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I don't have a personality: I am a cocktail, a conglomerate, a riot of personalities. In me, personality is a species of inimical furunculosis in a chronic state of eruption; not a half hour can pass without my sprouting a new personality.

Whenever I think I am alone, the assembled host surrounds me, and my house looks like the consulting room of a fashionable astrologer. There are personalities everywhere: in the reception room, in the halls, in the kitche, even in the W.C....

It's impossible to strike a truce, or find a moment's rest! It's impossibel to know which one is the real me!

Although I see myself forced to live in the most abject promiscuity with them, I am not convinced that they have anything to do with me.

What connection can they possibly have —I ask myself— all these univited, unconfessed personalities, so bloddthirsty they could make a butcher blush with embarrassment? How can I allow myself to identify, for example, with this shrivelled-up pederast who didn't even have the courage to act it out, or with this cretinoid whose smile could freeze a speeding locomotive?

The fact that they inhabit my body is enough, however, to make me sick with indignation. Since I cannot ignore their existence, I want to make them hide in the inmost convolutions of my brain. For they have to do with a certain petulance... a certain selfishness... a certain absence of tact....

Even the most insignificant personalities arrogate to themselves certain cosmopolitan airs. All of them, without exception, consider themselves entitled to display an Olympian disdain for the others, and naturally there are quarrels of all sorts, inerminable disputes and disagreements. You'd think they might have some grounds for compromised, adopt some means of living together, but no, sir, each one claims the right to impose its will, without taking into account the opinions and tastes of the others. If one of them cracks a jake that makes me break out laughting, during the act another comes out to propose a little stroll through the cemetery. Nor is it good that the former wants me to go to bed with every woman in the city, while the latter attempts to show me the advantages of abstinence; and while one takes advantage of the night and does not let me sleep until down, the other wakes me at daybreak and insists that I get up with the chickens.

My life thus becomes a breeding of possibilities that are never realized, an explosion of opposing forces that confluct and collide in the process of mututal destruction. The attempt to make the least decision causes me such a mass of difficulties, before undertaking the most insignificant act I must put such personalities in accord, so that, frankly, I prefer to give up everything and wait from them to get tired of arguing over what they have to do with my person, in order to have, al least, the satisfaction of consigning one and all to the shitcan.

Oliverio Girondo
Translation by Gilbert Alter-Gilbert

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español Original version

Scarecrow and Other Anomalies, trans. by Gilbert Alter-Gilbert (Riverside, California: Xenos Books, 2002).