Creative Control

Miscellaneous Mental Musings of an Emerging Artist


Below is a piece I wrote and performed for John Pierson and Eric Roth’s ongoing “timed-art” project, The Whole in 30 Days.

You can hear me performing the piece in context, including creative updates, by downloading Episode 2: Home.


This is a story of a fictional character but we’re going to use the second person; we’re going to use You, so that when you hear the story of you you will be more connected to the fictional character referred to as You. We will not be using your name in the story because we do not know your name. Instead, we will assign the character a name at random but we will still refer to the character as You. However, since we do not know your gender and we do not wish to do anything to disconnect you from the character referred to as You we will assign the character referred to as You an initial representative of the name. The initial will be “U.”

You arise from your bed but you do not actually wake up until you are in the shower, until there is water rolling down your limbs and the white of the tile has gone from blank space to solid form. You live in a major American city and you spend too much time with the water too hot as if you can sterilize yourself from the world in advance. This morning, you feel alien, as you sometimes feel alien in the morning, a being from beyond your own subconscious who fell softly to Earth on the familiarity of your own bed.

You do not belong here. You hear this being spoken plainly in your head, a song you heard a week ago now on full rotation, You, U, I’m talking to you. U, you do not belong here.

At once your limbs and organs begin chattering, fiercely, like stock exchanges and Baptist congregations crammed mercilessly together in a crosstown bus. They agree with the edict, with the public address, they agree that you do not belong here but they cannot agree where you should go. Your left hand is convinced that it belongs in Holland while your right is doing research on Panama. Your metatarsals have unionized and signed a petition demanding immediate transfer to Bali. Your kidneys just want the next apartment over, your lungs want the solace of a cave in New Guinea, your heart just wants to know where you’d go to find your second love after you both left college. Your kneecap and eye are surprised to find that they are simultaneously interested in this new planet that scientists have located far far away; it may be able to sustain life and wouldn’t that be amazing if there really were places to go, places that you have never imagined but which instantly felt like home? Where does U live? Where do you live?

A clock goes off, or a caffeine molecule breaks apart, and the chattering ceases. You look at your half-finished reflection in the window. Your reflection is you, beyond your reflection is your location, your location is where you are and you are your reflection’s reflection. You leave the room. You go elsewhere. You come back. You leave the room. You come back. You leave the room. You come back. You leave the room.

Previous contributions to The Whole in 30 Days:

Episode 1: RebellionThe Succession

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This entry was posted on March 28, 2012 by in Fiction, Performance, The Whole in 30 Days, Writing.
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