The Animal Gesture

I’ve been known to wax eloquently about language and stories and being human, with the perfectly arrogant implication that stories make us special.  That language makes us special.

I’m getting humbled.

It’s brand new that there is something in me that happens before the words.  I write.  It is all words with me.  Until I can write it down and make sense of it, it – whatever it is – doesn’t exist.

The words have a memory, they don’t need reminding.  Previously, I was blissfully unaware of anything happening before the words.  No more.  There’s this thing that gets swallowed just before it can break the surface of language.  This animal gesture that has already asked my sister if she’s talked to mom lately, even when my tongue is still finding its way to the first word.  The whole sequence of finding the phone because the reptile in me said “mom”, picking it up, dialing the number that is now disconnected (how’s that for a tangible metaphor) that happens in the span of a breath.  But the gesture has to turn into words first, and the words know better.

So it stops before it starts, a stutter in time like that cat in the first Matrix.  A glitch in the system that somehow reveals a part of the system I didn’t believe existed.

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The Animal Gesture

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