I found my first piece aged three on a holiday by the sea: a small pebble. My tiny reach plucked it from the swirling beach and once chosen, it was a jewel. A shining obsidian ovoid, it was as smooth as my life except for a tiny indentation that I thought of as an eye. Though not an eye that sees, but rather an eye that is seen into. I made a gift of it to my mother and she kept it in the small drawer of her dresser among my foil-wrapped milk-teeth.
Aged nine or ten, (I don’t remember when), I smelled my own forearm hair stuck to bare skin with spit. My own caprice had found another piece.
At seventeen i saw it clear: the sky cleaved clean in two by the mast of a ship, seen askew from a pier, my friends walking as revenants with fear of slipping from it’s algae slicked surface.
The kiss I was gifted at twenty three, an integral part of me: two destitute travellers meet in a run down town in southern Sicily. No money, no food, no shelter, nothing to exchange but their humanity. For a year I could still smell her, and I had found another piece of me.
Do we become our memories? Or do we discover the pieces of ourselves?
Years later, on the salt plains of northern Argentina I stood still as the world revolved. Then I revolved, in a Bagua circle, widdershins. One more piece.
Are people unhappy when they mistakenly add a piece belonging to someone else?
I don’t know how many pieces I have left to find, but then that’s part of the game, the global mission, and when the final piece slots home… I’ve won. And death my prize.