The Naked Dancer

I have shared with no one my memory of the female dancer with the minor though conspicuous physical deformity. They say it is the absence of sharing which over time renders the thing indistinct and mute. Yet it persists among the handful of troubling episodes I return to every so often in attempting to trace the origins of what has become, in my adult life, a profound isolation from the world.

The deformity itself feels less strange than the seeming fact of my having borne witness to it—for it is the witness I can’t account for, or rather the witnesser, since that period of my adolescence has been shrouded in the fog of an autoagnosia bordering on something like Cotard’s syndrome, wherein the person disowns a leg or a lung, a heart or throat or a mind.


First published in Epoch.