||Here in the twenty-first century, identity is more malleable than ever. Globalization, technology, gains in gender and racial equality, and the post-World War II middleclass boom have decentralized identity formation, rendering it a narrative of the self that is chosen, shaped, and constantly (re)rewritten. Yet, like groups of violent editors and readers, lovers, family, technology, history, and culture, a myriad of Others often impose unwanted and destabilizing interpretations upon our identity. (Mis)Reading bodies like text and (mis)interpreting words, the Other produces external narratives that the narrative of the I must reject, invert, embrace, or incorporate. And although the body is usually a supporting visual text, the physical part of identity from which a large portion of the self's narrative originates, it can and does subvert identity through age, illness, intended improvement, or unintended decline. Constructed from as many fragments and disjointed pieces as its author, this stream of (self)consciousness narrative explores an identity being destabilized by the onset of an unknown illness. Undermined by its dual obsessions - the tension between the narrative of the self and contesting narratives from the Other and the relationship between the speaking, thinking I (represented self) and the material I, the body (the enacted self) - and lacking the more familiar elements of plot, character, setting, and narrative trajectory the text fails to represent a cohesive whole just as its As a collage the text struggles to find a cohesive self to represent. Various selfportraits purposefully interrogate the idea that the face is the seat of the self as purported by the traditionally staid genre of portraiture. Paintings, photos of blood cells and hair and saliva and inherited objects constitute an effort to articulate the body through image. The language, while overtly an attempt at stabilization, further fractures wholeness: dreams become concerned with the material; suspension of meaning-making only results in critical introspection; the past exists in an irresolvable tension, at times beautified in order to reaffirm the narrative of the historical self while at other times its unabashed suffering serves as a reminder of age, deterioration and, death.