Much has been said of double, triple, quadruple personalities -- finally, of a multitude of beings that inhabit us simultaneously and create disparate, incongruous aspects to one's behavior. The phenomenon has been studied scientifically and on a more sensationalistic level has been applied in works of fiction and in film.
In another more simple manner -- anecdotal and personal --yesterday I admitted that I work like a prisoner on a chain gang. For what? Why? Each one of us has his or her arguments before the excess of work: unachieved ambition, insufficient money for fixed costs, escapism, the instinctive necessity to be productive or high ideals that are realized concretely via their application in work.
This public confession perhaps has a few parallels with many other lives. What am I looking for when I work hours and hours? Is it my uncontrollable desire for personal success? Do I want to exert in a permanent form a certain social influence over my fellow citizens because of an exagerrated desire to reform my place? Do I need to justify my actions so that I conform with the concept of earning my bread through the sweat of my brow?
After several reasonings, I concluded that I work, sometimes brutally, exposing my body to a useless expenditure, without periodic maintenance, because of the fear of identifying myself. Because I have a terror of finding myself, understanding myself, and loving myself, and of appreciating my virtues and my predispositions for error, with my good and my bad, my dark side and my light side.
Therefore, working sometimes twenty hours a day, I plunge into a desperate career, fleeing from the other me, my small and vulnerable self, self-reflexive and awake, cautious and steady, anxious about walking unhurriedly and filling oneself with yellows and greens, of old sounds, of tender contact also with others. And, when I'm taking a shower, or in those seconds that precede the moment of falling asleep, my other me touches my back very softly and she wants to talk to me, suggesting a beautiful and gratifying dream, I reject her. I'm afraid she'll convince me. Or that she'll tell me how sterile my battle is or she'll tell me the story about the man who didn't even have a shirt but was happy.
You can't imagine, nevertheless, how much I want to meet her, my other me that is who I am also, and it hurts a bit that she is a stranger to me (we always discount what we don't know, for the sum of the prejudices that we go through life accumulating). I'd like to sit calmly with her like two good friends to have coffee and to tell each other our things. I'd like her to tell me, too: "Don't be so competitive or so aggressive or so anxiety-ridden. Don't claim you've beaten time in a contest." And I'll recriminate her, too. "You're really backwards, very country-girl, tacky and sentimental." And then we'll conclude, after everything, that we're one but we're different, and that out of such distances our entire existence is owed. We'll accept ourselves, at last, and we'll accept our other, separate worlds, our dissimilar customs, our opposite tastes. Oh, how beautiful it would be!
Perhaps this evening, after my faceless, locationless printed matter, I'll be able to find her in a mirror or in a setting sun from the Chaco, and I'll be quiet for a moment and listen to her. She will have so many things to tell me...