As a child you are given the instructions by a teacher to memorize a poem by Emily Dickinson. You are a quiet child, perhaps knowing this your teacher recommends the one that begins:

I’m Nobody! Who are you?
Are you – Nobody – too?

As you stand in front of the class reciting the lines so barely memorized it occurs to you that there is something strange in the statement. You didn’t detect the problem when reading silently, but in standing in front of others to say it.

Then there’s a pair of us!
Don’t tell! they’d advertise – you know!

The words do two things at once to you. They speak directly to you and implicate you in their self-deluded call to silence, you are their conversant about not conversing. But speaking them aloud, you speak them as if conversing with others, they become a performing of not performing.

How dreary – to be – Somebody!
How public – like a Frog –

On the Mac LCIIs of the era, every time you spell check your work your last name pops up with the suggestion: Drury should be Dreary. This actually upsets you, you never liked your surname. And after memorizing the poem, your own name reminds you of it, every time you type your name into the keyboard you are reminded:

To tell one’s name – the livelong June –
To an admiring Bog!

In the triangulation between the poem, your performance of it, and your continued typing of your own name you have performed, do perform, and will perform the problem again, the challenge perhaps, and this was the beginning.

And in it, the funny and unbelievable problem that a personal experience (your very somebody-ness) provides the anecdote by which you ever think on the impersonal concept of performance and its internal inverse, the lurking nobody that wants to tell of itself nonetheless.

Your name is Lindsey Drury and this is your site.

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