I am Four. Within me swirl four selves, organized chronologically and thus seasonally. They symbolize for me seasons, elements, and binaries. I hate and I love them, as seems appropriate. I am they and they are me – my Little Me, Middle Me, Aging Me and Elder Me.
Little me is me in the Spring of my life and therefore the most unknowable. He is new and fresh, open to change and possibilities. He’s also terrified. I remember being a child, but I can’t really remember being a KID. I don’t remember the joys of play, nor even the fears of the dark. I don’t remember what he says, or why he says it. I don’t know what he looks like or sounds like or what makes him tick. Little Me seems to be locked in some secret garden, walled off from sight and sound. Sometimes I think I hear him crying in the dark, but I can never be sure.
I walled him off, ostensibly for protection, but I can never remember what exactly precipitated the incarceration. An event? A series of abuses? A mistake? I am unable to trust him and his ability to handle an often-times shitty world and I don’t know why. Where is he and why is he hidden?
I am currently my Middle Me. He is (unfortunately) the most accessible and relate-able. And he has lately been ruling my roost. An angry little bastard, he rages at the world and all its many slights, real and imagined. He is a boy-man of summer, with all of summer’s brightness and heat, intelligence and passion. He always starts out brightly, but he inevitably burns out as surely as any Texas summer. He leaves charred husks and dusted black clay in his wake. I do not like this Me. I hate his bitterness and anger and lust. He disgusts me, but I am he.
When I become burnt out by my Middle Me I tend to assume the form of Aging Me, a sad and pathetic little fucker. He’s the Autumn of myself, but not the good, Northeast kind of Autumn. Rather, he’s the charlatan southern Indian summer masquerading as a fountain of autumnal wisdom and peace. He’s a piece of shit, is Aging Me. He thinks he’s something, but he’s nothing. He acts like he’s at the prime of my life, riding the crest of those mythical glory years, at the perceived pinnacle of masculine achievement and success, but its all just a noxious game of smoke and mirrors. Deep down he chokes on the rank fumes of my pervasive insecurities, dying in life, wasting away on the dregs of quiet desperation. I am Aging Me far too often, and I hate him (me?).
Finally, there sits Elder Me. He is who I’ve always felt I should be, or perhaps wish to be, or perhaps have been all along. He’s almost as elusive as Little Me, although I’ve more hope that he’s attainable and knowable. And he seems to me to be intimately related to Little Me. Almost as if he and Little Me have met up at each ends of the line of my life, the beginning and end of some eternal little circle. He’s my winter self. Silent, simple; dark and cold, yet oddly contented. He retains the trust and faith of extreme youth, but without the simplicity of mind and experience. He’s seen the hells of the world, and its heavens – it’s glories and its grotesqueries. He is sane, on the other side of my insanity and I trust him, my Elder Me, as I wish I could trust my Little Me. Sometimes I hear my Elder Me encouraging me to trust my Little Me. Perhaps they are the same. As is life and death, light and dark, male and female. For, as with an infant, so with the aged, life is both stripped of mystery and infused with it. Gender is blurred and Truth coalesces into the Great Beyond; for Little Me and Elder Me are both on the cusp of eternity. Both are near the earth (Little Me rising from it, Elder Me crashing back down) and thus both are as high as the heavens, swimming amidst the stars.
Right now though? Elder Me is as inaccessible as my imprisoned Little Me. I am condemned to just fleeting glimpses of the glory of night, and must now dwell in the scorching heat of the light of day, a bloated corpse swelling in my glaring death.