Where are you right now? Yes, you. You, the person reading these words. Where are you at this exact moment that you are reading these words? Are you even reading them? Are they being read to you, perhaps? Either way, where are you? Here, I’ll give you some space for you to answer me.
There. Did you answer? Did you happen to have a pen or a pencil or whatever writing mechanism available to you at this exact moment of your existence? Even if you did, I would have no way of knowing. I cannot read your words- you can only read mine. Kind of unfair isn’t it? I’m sure you have plenty of great things to say. I really wish I could know more about you. I wonder what kind of person you are. I wonder what got you here. I wonder if this is even literature anymore. Perhaps now, I am voiced over by a handsome Los Angeles citizen and somehow, someway, the words permeating from these pages crossed into the media adaptation we, in my time, called “movies.”
Perhaps now you are not even in a reality that truly exists in the natural world but instead a virtual one, constructed by artificial technologies that had only just begun to surface in the pedestrian world and time of which I am from.
Do you want to know about me? Maybe. I know who I am- and I think I’m the only one who ever will. Even this author, who thinks he entirely knows the ins and outs of my existence, does not truly know who I am. He will never really know the color of my flesh or eyes or hair- he won’t ever truly know if I have any of those things. In this peculiar way, I am a God. I am omnipotent and omniscient. Whatever words come to exist are entirely of my arbitration. Yet I am intangible and unknowable. I am that long, ancient voice you have been waiting thousands of years to hear again but never will.
Where are you right now? Are you on the subway? Are you in a classroom? Are you in the solace of your living room? Are you on a field or a beach pretending that by reading this you somehow look more like an intellectual- and even though you are pretending that nobody will even look at you in this moment, you deeply wish they would and remark, if only for a second, on how brilliant and wonderful you must be for reading a piece of literature in a public place. My, that was quite a sentence. I’m out of breath. Give me a moment.
Apologies for making you wait. I am terribly lazy. It’s been almost 6 months since I last spoke to you- and you didn’t even know that. Strange, isn’t it? No, instead, these words have continuously, seamlessly flowed. This only proves more that I really am a God. I am completely unbound by time. I’m totally free of all physical, social, psychological restrictions. I am black and white. I am the Alpha and the Omega- I am too dramatic, sorry.
I wonder how long these words will last. I wonder how many will read them. I still wonder who you are.
You could be the editor- or the poor intern sifting amongst dozens upon dozens of dead manuscripts that will only return to their authors:
“We deeply appreciated the opportunity to read your work. However…”
You could be a lone woman biding her time on public transportation. Please remain aware of your surroundings; and if you are reading this at night please get home safely.
You could be a young boy in his English class, trying to find the line that you thought ever so important to mention to your instructor. I remember that nostalgic age. They will probably tell you that this is an example of ‘breaking the fourth wall,’ and that in this post-post-postmodernism era we are in a literary age that is unbound by any restrictions and that the more odd, the more interesting- and in truth, the shorter it is- the better chance it has of being sucked up by the demographic it was meant for.
There a billion narrators all trying to talk to you, and I am lucky you are listening to me.
I do not know you and it is a sad, sad thing I never will. And if I am a God, why do you have the ability to stop reading me at any
J. Cassidy Hawthorne is a 23-year old writer from Brooklyn, NY. After graduating Rutgers University in 2018 with a Bachelor’s in English, Justin took time to pursue a career in the wine industry. With current global events, Justin is returning to his original passion. twitter: @itbejhawthorne instagram: @jcassidyhawthorne