Move (In Three Parts)
by David Dufour
This is a body in motion.
Move however you can move.
If the body doesn’t move, it’ll freeze. You’ll turn to a block of ice, friend.
Start running. Last time you ran was a year ago. It was in that park by (unknown) lake, where the track circles the lake, and everyone is walking and running and ignoring those around them. To sweat is to release. Sweating is a relief.
Notice how your breath burns at the deepest part of your lungs. You almost forgot how things felt when they burned. It’s a good burn. It’s not like smoke, but like fire. Fire is a cleansing element.
Picture a night scene, a portrait in your mind. Only in this portrait you are the subject and you have been forced to pose. (Scary!)
You literally can’t move.
Say the portrait takes place in a field. The only thing visible in this field, in the dark of this night scene, is a single house. It belongs to you. Earlier that morning you were inside of it, fast asleep. Yet, somehow, you’re in this barren field, wearing nothing but overalls.
You wonder how you ever got in such a baren field, away from rustic farmhouse. Could it be that you hate whoever lives there?
You remember that earlier that morning, back in the lonely house in middle of baren field, in your bed, you were having a nightmare. (Skeleton crawling from inside of television set.)
What good is nightmare memory when you can’t move?
Body lays there. Body won’t move. Just lays there all raggedy and afraid like one of Bellmer’s dolls.
The lack of motion can be funny, as observer. As the feeler, it’s discomforting.
Your blood lays dormant until the muscles clench together, so that they can release. To finally release. To finally relief. It could be worse. It’s already bad, sure, but better than being any worse. Say that again: The worse could be so much worse. The bad is just bad.
There’s this condition, it’s called derealization. It’s when the body isn’t sure what is happening. It’s when the body has no idea how it ever learned to function. It forgets motion.
In bed you lie awake. Your mornings become nights become weekends of solitude.
It’s when the mind goes soft on you. It’s a mode of disconnection between your flapping lips and your brain which, until now, was in control of the flapping of lips. It’s when your thoughts are in limbo. All you see are projections. A projection that comes from the gut, the gut pushes it to the blood vessels, the vessels to the heart, from heart to brain, causing the vision to blur.
Guilt doesn’t belong to you anymore. You have forgotten the reasons you were guilty. You have forgotten what it means to be guilty of anything. Do you have secrets? You can’t remember. No good is the secrets, says you. Says you. You says. Who said?
The body contorts in all shapes. Bones go wonky. Fingernails, transparent. You can feel your arms getting smaller. Watch them shrink. Watch as they shrink, it’s funny. You laugh at the shrinkage. You laugh at how your hands now look like a baby’s hands.
Then there is clarity, a moment of relief. You have reclaimed your vision. All of that jargon about farmhouses? Or the flapping of lips? Or running to keep from turning into a block of ice? Let that all slip away. There’s no more of watching yourself suffer. You are no longer outside observer who is too helpless. You are no longer the one who watches. From the first person POV, your body works like a halfway house. You are welcomed. This is only a brief scene. It is not a sign of what is to come.
About the Author
David Dufour lives in Savannah, GA where he attends the Savannah College of Art and Design. He will graduate with a BFA in Writing in 2022.