I may have less than a month to live.
I may have less than a month before I lose all control. I don't have
that much time.
Maybe I should say sorry first. Or state my wishes and dreams. Recapture my greatest memories. Impart my greatest thoughts. Tell you who I love. Tell you who I am.
Perhaps I'll start by saying: I'm not who you think I am.
This isn't me holding this pen, speaking with these words. I'm not the picture in your mind, that isn't my voice in your head. Who I am is imagery, not true, not factual, not actual. I am who I am not.
I don't have a better way of explaining this to you other than this: when you think of me, my picture, my voice, my movements appear in your head. I come alive at the sound of your thoughts, I breathe in the confines of your mind. That is not me. I am not the movie in your head.
Now, I'll tell you who I really am. I'll tell you exactly who it is you think you are listening to. I am...
... the window in a dark room ... a glass of water thrown in the ocean ... the last towel left hanging on the clothesline ... the yellow light that lasts seven seconds ... the last few noches the zipper can't close up ... the cobwebs hanging to the middle of the room ... the scrap of paper from ten years ago, with something brilliant on it, written by you ... the sound you hear when there is no sound ... but mostly, I am the window in the dark room.
I may have less than a month to live. I do not know. It's just a round number, it's something to go on. Who I am is spoken about, read, thought over, understood, and felt. Who I am lives in facsimiles in your minds. I am nothing, without memories. I am a sense like touch or smell: only remembered, important when recognized, forgotten when forgranted, used to understand the world.
By Don Bernal