The man asked me indeed, if I had ever loved, lived, felt, hated or tasted the various forms of passion which thus (supposedly) made us human.
And I was frank-I said I didn’t know, for I had no measure. I would never know what it was to be human for I had no measure but myself…and I had stopped trusting myself a long time ago. I could not be, and therefore could not taste another’s being-their passion, their hopes, their highs, their lows and their gods. Where was the measure?
The man gave it a thought and reasoned (and reasoned well) that so it was for us all. None could taste another’s being and therefore taste another’s ‘humanness’- but that did not stop one from asserting (and did not cause one to question) oneself. Where did such absurd doubts take root?
I pondered…and I said again that I did not know, that sadly I knew nothing and could affirm nothing. It seemed to me that I was thrown in the world half-baked-without a spine and without a soul; with nothing concrete but these doubts and this strange numbness which remained of me..
The man was silent for a while. I too, was silent and stared at him with the same numbness with which I saw the world.
Then he slapped me - “Did that hurt?”
I screamed- “Of course it hurt!”
“Well that’s a start.”