Uncore

And if I drilled deep enough

and by chance I reached their core

Would I find and open door?

Would I find a door at all?

“Who are you?”

The question runs through my head several times and in the end it passes through effortlessly and leaves without a trace.

“Who am I?”

Once I told my students that I kept my body unadorned because I don’t like the idea of people knowing too much about me. No rings, no bracelets, no piercings, no tattoos. Just the uninterrupted imperfection of my pale skin keeping me safe from the world. You may think I’m being hypocritical here, for what I’m doing now is much more revealing than any tattoo could ever be. Perhaps I am. I’m sharing some of my innermost thoughts with the silent audience that is the blogosphere after all.

“Who are you?”

The question keeps running through my head. It comes back every time I see a stranger at the train station, fidgeting nervously with a piece of paper. It comes back whenever I see them smiling at each other after a careless laugh. Sometimes I have the impression that if I could poke them with a needle made of thought their bodies would collapse and their dreams would flow free from their minds and perhaps I would be able to glimpse them as they spread on the floor, like a sheet made not of water but something lighter and somewhat thicker.

“Who are you?”

The question comes back to me, it always does. It comes back when I watch her moving around the kitchen, looking for the ingredients, holding the pan in that precise way and not other. It comes back when I see him wiping the sweat from his forehead with a thoughtless move of the hand after a long morning working in the garden. Or when I look at her lips in the dark as she lays half-asleep, trying to decide whether she feels as peaceful and content as she looks or the shadows are actually playing to play tricks.

Sometimes I have the feeling that if I look at all of them for a very long time the answer will eventually come to me. That I will be able to uncore them and understand who they are. That what lies within is a resonance of what lies without, or perhaps it’s the other way around or both at the same time.

“Does a pearl make a clam?”

But then what would I do with them? Once I’ve seen them, once I’ve felt all there is to feel, what would I do with them if they cannot see me? If they cannot feel me? There are times in which I feel I am only a resonance and that there is no core at all. That I am but the things I do or the things I say or the things I touch.

Sometimes, when I am alone, I let my hand rest on the cold of the glass for some time. I let it trace the smoothness of polished wood as it sinks partially through the microscopic cracks. Sometimes I let my palm warm on the deaf hardness of a suntouched railing as the iron sings its rusted song. Perhaps this way someone, someday, will find the hollow shape of a hand that has touched everything and I will become the story of that hand and someone will wonder:

“Who are you?”

And then, after they have looked at that hand for a long time, after they have seen me fidgeting nervously with a piece of paper, after they have seen me smile after a careless laugh, after they have glimpsed my dreams spreading like something ligther than water but somewhat thicker, perhaps they will be able to tell me who I am.

And then, after they have seen me moving around in the kitchen, holding the pan that way and not the other, after they have seen me wiping the sweat from my forehead or looked at my lips as I lay half-asleep trying to decide whether the shadows are playing to play tricks, they will be able to find my core.

If there is any.

Will you hold my hand as we wait?