Journal entry: August 14, 1970 (age 1) – Age One
Looking up at the Sesame Street mobile that hangs above my crib, I am puzzling over the nature of my own identity. “Who am I?” I ask a gently swaying Big Bird. He mocks me with his silence, as if to say, “For all you know, kid, I could be a full-grown man named Caroll, dressed in a fabric and plastic facsimile of an anthropomorphized canary.” Revolving in a kinder orbit nearby, Ernie’s smile tells me that he understands my quandary, and that he’s thirsty. Now I am thirsty. Or is that him?
I can hardly wait for the Age of Reason. Scientists and the Catholic Church agree that it usually arrives around the age of seven or eight. But even without much reason, my tiny brain recognizes that if science and religion are betting on the same racehorse, you should put your whole wad on that stallion. (“I’d like to put all my baby savings bonds on ‘Saint Galileo’ in the third, please.”)
But back to the identity question at hand. Speaking of hand, my right one is clutching one of the wooden bars that separates me from, I presume, even more of me – out there. Why do I need to be separated from part of myself? I bet if I could put all of “out there” in my mouth, I could figure it out pretty quick. I bet it tastes like strained Lima beans. I think that’s why I’m afraid of it.
Nap time. More later.
Oof … bad nap. The place where I think hurts. But I can’t stop thinking. I think I even thought while I was asleep. From what I can remember, I dreamt that I was middle-aged, nearly as bald as I am now, and sitting in front of some kind of combined typewriter/television, trying to figure out who I was. I was just about to type the answer when I woke up.
Waking up at that crucial moment seems grossly unjust. It seems even more unfair that I only woke up because somebody in here passed gas. Accusatory, unblinking eyes circle my head. “Don’t look at me like that, Snuffleupagus,” I thought. “You’re not as imaginary as you think you are, and although I’m struggling with the concept of corporeal boundaries, I know for a FACT that wasn’t me!”
It’s kind of lonely in this crib. Maybe when the nice milk lady comes back, I’ll feel better. I’ve been trying to come up with a name for her. My first instinct, of course, was “Me.” Then I thought maybe “Timmy,” because she’s always saying that. But I’m honing in on another name. Hmm… an other name. I think I’ll call her “Other.” I don’t know what that means, but it seems to fit.
Something terrible just happened in my onesie. Snuffleupagus is currently pointed away from me, hiding his guilty face. I should be mad at him, but, instead, I’m just sleepy again. Now, I think I can figure out this whole existence if I can just get back to my earlier dream before Middle-aged Me types the last