On Losing That Human Touch

I have not eaten in twenty-four hours because I still feel as though I have only just eaten a thick and indulgent meal fifteen minutes ago, not a day ago. This is not contentment but rather discomfort. Instead of forgetting about feeling full, not being distracted by needing to eat, I am constantly aware of how full I feel, and constantly distracted by how I do not want to eat.

Is this what they mean when they ask out of science-fiction curiosity, would you rather never have to eat again?

I have dinner plans tonight. I walk from uptown to the Village. While walking I am on the phone with another country already in tomorrow but I cannot concentrate while so distracted with my body. Having a body is one thing, knowing your body has become wrong is another. The congested sidewalks don't help to distract me. I'm losing my attention and then my patience with trying to talk to the country in tomorrow. Cars speed across the street against lights. People are rude. It's raining. And I don't feel so well.

My head disconnects from my torso and I stop talking. 

We are meeting at the restaurant I suggested because it is the first one I always suggest, the first one I had been brought to by a friend ten years ago now. I bring my friends and acquaintances and bosses and family and visitors because to others it is fun, it is a good time, there is a celebrity sighting usually. I like the drawings on the walls, sketches that are sad but revealing of facial expressions, they are impressive. I celebrate the artworks, but they are not celebrities. The silent Chaplin films on loop are just out of the way so as not to distract you.

My body is still in pieces when I arrive, one torso and all the others parts have been lost. 

It is a dinner arranged for introductions: the editor meeting the artist who I had been told about by another artist, a friend. I am glad to see my friend, meet the artist; I am glad to see the editor, who is glad to meet the artist. The artist wrote to our email thread in the morning to say his back has been injured and he may not be able to make it, but my friend had then texted me, don't worry, he'll still come.

I smile and tell stories while trying to locate how my head is connected to my body. 

The artist goes to the bathroom and my friend describes his own art practice, the systemic relief of drawings. He shows the editor and me a graphite piece still in progress. Four shapes alike but entirely different, similar just enough to make you think that each has morphed into being from the others. The four shapes are arranged vertically to the left of the page. It is beautiful.

"How can I buy this from you?" 

"It's not done." 

"It's perfect." 

"It's just a sketch." 

"It's perfect." 

"No, really." 

I cover half the bill and he says he will mail me his drawing. In the meantime he sends me the image he had shown us and I look at it later in excited anticipation, or forlorn longing. The drawing is a series of shapes wrought by civilization, the mechanics of cities and the structures of technology deconstructed by an untrained eye. They are observations and hypotheses, not blueprints. The shapes are an attempt to make sense of what the artist is seeing, who is not an engineer, who did not design the actual structures. The shapes are a trial in understanding how the structure is built, how it connects and comes apart when you are looking at it not for its function.

It's perfect and I empathize with it.