We dance a mad and complicated dance with each other. Every day. We swirl around each other as atoms, leaving our traces everywhere: Hair, nails, skin, gazes, colors, heat. We flirt and we touch. We look, stare, become, think. We fuck or just enjoy our lives. “Our” “time.” (I’ll get to that.)

We build things. “Design” them: We separate object from subject, and animal from human. Some of them we call companion species. Others just are precisely that—companion species—but we refuse to call them that.

We separate by inventing something we name language, a system referencing nothing but itself, forever a dance unto itself—a dance of unresolvable, unfinished, inexhaustible differences. Différances? We make up rules, and then we break them. Always in a play—or a game—of and as Spielverderber.

But in the end, those buildings, those dances, are always coined—relentlessly valued. Some get more, some get less, that’s just the way things “are.” It’s the saddest answer to the ethical question: just because. Why me? Just because. Why not me? Just because.

Who am I in all this? And where are you? Euclidean space cannot contain me, or us. We are not who we think we are. And certainly not when we are.

Because those atoms, particles, swirling quanta, were never mine to begin with. They were at best borrowed, at worst stolen, by “me” to constitute the one to utter those words.

They will keep swirling long after “I” am gone—because perhaps “I” was never here to begin with: we are made of stardust indeed. Or: dust thou art, indeed, and unto dust thou shalt return. That is just the way things are.

Now tell me, what, where, and when is performance in all this?

— Thank you, Brian Massumi, for driving me mad.