Thursday, January 7, 2010


Several nights ago I reached the top of Mt Tabor at the same moment I realized I had been moving around in the rain without a hood for over an hour. Several other things happened at the same moment.*

But first, the head. Uncovered, outside in rain, the head is such a funny thing: our bobbling allspark balloon, full of heat and memory and rapidly escaping both. Unconsciously, I protect it, brush it, rub and poke at it. And then boom, it gets shot or lopped off and what’s left?

I have this theory that the key to releasing a human’s unencumbered rage and physical violence involves pressure to the self-unseen, exposed, vulnerable top-of-the-head. Never in my life can I remember feeling so filled with hatred as when I cracked my head on my half-open trunk door, or when—leaping up the basement steps—my skull hit the ceiling. That goddamnmothercockfucking door! and I repeatedly punished it with my fist till there was/is a lasting dent. The basement wall, also, will remember not to take my head by surprise.

Or the time that I ripped a low-hanging chandelier from its chain after it suddenly decided to be my unwelcome hat. I punished it, and I punished the floor, and I punished anything in the vicinity. It’s something to do with being taken by surprise, combined with how vulnerable is that top head part. It might not even hurt. But it’s insulting. More than insulting… it’s nuclear. I’ve seen other people react the same way, and I know I’m on to something.

But a head uncovered in the rain, on purpose— it must mean something. In my case, it meant that heat was leaving the skull’s insides and steaming into the fog (not that I could see this), and that the mind contained therein had somehow adjourned its normal obsessed-with-true-reality tribunal and now subsisted on silver trays loaded with epinephrine, brought in by track-suited adrenal butlers, who took orders from arms and legs, back and chest, hips—oh God the hips are REALLY starting to hurt—and feet, and mostly a jury of sounds emanating from electrical white buds I had at some earlier point shoved into my own skull to do their work, to make their noise, to confuse the mind, to distract it (already, my feet feel better), because a mind focused on more than one thing at a time is a compromised thing.*

So, at the moment I realized my head was uncovered, I also realized I was in a cloud where it had stopped raining, but not ceased wetness. I realized I was completely alone and had been alone for the last 30 minutes of my life, when I left the citier portion of my run and entered the dog parkier, darker, freezingfuckingcold portion. But I wasn’t cold. I was combating it with the energy stored inside me, and besides, I had been thinking of something else, or nothing else. I was timing myself to a beat and meandering melody, each strand going over and over each other like my feet, like the annual budgets I complete each year for work, like the unfinished books strewn around my living room, the finished relationships with old friends or lovers and the unfinished remembering of those things, seemingly unrelated, but—at the last minute—synchronous in their arrival and (for lack of a better term) purpose: 3 minutes, 58 seconds into Wilco’s “Spiders (Kidsmoke),” to be even more precise.

Of course, you never realize anything suddenly unless you are forced to change your perspective. Unless your physical makeup changes. In the 239th second of that song, the butlers must have entered revival dance-mode, or began making love to the Raphe maids, and they were all tripping on Tryptophan, because I FELT AMAZING. Things were finally happening at the same time; all those songs from December, all those conversations from November, all those visions from October; I felt like I could remember them all at once, only because Here I Was.

And I was simultaneously at the very top of an empty Mount Tabor, completely soaked at 12:30AM, hot, full of nothing resembling unencumbered rage or violence or confusion, in fact, full of desire for the opposite, surprisingly taken by my unplanned first half marathon, one of the few resolved resolutions from 2009.

Technically, I was several days late.


*Of course, not really. How could any two things occur simultaneously? How could even our brain simultaneously conceive of 2 characters in a memory in the same way that a chameleon can supposedly conceive with his weirdly-rotating eyes of 2 characters standing both polar north and south in his vicinity? More importantly, are the former two questions variations of the same question? If yes, we’re of course admitting that the mind constructs reality, which is totally silly, right? I mean, the filter through which no portion of my existence can last pass is the mind. The mind is ultimately responsible for explaining everything.

This does not mean that the mind constructs everything, although it could mean that.


Ryan Hofer said...

the mind as in something my body has within it making me me, or the mind as in THE MIND?


Rainbojangles said...

Wow. I can relate.

bret said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bret said...

This came in on my RSS reader and I thought I was reading Matt's blog. So it was pretty funny imagining Matt running a half marathon at 1230 am. Also very un-Henderson to rip down a ceiling fixture, put holes in walls and dents in cars. Furthermore I was thinking how much more poetic this entry was for Matt and how different it was from his normal lucid prose. It was all making sense but not in a logical sort of way. I thought, "Matt has been spending too much time with Bryan." So that was funny.

It seems like one trait natural selection would want to preserve is a healthy distaste for head trauma. I think you may share some of primitive man's abhorence of certain immoral inanimate objects though :)

The brain clearly can accomplish more than one thing at once. This amazes me. I wonder if quantum physics has any implications in the area of neuroscience. I've read people who think both ways. The world is a very surprising place and it seems that the more we uncover about the brain the less we know.

I also think about these things while running. Thanks for the entry.

GOD, LLC said...

Whatever man, I eat ceiling fixtures like you for breakfast!