Friday, August 20, 2010


A thump to my head almost took me down. A tiny door I knelt before, like a Catholic at mass. Not low enough, for my head was bonked as if that ledge itself shrunk down to whap me a good one, just for spite. A hole too small for a hobbit? Perhaps. My head was scrunched into the base of my neck like the top of a toy pushed down too far.

A kink in the neck is a kink like no other; a tilt to the left, a nod to the right, both unleashing a pain that is anything but erotic. I felt my neck for the first time as something potentially, if not probably, destined for a quiet and violent destruction. As easily chipped as a potato chip itself. (With none of the salty flavour, although I can almost taste stray flecks of neck-bone floating around the inside of my mouth, like dead fish being flushed into their final sad circle from life.) Would one's own bones crunch like the sweetest of cookies? Perhaps that's a tradeoff I could one day pursue -- a stunted head on a hunched back, if only to taste my own fragile of forms.

Ah, but to taste one's own taste is a taste much too curt. A blunt, almost incestuous feeling of intimacy occurs when the tip of your tongue is coated, if not sprayed, with something within, and the taste of my bones would be a taste far too fearsome.

For me, today, my neck better, that something-to-savor was blood red and sweet. My face had implanted itself so askew on the pavement's hard edges. First I felt the trip, a hazard of running that occurs all the time, but this time extended the fall or a stretch far too far. I have probably fallen ten, twelve times, tops, in two decades of runs, but this one was tops in terms of tough spills. Painful spills. I use phrases such as these to add elements of grace to that which is coarse. Language can, and should, serve as a means by which we surround and enclose the most violent events, turning life into something more ready for us to examine, reflect upon, muse over, but life was not made to be written, and the whap of one's fall on a path made of stone seems to mock the notion of replicating experience as ideas once removed.


For a moment I felt as if my teeth, or a few of them, had been launched free from their gums like a gun's anxious ammo. The blood came at once, and with it the pain. The taste of my blood was reminescent of youth, of falling down a slide while my brother and cousin came quickly to help. This is my childhood, I could have thought at that moment when my cheek kissed the rock. I didn't think that, only forging this link, because words come only later, if ever. A fall to a sidewalk leaves the intellect behind.

How often have you tasted blood in your mouth in the years of your life? Two times? Three? It's an almost welcome sensation, to lick its slow drip as it forms and then builds. Tastes savored before, but not again, grow dim in our skulls. Here was this blood, but my teeth were just fine. No cracks, chips, or chunks to be found amidst stones on the ground. However, the side of my face had its own, almost artistic flourish; the cuts on my arms are almost already scabs. To look like this, and not have been mugged, is a wound to one's pride of the highest order. At least with a mugging there's the prospect of defence, however feeble it might prove to be. A violation, a violent act, brings out pity, and self-pity directed at one's own deep-cut offers a cool rag on the fevers of one's soul. But to wield such sharp cuts from one's own trip-and-fall? From a tumble to the earth over one's own two left feet?

Together with the unfortunate-incident-of-the-head-in-the-doorway, I'm starting to think that terra firma has traps that spring just for me. Or, if I cannot convert blame to this more tactile, if absurd, form of currency, I must now admit that I am at fault in an earth of my own reckless making. With welts on a knee, and scrapes on my face, I can only confess: The pain from this pen, the maddening vagueness of language, and the agony of words that emerge all too late, are but a joy, a gift, a candy unwrapped when compared with the pain of a face falling flat on its front. Words can't infer what reality simply thumps so well and so deep.