From the outside, perhaps, I look whole. There are not, after all, pieces of my body randomly wandering off on their own accord, an ear listening to small talk here and a hand futzing with a doorknob there. Even not-so-close friends try and gauge my mood and my mind and find nothing other than that I appear inscrutable (a relic, I suppose; old armor still in place).

It has been a long time since I was last shattered, since someone unknowingly took a sledgehammer to my heart by the simple act of not caring. But like blood those pieces eventually run back together; whether the whole mess gets shoved back inside of you to wait for someone else or it gets washed down a storm drain is up to you and circumstance and fate or whatever you want to call it.

But there comes a point when one's very soul begins to fragment, not so much a sundering as a differentiation, almost like parts of your mind waking up and discovering they have an identity of sorts; more often than not in response to some long-ago asked question such as "who are you?" or "what do you want?"

Turning inward, sifting through all the years of memory, perfect moments slipping like drops of water over my consciousness, casting ripples about the still dark pool within which lies something eternal. But in part I have found these pieces of myself by stepping back; on the outside looking in at my own emotions and needs and fears; they are all that I was when I stepped away and brifely shed the anchors of this life before coming back.

Who are you?

Let me count all the pieces.

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