Tuesday, September 28, 2010


I went to bed last night, to the image of the Homunculus—Dr. Penfield, drawing the image of a body with giant lips and hands on the surface of the brain by shooting tiny electrical impulses, and asking the subjects what they felt. I can't help but imagine him doing this on the sidewalk, at the corner of Penfield Avenue and Mctavish, with people walking by, and dust rising with each car, and the subject sitting in a chair with a sheet over them, and their brain exposed to particles of air.
Last night, I fell asleep to the thought of how small my back is on these diagrams, compared to my lips and hands, and that thought made me sad. It also made me feel disjointed, my whole body mapped out on the surface of my brain—I think I'm three dimensional, but really, depending on how we look at it, I'm thinner than that, my body is drawn flat inside my scull.

I went to sleep with the vow to make my back bigger, even if it takes my whole life—to draw my back to scale, or at least larger than my hands and lips together, I wondered if my life would be long enough, is that enough time for such a huge endeavor?
Why do I find this so unsettling? The image isn't new to me, why does it suddenly make me dizzy? I fell asleep to two versions of me, one of them monstrous, staring at me, inculpating me: “you don't use your back enough, your hands, your lips, your legs look like sticks”. Every mirror distorts, and flattens. I imagined my back the size of a continent, and I knew that today I'd be writing, not traveling.

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