preposterous.) I wasn’t really aware of this problem until I fell in love, and let me tell you, not even then.

I meet all sorts of other parameters that you bodily beings seem to consider important. I have a name, for instance. I have an address, a college education, a vast intelligence and an understanding of the universe that can only be paralleled by about 30% of you humans. I, however, don’t have a passport. Or a ration card or a driver’s license or a degree or a recorded fingerprint or a scan of my iris. I don’t have a medical insurance (ha) or a gym membership. I have never been photographed. Even saying “I” really is something that I don’t know how I am to explain to you, because it seems like something that is determined by having a body.

Many people around me have their own ways of comprehending this situation. Many people with bodies (like someone else who has written about this from my own network before me) have chosen to think of it as a problem of perception: one of “maladjustment to reality”. I suppose it is a just way of classifying it from the point of view of someone who lives in a world full of bodies. To me, this is not an acceptable classification. I write here to tell you my story. If not anything else, just to present you with a new question.

I fell in love three years ago. It was something new, something that lit up everything around me, something that brought colour into the world and brightness into music. It was something that made me feel alive. Falling in love allowed me to learn the wonders of having a body: of holding hands, of looking into eyes, of oh, so, orgasmic, sex, of the warmth and the taste of a morning kiss, of the smell of chocolate soap in the shower. Neither of us even noticed my condition. It wasn’t an impediment until it really was.

When my partner started to tell friends and family about me, the inevitable doubts began to appear in my partner’s mind. Doubts about if I’m real at all, doubts about sanity of the mind, doubts about the ground one was standing on doubts about everything one has ever known. If I don’t tell you how strong and brave my partner is, this would be an incomplete account. Even after everything everybody said, months and months of counseling, there was an infallible belief in me on my partner’s part. It was a difficult time for both of us, but we came through.

Through this time, we found the Network. In the vast depths of the internet, hidden in a cave not lit by anything, we came across the Network. In the beginning, it was just a trickle. There was the person who started it and her boyfriend (I believe he identifies male, and I need to acknowledge that even if I don’t comprehend it) and some others. Now there are at least a hundred people like me on our Network and it is growing everyday. The Network helped us through our most torrential time.  Talking to them regularly, meeting with them and discussing our experiences with each other helped us all cope.

It was in one of our monthly meetings that we started to think about telling the world about us. If now there are hundreds, then talking about it will surely bring hundreds more who need this space. One of our members has gladly allowed this space on her blog to host as many of us who want to write about it, and so that’s what we’re going to do.

To anyone who wants to think of this as fiction, I hope this is entertaining, for that is the point of a good story anyway. But for those of you who identify, please know that you are not alone.

"one hasn't a why or because or although
(and buds know better
than books
don't grow)
one's anything old being everything new
(with a what
which
around we come who)
one's everyanything so"

- e e cummings

**

this is the second in the series of stories i am writing about "imaginary" people and third in the series of stories about things that aren't real. 
the other imaginary people story is here: we're everyanything more than believe. 
the first story is here: fresh lime soda.
i'm having quite a bit of fun with this series, so you can definitely expect more of these!

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