myself

I’ve never possessed
any secure sense of who
on earth I might be —
the older I get, the more
absurd the whole thing becomes

In my early teens, I wanted to be an actor and took part in various youth productions. I dreamed I was involved in an amateur production of Shakespeare. The stage seemed to be Highgate Hill itself, and by implication I suppose the whole of London as its audience. myself ok thought of Dick Whittington — because of the statue of his cat on Highgate Hill. The legend of Dick Whittington where the church bells speak to the young, penniless Dixk, naming him ‘Lord Mayor of London’ – is all about identity of course. I find living with myself as an older person very weird. I have accumulated so many habits of living, habits of thought, habitual ways of being in the world — which provide the illusion both to myself and others that my personality has attained some kind of definitive shape. But these accretions are just like a crust, inside which I’m as nebulous and mysterious an entity as ever. In many ways I preferred it without the crust.

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