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who i am                                                                                                                  

Rett Nearburg August 30, 1999

Who I Am

I want people to know who I am, without having to tell them.

I don't want to have to tell them all that I've been through. To try and explain to them things that can only be expressed with words not yet spoken.

I want them to know the person I am when I'm myself. I want them to know what I think about late at nights. Thoughts that drift through my mind as music fills the room. Longings and dreams inspired by moonlight through trees.

I'm scared. failure. death. These things scare me.

I used to be much more scared. When I was by myself I would start to panic. I'd think, "I could be alone. Completely alone." nothing scared me more.

When I was scared I would sleep well, only on the couch in my parents room. The couch belonged to my great grandmother. She died when I was about 9. I didn't really miss her too much until later. There's a picture on my grandmother's fridge of me with a suction cup bow and arrow set. I'm aiming directly at her while she cowers away with a hidden smile.

My body is becoming words. The fingers slowly fade into is; my palms are short blocky words. the. and. key. My arms are beautiful flowing sentences, descriptions of quiet mountain rivers and deep blue skies. My chest, is a short but punctual essay on the meaning of life. My head is a haiku, beautiful kanji painted with a brush by a monk in a flowing red robe.

Sometimes I'm not quite sure who I am. I'm always changing. I hardly even think I'm the same person I was last year. I'm definitely not the same person I was 5 years ago. I'm not the same per

I hate this. You'll never really know who I am. You can't. Only I can. And I know I'm incapable of fully telling you. Fuck it. This is pointless.

But that's no excuse. I have to try. Even if I'm predestined to failure. I don't believe in predestination though.

Sometime around march of '94 I woke up in closed off bluish white room in children's medical center had more tubes hooked into me than I could count. I was on lots of painkillers, and the memories are rather blurry.

I was in the hospital for a month straight after that first surgery. Everyone visited me. I don't think they knew what to say. Most people still don't.

"I'm never going back there, I don't care if I die." I told my mom. No more chemo for me, I'm just gonna die and get it over with now. No more vomiting bile. No more goddamn needles. No more exhaustion to where I couldn't even run a single lap around track. (I used to run the fastest mile in my grade). No more. I was just gonna die. My mom wouldn't let me, probably a good thing.

I put hours into this. I could have put more. I had more important things to do. There was a girl, and a party. College is 3 years away still. I've got to enjoy life.

I want them to see what I see in myself.

I want people"to know who I am, without having to tell them. Or maybe, to be brilliant enough to tell them.