Thursday, May 04, 2006

Body and Head II

I took typing in high school but only for a few months because the guidance counselor called me in and suggested I withdraw. My typing grade would pull my average down too far, he said, and I wouldn’t get into college. I was getting 9 out of 100. However in that short time, I learned the basics of touch typing, very useful. I still make many mistakes, but the advent of the computer has mitigated that.

I was ten when an adult commented on how much my shoulder blades stuck out. That got me wondering if I could use them to fly. I stood on the stone wall and jumped off, waggling the bones, over and over. I wasn’t disappointed; I just thought, Well it was worth a try.

All of this does mean that my head rules my body completely – it is a tyrant really. I wonder if that is true for everyone to the same extent. I think of my body as the thing that holds up my head. If my head deems it necessary, my body will stand pain and fatigue quite graciously. I can sit for hours waiting patiently if need be, not needing a book to amuse me, just amusing myself in my head.

In fact as I’ve been writing on this blog, this attempt to figure how I’ve become what I am, I have realized the extent to which my brain is supreme. I can’t understand why people willingly risk life and head to do extreme sports, activities that seem to accomplish little of worth: driving racing cars, doing somersaults on skis, going up in a hang glider. On the other hand, I love to watch the amazing feats of baseball infielders – stunning catches and double plays. When I was asked who I would choose to be if I weren’t me, I said, “Shaquille O’Neal”; I’ve given my computer his name. I once saw the shortstop Ozzie Smith leap sideways to catch a ball, body stretched out straight. How I wish I could do that. I can imagine what it must feel like to make a fantastic basketball pass – so quick, so instinctive, no interference from the tyrant brain.

1 comment:

Peter said...

I call my work computer "Marvin", the Paranoid Android, from Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy. I'm not sure, in this context, what that means... :)