something from a while ago:
i once heard my neighbor screaming for help. i finally located a pair of feet sticking out from under his Chrysler. a disturbing resemblance to the wicked witch. the tire jack akimbo. his chest pinned between oil pan and concrete. but a small consolation in the angle of the tipped jack; not utterly crushed, just utterly pinned. with enough air for the screaming. the screaming mad. indignant really. we called 911 even though he told us not to, and the fire department came. they levitated that car off him with their impossibly powerful hydraulics. proud with the strength that men have in their tools. we all feel a bit stronger when we are not pinned under cars. and believe we never will be.
how can a car be so agile and responsive to the slightest touch at 70 miles an hour and an implacable mountain after it has landed on us? Zeus’s finger pressing down ever so slighting on the roof. its dead rubber and steel probing into the softest watery tubing of us. and we cannot ever ever possess the strength needed to lift it. budge it. you cannot budge a car upwards. you cannot. it is dead weight. it is weight beyond caring.
i am reminded occasionally that things actually exist. and not just because i think they do. i could never remember the kind of detail required to create the world every day. the cracks and the cheese puffs and the wars. it looks as if we are in and part of, the world. and sometimes heavy shit falls on us. and crushes our guts. and this is not always just an opportunity to grow. or a metaphor. or an idea. sometimes, even when we are deep in thought, the world is full of rocks and water and teeth.
when animals die they become so heavy. i have lifted stiff cats and calves. the leg bones of bulls. the hand of a woman who had been my lover. it is uncanny the way the formerly living have of making us feel burdened. left behind with a body that does not recognize us anymore. and somehow we inherit all the worries. little birds flitting around the hawthorne tree.
when my dog does not wish to be moved off the bed she employs a form of passive resistance i like to call “the slinky”. her little 20 pound self becomes a near 8 foot according of slippery water weight. and in case i were misreading her cues, she will often growl her displeasure. she becomes the sort of thing one would only like to move with a large spatula.
could it be we instinctively fear the weight of death? or the silence? the sincerity? is it possible one of the trillions of things encoded into our dna is a natural fear of the formerly animate? or maybe even the fear of those who could, at any moment, cease animating? i get that sometimes. i am rudely revealing the horrible weakness in the whole system. how breathtakingly easy it is to fall prey to the weight of the body. succumb to gravity’s siren song. to fall down and dissolve.
make way and make room people. we are crowded. time is a bird bath and we all want to get wet.