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Me, On The Screen: Race in Animal Crossing: New Leaf
I’m sitting on my bed for the third day in a row.
I’m waiting for 5PM to hit so that I can finally close my 3DS. I’ve been ‘tanning’ my avatar in the latest entry of Nintendo’s long running Animal Crossing series, New Leaf. I put ‘tanning’ in scare quotes because the method doesn’t match my intention. Yes, I’m doing the the thing the game calls tanning, but my objective isn’t just darkening my avatar’s skin tone, it’s being able to see in the screen what I see in the mirror
“If I had not existed, someone else would have written me, Hemingway, Dostoyevsky, all of us. Proof of that is that there are about three candidates for the authorship of Shakespeare’s plays. But what is important is Hamlet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, not who wrote them, but that somebody did. The artist is of no importance. Only what he creates is important, since there is nothing new to be said. Shakespeare, Balzac, Homer have all written about the same things, and if they had lived one thousand or two thousand years longer, the publishers wouldn't have needed anyone since.”—William Faulkner
This is the first time I’ve written anything in three months.
I’ve tried to dissolve into the wasteland beneath
the body I weighed not in pounds but in hours lost,
amongst the snow as spring approached.
Whispered to everyone who wasn’t listening
that I wasn’t ready to bloom.
I’ve cut off my pigtails and sliced up my skin because that’s what bad girls do.
I’ve broken rules and my own heart.
I’ve lost my mother in wine glasses and our mutual neuroses.
For three months I have had nothing to say.
Now it’s four months past my birthday, and I think I’ve finally grown into my knobby knees that don’t quite know where they’re going.
Now I know enough to say that my life
flows more like the gravel under my blistered toes than warm molasses in all the small towns where I feel most at home,
that it is not a poem that simply begins and ends,
that I’m not a very good writer and, instead, a much better dreamer.
It’s been three months since I’ve wanted to die, and maybe that’s a reason for a not-very-good writer to write something not very good.