Sometimes, it’s too easy a thing to feel like a bug pinned in place by a predator’s gaze. No… that’s wrong. I don’t know that bugs know, and I don’t know how deep an instinct runs when bugs can simply fly and do, oblivious to mortality blooming like roses around them, motality singing from a thousand throats like trumpets, motality in silk ropes and stickiness. They fly (sometimes). They do (until death). Bugs have it right, perhaps. A perpetual motion.
It’s more like a mouse. A rabbit. An instinct so small and mamalian that you can’t help but freeze, uncertain. So I froze upon shaking hands with a hero of mine, and was small before a hawk, in an unfamiliar bar, two hours before the show, ill at ease in my own skin.
There have been other moments when I have been that mouse in my mother’s presence, trying to tell of the value of video games, of the study of strangeness itself, of the importance of an anthropology amenable to misinterpretation, subjective and filled with shifting notions. She has told me that such interests were unladylike in the past, told me they were admirable and powerful, told me they were inadvisable. Filled with contradiction. Under my mother’s gaze I have rendered myself small– a mouse, weighed and judged by her disapproval.
It’s a very human activity, judging, measuring, placing things in boxes. It’s very common. To what end? Sorting, surival, aesthetics… Humans draw lines. Delineate.
What was drawn and weighed that day, six months ago, under a hawk’s gaze which caused me to stop writing here? I weighed myself, placed myself in a box. I can’t know another’s mind. I wasn’t a mouse, but I made myself so, filled with awe at another human’s being. What did he think of me? The answer is I don’t care. Not now.
I have gained something of value between then and now. I have learned to be a bug. Do. Be. In smallness, yes, but there will be no freezing, pinned in place by a gaze, a judgment. I am smaller than a mouse, and unstoppable.