(The Art of) Lying, Still
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom
(original photo) by Rose & Olive.
(The Art of) Lying, Still
I wasn’t scared.
Neither when they cut me open or when Big Al stuck the needle to my back.
I just lie there, just as I’m lying now. Truth be told, so help me God, apparently He or She did, because otherwise I wouldn’t be here with you, lying naked on a naked bed in some flea-bag of a motel, lying bare and vulnerable, my greatest frailties now being mere fodder for your “art.”
Honestly, it almost feels like open-heart surgery in a way, except that it is your lens that is slicing me open this time, exposing me to everyone. Funny how I seemingly often find myself in these same compromising positions.
Oddly enough, ever since the surgery I tend to think about lying down, lying naked, lying still—a lot. I often dream about lying, as well, as well; lying often, lying still, lying regardless of all the reasons not to in my life, all the rife and redolent and bountiful reasons not to lie, still. Still I do. Yes, nonetheless, I do.
It is actually a rather comforting feeling to lie still, despite all the reasons not to—that is the truth I tell you. It is the truth I tell you, as I am lying still, here, baring all that is all-telling, to you.
I think I’m more scared to live than to die though, really.
Sometimes, I get up excited, ready to embrace the day, ready to race and finish first, ready to make the most of every moment, every sunrise, every opportunity. But then, suddenly I fall, I feel, paralyzed, just as I was for the first two weeks of my back surgery—they thought it was quite unlikely that I would ever walk again, ever jump, or skip, eat, open doors, drive cars, drink beers and press remote control buttons much like any normal, average person can do and does, often, daily.
I remember vividly when they tried to gently tell me that there was a good chance that I may never move another limb again, for they tried to console me by saying that half of those who have had complications go comatose, frickin’ living vegetables—I was “lucky” they said, very lucky.
I snapped out of it suddenly one night. I faintly remember weight coming back to my body, it felt like a ton of bricks had suddenly been lain on top of me, it was so odd not initially knowing what it was, but then, almost an amazingly joyful, ineffably blissful, moment later, realizing that in fact I was full and rife and weighted down by the life in my arms and legs again, I was so high on this epiphany that I immediately cried, I sobbed incessantly, until I shed that weight in tears—I had held in my fright and disbelief and tough-minded come-what-may, I’ll deal with it, brazen, almost-ironically boastful, attitude for so long now that it all, suddenly, burst out of me like a giant blister, an implosion of utter fuckin’ happiness, an unbelievably wonderful, screamingful, mountain-high pitch of phenomenally immense, and intense, appreciation for being “whole” again. Because for two whole weeks I was merely a piece of me, a head with big piece of petrified wood attached to it.
So, I’ve been scared ever since, frightened that a misstep, a shock of any sort, a mere zap of static even, might jolt me back into the garden, sowing me up like a root, one big ugly stump of inanimate matter—Yes, I cower because I now know how much life fuckin matters now, and how much we all take it for granted.
And of course, by the way, I was lying about not being scared when I got my tattoo and when I went under the scalpel as well—of course I was, I was scared shitless, ironically, paralyzed with fright.
In fact, sometimes, I think that this is what ultimately triggered the mishap, that having gone into surgery with this timorous demeanor made it happen; happen if only for that single ugly episode, a mere two weeks, but an infinitely long two weeks of my life, allthemore.
And by the way, I did tell you I was lying.
"I don't know what you mean by 'glory,' " Alice said.
Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. "Of course you don't - till I tell you. I meant 'there's a nice knock-down argument for you!'"
"But 'glory' doesn't mean 'a nice knock-down argument,'" Alice objected.
"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean - neither more nor less."
"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."
"The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "Which is to be master -- that's all."
— Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll —
(R&O thank you for the inspiration)