I can’t imagine wanting to be anyone (or anything) but me. In a dream, maybe something else — a horse, an eagle, a dolphin. But that’s dream stuff, not reality. When I was a teenager, during those hyper hormonal years, I wanted to be anyone but me — though even then, I never wanted to be anything other than human. I grew into accepting myself pretty quickly. By the time I was in my 20s, was reasonably fond of at least the mental section of me. Physically, though, I’ve always had issues with my body. Ill health has stalked me from early on. By the time I was in my late 20s, I used to laugh and tell people that, with the help of modern medicine, I’m living proof the unfit can survive.
So here I am, alive and still complaining. Since early ill-health, I’ve moved on to major ill-health. I’m sure someone elsewhere has even more after-market parts than me, but I’ve never personally met anyone who has more installed after-market installations. The good news? I’ll never be an unidentified Jane Doe on the autopsy table because I carry 4 cards with serial numbers identifying my various implants: a pacemaker, both breasts, and two heart valves. The piece of plastic fibula in my right leg predates serial numbers.
So here’s the thing. I don’t want to be someone or something else. Not for a year or a day. What I want is to be is me, preferably the all-original, functional version of me. That would be a nice touch. Even with arthritis, heart problems, a redesigned intestinal tract and a fused spine and having had cancer in both breasts? I still would rather be me. I would have no idea how to be anyone else. Would anyone? I should think that being someone else would be the weirdest possible place to find oneself. Weirder than being a space alien or a different creature on earth. Whatever rocks we have in our heads, they are OUR rocks!
So I’ll keep me. Slow moving, achy old me. I’m glad I’m alive.
Today was beautiful. Bright, sunny and cool. Maybe we’ll have a few more weeks of this. Maybe after two bad years, we’ll get autumn back, the kind of autumn for which the Valley used to be famous. 2020 has been a terrible year. A fine fall would make all of us feel a lot better.