I went to the shoe store and placed my feet in the measuring pans. My feet transmitted a sudden and stark message—“we feel shy down here; we’re under examination. Please get us back inside our shoes.” I wondered about this. The tragedy of it. “When,” I wondered, “had my feet learned to be timid?” “It’s the whole damn system” I told them. “Capitalism has taught you to feel incomplete.” But when your feet are farouche the whole body jumps that way. The temporal lobe said: “I too don’t wish to be known.”
I really wanted Mozart just then. Anything other than the grey flock of avian neural distress that emanated from my feet and circled outward to the farthest rings of my flesh. “Jesus,” I said, “you’re just buying some shoes.” But the temporal lobe said: “There’s no such thing as just. Would you just saw off your hand?” So I was forced to conclude, encouraged to conclude, the body’s anguish is like intense moonlight.
The shoe moment helps me recognize what my autistic friends already know. There is no “me”—there are only the eager, bristling, dancing, component parts. Now ask yourself how you get through the day?
Oh my feet, you moth eaten grand seigneurs, keep talking. It’s OK.