At a family gathering, someone takes out my photo album as a young man.
“It’s you,” says one of my sons.
-I don’t answer-. I was there in that body, but it wasn’t me.
All of a sudden I realized that the body is a geographical region, as much as Tenerife, to speak of an island, and geographically. I was in that area, I lived in that area that appears on the album, I live in the current album, it has little or nothing to do with it. The self is jumping from one area to another. The cells of my body are renewing themselves. What seems like a miracle to me is the continuity of the self through all these geographical changes. A person has made an endless journey from one body to another at the end of his life. What does the body we live in at the age of ten have to do with the body we had during puberty? I’m telling you: nothing. Italy has nothing to do with Sweden, just as they have nothing to do with each other. The weather in Sweden is colder and less sunny.
That’s where I lived, in that body we saw in the photo of the family album. There’s another baby with a baby, I’m told, was also me. But I wasn’t there with that baby. I wasn’t there yet. Actually, there was no one there. The self is administered in doses throughout childhood. They tell you you’re tall, handsome, smart, clumsy, fat, skinny, disobedient, they tell you you look like your grandfather, the man who made America, etc. And in this way, you slowly swallow yourself like someone who drinks three spoonfuls of syrup a day. The injected self, like any other drug, has its side effects and individual response, hence the differences in characters: all this accumulation of interactions between what you take and the way you ingest it.
I was in that body, in short, I lived in that body like someone living in Madrid or Valencia. And from that body in the photograph, I jumped into successive bodies that I now occupy and that are just as temporary as the previous ones. Sooner or later he will be evicted from it like a squat. In the final leap, the self, overlapping with death, flies away, evaporates, disappears, dissolves. And that was it.