I am not the one, the culprit, the one we read about in the papers, the one we saw on TV shielding his face with a hat from the camera which is more like an eye—a tendon to the collective brain—than a friend or a mirror, it takes in and does not give back out. It records and eats it all. I am not the perp the one who went in through the window the one who we all admire in an awful way for his audacity—to go in through the window which we all dream of doing, some of us just wanting to go in and root around through the underwear drawer, others to look at the settings on the vcr and what secrets the Tivo keeps. I am not the actor center stage, the best boy, or the director. I am not the name in print in ink that smells like trouble and like an incident in the paper. I am not the cause nor the result of action. I am a passersby, a stand-in, extra. With an eye that watched most of it go down, some first-hand, and some later in the memoir and the court transcripts that were not sealed but open to the public. I am not to blame or to exhume or to cry over in the night that is so cold that it's hard to step foot outside. I am the one who went to school with the one who's in the paper, who graduated years ago with the now-celebrity, the convict, criminal, the one whose head everyone will gander at, will fight over and then pry open if they think they can. In a way I want that notoriety—their desire for the inside of my egg my concrete crust my manhole cover steaming up on winter nights. I did follow him after school as he got off the bus line early and broke into the Greyhound station, took the flares from the emergency roadside assistance packages, and set them off. I am not the one but the ghost behind the one—am the scrappy dog the jolliness behind him like a chain, am a way inside his head, am the trace of action. I am not responsible for this. I am the observer who is neutral who can read but cannot affect the script. My eye takes it in, gives nothing back. I am not responsible for the attack, the awfulness, the wakefulness on nights thereafter wondering if they'd ever catch the guy who did it, the sound of locking doors and window latches snapping shut, the blinds coming down like rain throughout the town, the neighborhood watch signs going up. I am responsible only for the actions that I take, not for the aching back and the going back again over the events, all the venting and the pain. I am not the name.