The Senselessness of Me Turning My Neck

Sun filled heat filled asphalt bike path. Speckled with whatever aggregate. Having turned my head to the side (don’t know why I turned my head to the side, and wish now I could return to that moment between when I had not turned it and when I ultimately did turn it; of all the moments of history, of all the moments one so desperately needed a time machine for, I would wish to return to that one; all of history was buried in my neck, in that senseless gesture of its turning, I supposed, and if I could just understand it, if I could only go back to rip that head off, shake its contents out, discover what had been inside it…)

Having turned my head to the side and seen among the tall brown grass trash of a sort I can’t now recall: paper or aluminium but not plastic.

Something about this moment seemed important and I knew that I would later be here, now, writing about it — which, however, hardly seemed so inevitable then, or at any point during the day, until this very one.

There was myself, the path, me passing the trash and looking at it, and there was a thought about gender and sexuality, inspired by a passage from Thoreau’s journals. Thoreau had imagined a kind of sexless union of souls between man and woman but of that union being like the sexual but refined in someway (as I took it), platonic perhaps.

I was passing the dry tall grass and the trash on it. I was “looking” in the sense of scanning: not really noticing anything but alert should there arise an object of interest. Thought of there being no gender, of there being “only human.” Sunlight, heat, sweat, activity, moisture in the air. Where Thoreau had wanted the relationship of man and woman to be transcendent, I, with the additional not entirely clear information we have today about gender, was trying to understand what happened to the sexual impulse, or even the religious impulse, when, if, it was understood there was no man and woman or male and female, no Other of any kind, no friend and no enemy — if it was understood we were, really, all one. “No other of any kind” equals, I now suppose, something close to what I have taken to be the meaning of God.

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