I-Me am widget...   by Giles D Hobbs

I-Me am Widget…..

My Nearest looks up at I-me from his seat to where I-me am perched, hopping along the cabinet in the corner of his room. His long slender neck is craned forward and his two arms gesture towards a bowl of nutrient at his feet. I-me squeak, and as I-me do so my fur balloons around my small circular body and my small wings flutter. No doubt my eyes look like saucers for one enchanting moment.

Before I-me carry on, I-me should make things easier for you. I-me am an intelligent creature, far more than our races endearing, fun loving nature would suggest. I-me also know you are intelligent too so I will explain something quite simple. I-me is part of a bigger me, the ’I-we’. All other me’s, he-me, she-me are also me and part of the I-we. So to save further confusion I-me will simply call I-me by the simpler and separate pronouns, I and me.

To go back to the present, there has been some tension recently between my current Nearest and me, since he woke in the night to find me in his briefcase. I had quickly given up my careful reading and had thrown the papers it contained into childish, chaotic disarray. I had emerged wide-eyed, chewing a pencil and looking innocent, wearing a scientific diagram like a paper hat. As he rushed in and started sorting the papers that the briefcase had previously contained so neatly, chastising me for my clumsiness I had taken the moment of distraction and briefly entered the ‘I-we’. I felt the familiar buffeting and shook slightly causing the pencil in my mouth to fly across the room, but right then I was too busy to care, depositing what my Nearest’s work papers had said into the ‘I-we’s vast memory. Once the room had flowed back into focus I –me, sorry, I looked for a way to save the situation and remembering the previously tossed writing implement I hurriedly began a game of hunt the pencil. I knew exactly where it was but also knew that once I had looked hopefully up my Nearest’s trouser leg for the fourth time, crowing in sad disappointment that it was not in that obvious place he would be subdued and would have resorted to silly rebuff’s rather than angry ones.

He was still using them now, calling me a silly ball of fluff and enticing me to the warm liquid in the bowl at his feet. Again he calls to me on my perch in the corner as I start to chew on a small piece of string, cooing. Outside the window I can see another me, bouncing of the heads of children that are playing in their garden. With each bounce they giggle and crouch, but look up hoping that it will be their turn again soon. I briefly admire he-me’s agility as he-me evades their clumsy child-arms. He-me, sorry, he lands briefly and shudders. I recognise that he has entered the ‘I-we’ and I wonder what learning he is depositing there. The moment is fleeting and with a bounce he is dive-bombing the children’s small head’s which are almost split in two by their huge laughing smiles. He-me is gentle, not wanting to hurt the mini-nearest.

I look down to the bowl of food. My appetite has been reducing recently, proportionally to the growing bloated feeling in my insides. I know it’s portentous but only the memory of the ‘I-we’ will hold the answers. Nevertheless my Nearest wants to see me eat, secure in his knowledge that I need him. I like my Nearest and wouldn’t want to hurt him, so I hop down. The brief manic flutter of my wings ends abruptly as I hit the floor and scuttle towards the food, feigning excitement. Grasping the straw in my mouth I slurp it up, briefly blowing bubbles. Distracted by a growing irritation under the fur on my belly I scratch uncontrollably and topple over into the bowl. I do the saucer-eyed thing again and hoping that my Nearest is happy I make the ‘kwaa’ noise that he loves so much and roll under the closest piece of furniture.

I watch my Nearest’s feet as they leave the room with my bowl and reflect again on that uncomfortable bloated feeling within my round body. Only the ‘I-we’, the sum-total of all of the many me’s experience has the memory to tell me what it means, so I resolve to bear its turbulent embrace and seek the answers to this physical discomfort.

As the darkness under the chair grows even deeper the initial shudder indicates that my body is reacting to the mental blows from within the ‘I-we’. It will become rigid as I descend further and the blows grow harder.

I am surrounded by bright white shapes. They are round and roughly my size but translucent and energetic; they are the ghost-me’s. I will be swimming in their sea, and largely at their mercy. As each one strikes me, it imparts a small amount of information, each being a part of the collective experience of the ‘I-we’; built up over countless generations. I have to work hard to hold my goal in my mind. Too easily can a me get lost in the ‘I-we’, following a knowledge trail that captivates too well, absorbing the I until it forgets the I in favour of the ‘I-we’. Some me’s have woken so late that they find their rigid bodies lying among refuse, believed dead by their nearest.

I am buffeted by those experiences; each new thought imparted by a blow from the ghost me’s. Some are very distressing, showing how these still living me’s have been horribly disposed of, fed to wild animals. I find myself moving to see experiences of some of the crimes against older me’s, way back in time. We forgive easily, at least the I does. The ‘I-we’ seems to like remembering. I almost realise too late that I am becoming captivated; buffeted from one ghost-me to another down a path that is becoming hateful. I recall my goal, to seek the cause for this growing physical discomfort and the irritating lump in my belly fur.

Three consecutive blows redirect me down a new, more appropriate information path, yet the deviation is surprisingly slight. Hate becomes aggression, aggression becomes indifference. Indifference turns to recklessness, then selfishness. Selfishness becomes self purpose and finally picking up an element of danger it becomes a dangerous purposefulness. I find myself surrounded by an ‘I-we state’ that is quite alien to the current me. It, and now I begin to feel so very different about my nearest. There is a growing purpose here and it is closely linked to my physical discomfort. I have become dangerous, but the me I know doesn’t want to hurt my nearest. It is only this bit of the I-we that feels this way, but I know this part is old, perhaps the oldest of all the ‘I-we’. It has been in control before, a long time ago, and now it is growing, just like whatever bloats me from within. I want to leave my murderous thoughts behind and I think of the chair and my body, calling forth ghost-me’s that will knock me back from this dangerous place to the lighter layers near the true me.

I-me feel it was a terrible mistake coming here. Entering the ‘I-we’ is uncomfortable for good reason and I fear I have awoken something, although in truth it was ready to burst long before I arrived. And now it is growing, spreading it’s dangerous purpose behind me. I know this because I am still being buffeted by the occasional ghost-me that continues to fuel my hateful thoughts, even as I enter the most mundane levels of thought and knowledge. The dangerous purpose is fighting for the surface, ready to impose it’s will on all us, I-me and he-me outside included. I think of the mini-nearests but then stop.

With a shudder that rolls me from my hiding place I am back. I run from the chair and leap to safety on my perch at the top of the cabinet. Outside the window the other me is still playing with the three young children, bouncing off their heads and shoulders, ominously close to their soft necks. It’s a good game he has taught them. A good game of trust, and I remember that he sent that very game it into the ‘I-we’ for us all to know and use when the time is right.

I look down at my belly and I see what I have feared. A small sharp spike protrudes, lethally armed with the growing sac of poison in my abdomen. I tuck it away as my nearest enters, hiding it like something shameful, which it isn’t. I have an urge to play the bouncing game. It seems like a fun game and I must admit I really want to play. I begin to hover in the air, waiting to try the first bounce on my nearest’s head. I hope he enjoys it as much as the children outside, who have strangely stopped laughing. I don’t look. I hope he enjoys the game because I like my nearest and I-me don’t want to hurt him.