Essay

Discovery [short fiction]

A woman is and in her is, not what? 

How many methods of discovery do I employ in my investigations? The limits of knowing what questions to ask can help or hinder any investigation I endeavor. Who am I is who I am? My name is not my being; what is in a name? A load of dog shit by any other name would still smell badly. Am I the string of attributes placed after my She is . . . ? Arbitrarily? Of course, virtually everything about description is arbitrary when the described is another human being.

To discover is not to uncover but simply to enforce the opposite of covering. As disrespect is other than simply not respecting; it is to be rude toward or insulting to. To discover is to leave open, to disallow any covering by anyone other than the one who discovers, particularly the natives in the age of discovery which was the prelude to colonialism.

How much woman is she when she is a woman, who do we call a woman, what is woman, not women? Again, she is; this woman or that woman. Yes, is. Period (the punctuation mark, not her recurring biological condition). Whether named or unnamed, she is. If she suffers amnesia, she is. If she is living in a society under the subjugation of men—she is. If she is surviving a realtionship with an abusive spouse—she is.

Hamlet’s soliloquy is also every woman’s soliloquy. She is not further removed from Hamlet’s Cartesian inquiry than I am because she is a woman and I am a man. Yes, historically men have discovered women, and in this discovering, women have been disallowed from asserting any covering of themselves by themselves or for themselves. Now, the history of anonymous is the history of woman; or is it that the history of woman is the history of anonymity? Women are what, are who?

Any woman is anonymous, thus woman, we can say without the determiner ‘a’ or ‘the,’ and without the plural, yes, woman is anonymous. She is in anonymity, anonymity a place history has reserved for woman, and that’s history whether it is written or unwritten, irrespective of whether or not there is a historiography to support it in the way all historiography has a way of aping Moses descent from Sinai.

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