I was looking for something else on my computer and found a file called “after agee” from my first semester of grad school. It’s a less-than-page-long document about living alone and the farmers market and cooking - I don’t even know what class this was for. I don’t remember reading any Agee in grad school! I see how little bits of it snuck into an essay I wrote a year later, how I’d been getting words ready for their ideas. But it feels like a stranger wrote this, too. This is how it ends:
There is a cat sleeping in the window, and my knife slices through stems, heavy and deft. Cutting into smaller pieces, down and down, and I am alone in the room and alone in my home, but I am alone in my head and the inside of my head is vast. I had never known this place before I spent so many hours quiet, knocked on some door with the rhythmic hits of my knife blade on the cutting board after it’s sliced through a stem.
The whole piece is in italics and I have no idea why.