The woman is sitting on a bench. It is a cold night. She is writing a letter using her laptop. Her writing is projected on the wall behind her. She does not read the letter, but we can read it. The sound of seagulls can be heard.
The Woman Writing: ‘Who am I?’ I kept asking this question when I was a little kid, and the answer from my parents was always the same: ‘you are you!’ It meant, for them, I was I, which for them it actually meant I was them because they had continued in me. So they were me… I heard this answer several times, many times. Then I grew up, but still I had the same question. In my trip to India, a young Japanese boy, Who was a traveler by nature, answered my question in a very materialistic way, which, in any case, convinced me … He said,
JB-W: You are what you eat
JB-W: You are what you read
JB-W: You are what you listen to.”
I accepted his opinion:
-I am what I eat
-I am what I read
-I am what I listen to.
So before meeting you in London, I was partly chicken sandwiches, partly Fesenjoon– you know what it is, don’t you? — Partly lemon Cheese cake…and cheese, cheese…all kind …yes, I can say that I am 67% cheese, plus 10% traditional Iranian music and…some Indian Folk songs, and then…What else was I? … I was partly what I was teaching at that time in the university: the history of philosophy.
Plus, my favourite novel: The Name of the Rose.
I was all those things before I met you, sitting in the library with the book of One Thousand and One Nights open in front of you, a huge one! You were not my dream type or any silly concept like that. You were you. Very much in the present. And I became you because that was one of the very rare moments in my life when I was in the present time. You took me from the past to the present, and I found myself in you. How many people do you know who can take you away from your thoughts, memories, dreams and ideas to the present time, just the present time?
And then -in a click of fingers -I became you.
“-Who are you?
-I am you!”
That was the first conversation we had.
“-Who are you?
-I am him.”
That was the first conversation I had with myself.
I was you for about a year. It is not just a metaphor of love. It is a fact. A real thing. You know what I mean, don’t you? A real thing… I was you when I was looking at the mirror. I was you when I was ordering the food. I was you when I was sleeping and when I woke up. I was you when I was me!
I know how exciting this was to you at the beginning, and how disgusting it became at the end. It gradually made you impatient, but I was happy to be you from the beginning to the end.
That morning my phone rang, and someone told me something. I cried for hours, and then I suddenly realized that I am not you anymore.
That was what enabled me to pass you, to pass the stage of being you.
I am still in love with you, but I am not you anymore. So…
-Who am I?
Now I feel this question much more deeply. It is moving in every corner of my brain like lava, melting everything in its way. I feel I will never be as attached to this question as I am now. I feel that at this very moment, I am “Who Am I?”
Complicated. I know. You loved me because of this complicated mind. It reminded you of the complicated structure of One Thousand and One Night. But you gradually got tired of me… Of my poor English, although I was getting better…. Of my numerous questions…. Of how I was attached to you…. Of my constant philosophizing in a language that I didn’t know that well. Of how love sick I was. …Of my being you…. Whatever!
Do you miss me? Are you trying to find me? Are you thinking of me? Do you sing the song that I taught you? Do you hug a pillow instead of me?
I miss you so much. I try not to be found. I am thinking of you. I sing the song that I taught you. I hug a pillow instead of you, but I am no longer you.
I am nobody, a nobody ready to evaporate, but can I really evaporate in this cold night?
It is cold tonight. I must go home.
Oh! What a pity that you will never read this letter. Because I am going to delete it right now.
She deletes the letter; all the words disappear. The wall behind her is blank.