I am a Paragraph

This morning too is the cool breeze in the small gap in my window that is open to the same mother and her birds. It is a raving early morning, then nothing, as she must have flown away.

This birdhouse is on my deck outside my bedroom window. I put the house so I could reach it although I never do.

I respect the privacy of birds. Isn’t life enough of an open door? Is there no modesty? I’ve seen my mother naked, which is enough disaster for one lifetime. I will never be able to recover.

Every relationship was already affected. She would sit on her deck in Orinda and simply smoke. She was always in contemplation about something and never effecting, an outsider.

I am like her trying to remain, or actually not trying to remain, on the fringe.

I keep telling the Union, for example, that I want out, but I am the only one willing to sacrifice myself and so the others are fine having me there while they increase their livelihoods.

I look back at my life and I see that this is all that I have done. No law school, no GRE. And yet, I have examples of my capacity.

After all, isn’t everything, by example? There are thesis statements, examples, and then reiterations, what more is there to a paragraph. I am a paragraph rather than a story. I am stuck at the same point, repeating myself. I think my next project will be solving this sexism thing.

Sexism is simply man asserting his superiority over women, where women should be asserting theirs.

If a woman is everything to a man, why is there argument? All he does is use reverse psychology to throw her off, so she is thinking about her inadequacies, and while doing so with Stockholm syndrome, he seduces her.

She is grateful to be loved at all.

What man, any man, for that matter would love her? And he plays hard, takes everything he wants and she is so preoccupied with the uncertainty of self that she looks to him for her self-esteem.

But she is everything to a man. He wants her so bad he cannot do anything else. Everything he does is meant to appear to her as an array of peacock feathers, because she only responds equally to him such that each feather is a bill, a dollar bill, for she is wading in a shallow pool.

He satisfies her hunger, he provides her clothes, her house, her frivolity, and so she is not free but dependent upon him, his coaxing so that she will strip and he can stare.

She is almost always concerned with how she looks. She engages in meaningless banter with her best friends in open-air venues, and she never quite connects with his eyes but expects him to see her and to engage her and this is all that is going on against the backdrop of capitalism, a male construct, supported by women to rise above other men by enslaving them too, to keep tabs on their growth and competitiveness.

No, if women want to be free, they have to fight this greed and fear. The sense of scarcity causes men to take what does not belong to them. They have nothing else but the occasional stray broken from some relationship that revealed dependency and thus ugly truth.

Every man is in fear that he will be found out, always working to keep her or pushing her away because of some flaw he cannot flaunt.

It is in the morning that I hear the birds chirping wildly upon sight of their father or mother, where something is working, only because there is sacrifice and not the neediness of one sex by another. – Mario Savioni


  1. I find the word paragraph being used here as a metaphor in contrast with a story, something complete and finished and not just one part of it that somehow remains stuck at a certain point and has problems in continuing to develop itself. The birds’ privacy is being compared to the privacy a human being needs: the sight of the naked mother suggesting her increasing fragility with ageing, not being the same person she used to be. Dominant feelings the reader gets: SADNESS because of the ageing mother but also a lot of EMPATHY and COMPASSION.

    The second part of the story analyzes women-men relationships from the perspective of the narrator. Women’s subordination to men as far as money, security and comfort dependency. Comparison abuser (man) and abused (woman) with the Stockholm Syndrome, psychological phenomenon where victims mistake a lack of abuse from their captors for an act of kindness. Critique on capitalism as being the cause of this problem. Especially these words here have a very powerful message: Dominant feelings the reader gets in this second part of the story: RAGE, ANGER toward women accepting men submission and men subordinating women. And HOPE with the narrator’s own words saying that although “I am a paragraph”, an unfinished story, this person intends to solve this sexism thing in his life. The image of the chirping birds becomes the ideal which is not possible to attain “…where something is working, only because there is sacrifice and not the neediness of one sex by another.”

    • Thank you for noticing and telling me that you like it. I relish making something that feels to me what it feels to you. Things like Chopin’s music, Tolstoy’s words in War and Peace, and art in the SFMOMA, these are things that matter. I want to be someone who has created catharsis. Thank you again.

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