Assembly by Russ Bickerstaff
by Russ Bickerstaff
I'm not all here. I'm getting here though. And so is she. She's not all here either. But she's making progress. He's making progress as I'm making progress on him. So we're both in the right place. (I think.) We're both being completed. We're both being completed by each other. I guess there's something to be said about that. I'm not sure what it is, though. I'm not sure what I'm supposed to say right now because I'm not sure whether or not I've got a mouth just yet. And then I'm not real sure what it's supposed to be connected to either.
"I don't know who I am," I say. I'm damned certain that I spoke the words, but I'm not entirely certain why because I didn't exactly feel myself say them. All I know is that I spoke the words and the words were there and now I'm here. And i'm I'm listening to me say what it is that I'm trying to say, but I really don't know. And I really don't know what I'm saying, but it sounds like I spoke. And I'm trying to smile with some sort of a face, but maybe I should just keep myself focussed on my work.
"That's fine. I don't know either." I'm fairly certain that the words spoken that time weren't mine. I'm fairly certain that they were meant for me. After all ... they DID seem to be in response to what it was that I was saying. So there's that. There seems to be a pretty good chance that the words were spoken to me by the one who is working on finishing me up. Eyes scrutinize aspects of my joints. And I think hands are placing things together and fastening them, but they might be mine. (I know that they're mine.)
"I think that I know who you are, though." And okay: so those words could have come from either one of us, but so long as we're the only ones in the room (or whatever) we're the only ones who could have spoken them. And I think that we might have both spoken them, though. I think we both know who it is that we're working on: we're both working on the person that we're creating right now. We both know who it is we're facing because we have to: we're responsible for putting them together. And even if the girl I'm creating isn't being put together right, then I'll know that much about her.
"I know I'm creating you," I say with her mouth. (Or maybe not. I don't know. Maybe he's saying that with my mouth. Hard to tell. Hard to care. I don't think that it matters.) And hands place hand on body parts that are being popped and zipped and screwed and drilled into place. I just ... I just hope that the one that I'm putting together also has hands at this stage, otherwise I'm doing all the work right now and I'd hate to think that I'm doing all the work.
"I just don't know what it is that you're being created with right now," the voice which may be mind mine says to me by way of speaking to him. "I mean ... I know that there are arms and legs and fingers and things, but I don't ... I don't know what it is that's behind what's making you because I don't know me."
There's silence in response. And I wonder if the silent response is something I'm meant to fill because I'm not entirely certain whether or not the words were spoken to me by the other mouth that is hers. And so maybe I should avoid being rude by responding to the voice in some way. But then ... if I'm the one who spoke the words, then it would be rude of me to dominate the conversation, wouldn't it?
"That's okay. I don't know who either of us is and I think the same is true in reverse of the mind behind that the hands that are making me too." And honestly I don't know if this was meant to make me or her feel okay about matters. Clearly we should be a bit less muddled if we're going to go about the business of making another person shouldn't we? Shouldn't one of us know what we're doing if we're both doing it to each other?
"I don't know," says a voice that might be mine. "I kind of like putting together the one who is putting me together. I think that we'll both work it out as we go."
"I don't know," comes the reply that could be mine. "I feel like we're both looking to the other for some idea of what it is that we need to be doing."
"That's definitely a possibility. I mean ... I've been looking at you as a model of how to put you together based on how you're assembling me."
"That's a relief," I think I say.
"Why's that?" The question responds.
"Because I've been looking at you and your assembly of me as a model of how to put me together as well."
I think that there's laughter that follows. I think that hands grip hands that grip hands ever so briefly before going back to work on whatever the hell it is that we're doing right now. Or maybe there isn't. Or maybe we're just working. But whatever the situation is, there's something that I'm. beginning to realize as I look around. There's something strange about it. Like ... maybe it has something to do with the fact that I'm drawing pieces from a pre-existing structure in order to assemble her. And I'm not entirely certain and it can't be anything that I will ever totally know for certain, but I'm pretty certain the pre-existing structure that I'm drawing from in order to make me? I'm pretty sure that pre-existing structure is me. I'm using parts of me to create her as she's using parts of herself to make me.
Of course ... I can't afford to think about this too much. There's way too much work to be done.