I have no age. I carry my years without submitting to the regimen of time and its chronology of dates and seasons. I recognize myself living, hands outstretched, in the shade of the almond tree, with white hair and staring eyes unconcerned with the passing hours. My tree and I have entwined our ages in the absurdity of the days. I stride from chapel to chapel between masses.
Yet I have no memories except those of this bark that is the color of revealed time. No one ever lulled me to sleep with stories or tales. All by myself I invented a yearning for the myths and legends behind the featureless face of the one who brought me into the world and then left before I could settle accounts with her. “Why doesn’t your mother come back to look for you,” constantly asked the woman who took responsibility for keeping me alive through a pure reflex of basic preservation, just like the empty bottles and plastic sacks she accumulated until her death.
I survived with just enough nourishment to avoid dying from malnutrition, just enough hygiene to avoid succumbing to dysentery
– John Doe
I have no memory of the belly I came from. Still, from childhood to adolescence, I let myself be carried along by an unusual need for gentleness and the dread of my hand and heart being snatched by a loving mother from beyond the grave.