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Home > Columns > Paul Schweer > March, 2006 - Naked Man

Naked Man by Paul Schweer


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My stance is an attempt to protect, to shield my weaknesses. Being a two-legged critter, at least from a time very early in my childhood development when I stopped crawling on all fours, the two most obvious and most weak points mark, along with the positions of my feet, the corners of a quadrilateral (a rhombus maybe?) drawn on the floor. If I can be persuaded to move toward one of these weak points, I quickly loose my ability to stand.

That, anyway, is what I think we explored in class last night.

What I remember is a surprising reluctance to recognize, in a practical matter of fact, another's weakness. And the upsetting, so to speak, nature of feeling my weakness pinpointed.

***

"My God," I heard, "a naked man."

I was in one corner of a dressing room -- it was surely said in jest. It was just me and whomever I'd heard in the room, after all. I was the naked man. No need to point it out.

"You're in my spot," the voice said then.

***

I heard a voice, but it was covered
by static and noise. A bad connection,
something gone wrong
somewhere along the line.

I heard the voice again,
"Do you know who I am?"


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