When 1 Person, 2 Persons, 3 Persons, More are Not Enough

[Flash Fiction]

I tell the story of a story told in writing of a story told in writing by someone who created a storyteller in the written text to tell the story of someone who becomes, in some minds, conflated with the storyteller; and the evidence of this is in the artifact found by a woman on a train who shows it to a friend who copies it to show and give to a friend of his who then shows it to someone who then copies it himself to publish first in his blog and then in an copy-edited version in hard copy in a literary review he publishes and edits himself (a self herein some might confuse for me, who is telling you all of this from a point of view exterior to all the tellers of their tales, himself, that is, I, a mask worn by the real writer himself, never identical with me, unless you have so degraded yourself as a reader that that confusion is as natural to your reading as pissing is to drinking beer); and, yes, as parenthetically suggested, all of this is the creation of me the writer authority of all stories herein told and retold, written, copied, edited and published; the children of my brain, if you will or wish, as Cervantes would. These words themselves are a cover for me, so they become together one just another aspect of my personality? If you wish. Persona means mask, and so every person is an amalgamation of his masks, each self to its own mask, each context to its appropriate characterization, all character, persona, thereby personality is in itself a stage, all personality, maskality, if you wish . . . we do become children again when we walk into a theater; the sky can fall on our heads.

[. . .]


“A Newer Historicism”

[A fragment of story found on a sliver of paper that had been torn from a sheet of lined paper torn out of a spiral notebook; the sliver was found by a woman on the subway to Rockefeller Center to see the Christmas tree she said she had not seen in many, many years. There has been nothing from her saying why she picked up the piece in the first place, or why she kept it after having read it, but she did put it in her bag and showed it to a friend over the dinner they had downtown after they saw the tree at Rock Center after she and he had met near Radio City. The friend of the woman copied the text of the piece of paper and carried it with him until he showed it to friend over pints in the East Village, a friend who also happened to be a friend of mine, which is how I came upon it. I decided to publish this in my blog, so I copied what I read, what then some might assume I read carefully or others assume I have read carelessly.]

Yes, he sometimes wishes he lived in the Wild West, at least the American West of his imagination, which he knows has nothing to do with the reality of the West in the West of the time of the West. It barely has anything to do with the West of legend or fiction or Hollywood. He only wishes as much when he thinks he might want to shoot someone, which he does imagine from time to time, not that he carries a gun–he is not that stupid. He knows getting away with shooting someone is not easy, and that the likelihood of getting away with it—but it can’t be impossible, to get away with shooting and killing someone, and I will not say murder because if the fucker dead deserves to be dead I cannot call it murder and must in my mind call it justice.

[. . .]

I do not see why most of you cannot get to where I am on this, but I assume that there is more in the heaven and earth of your murder my justice than can be dreamed by any one person’s philosophy. As this third person other than I and other than you would assume, say, has said in other words, not mine. To tell or not to tell; one does not—should not—kiss and tell—what then for killing—my tongue is in my cheek.

[. . .]

[I edited the piece to fit my design in the blog. I have not altered the narrative voice in any way that would distort original intent, not by any judgement of the text as found. This here is not the blog, of course you know, being a piece in the hard copy review I have published since the fall of last year. So, then, to reiterate, there was a writer who authored a bit of writing, I can say, safely assume—and what is safe or dangerous about such assumptions? This writer creates a narrative voice that tells something of an unnamed someone who believes that some homicides are justifiable, even some of those we call murder. The narrative voice switches quickly to exposition and in this narrator-expositor’s explication, we find that he too believes as the unnamed character believes, and that we might even assume that the narrator is talking about himself in the first and third persons, I and he, much the way either you or I can do in the mirror sometimes—most of the time, though, in the mirror, I am either I or I am you.  The fragment did not contain the title, if indeed there was a title on the larger text that this subsequently edited fragment was torn from and later found in the condition described herein.]

Just remember that there is nothing outside the text.


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