We, you and I

I’m going to write a lot about you and we in these pages, but to be clear, when I use these forms of address, I don’t really mean that you the actual reader is included in my life, nor that there are any safe generalizations about people in general. What I mean by flailing around through I, you and we is just that there are parts of myself that I can’t face in the first person singular. When I say you, I often mean a part of myself that I feel like I’m looking at from the outside. When I say we, I often mean that I hope I’m not the only one who is like this. “You” describes parts of myself I can’t own up to, and “we” names parts of myself that are afraid of loneliness. Yet I should also repeat that I don’t think individuality is the best way to think of a self. We get mixed up in each other in weird ways, as if our hearts were full of secret murals of other people’s faces.

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