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I gave The Other a name. A different name each day of the week. But the names all referred to the same entity.

Everything else. The mysterious. The unknown. The uncontrollable.

The unexpected.

I used names I liked. Friendly names. I didn't like to think of the other as threatening. No question the world wasn't easy. But since I was still around, the other couldn't have been as malicious as all that. Perhaps apathetic. There were times I was apathetic too. But if I succeeded, either the other was apathetic, or on my side. Hardly a true adversary, so no, I didn't see the other as an enemy. Perhaps a friend, perhaps an environment.

Whatever name I chose for the other didn't really matter. Only that I knew what I was referring to. God. Jehovah. The universe. Chiara. It could be anything. Though praying to God and praying to the universe conjured up different images. But it was different words representing the same thing.

There was a time when I included my body as part of myself. I was no longer sure. Food entered as part of the other, then became incorporated into me. I couldn't say when it made the transition.

Viruses, cancer cells. I refused to include them as part of myself. I assigned them to the realm of the other. At times I viewed my body as a battleground of control between myself and everything else.

I questioned whether my mind was wholly my own. I could not will joy and satisfaction through sheer power of thought. If the other had a hand in my mind as well, perhaps attempting to distinguish myself from everything else was futile. Perhaps I belonged to the other in the end, despite whatever illusion of control I had over the things in my immediate vicinity.

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