046—Going West, from “The Brick,” by James Stegall, from

“I say, in the Special Forces I learned to let go of anger. I learned to run with no thought of how far. I learned to carry the ammo crate as far as it must be carried, no more, no less. The mission is accomplished by living inside individual heartbeats, breaths, blinks and twitches, draining the mind of time’s pull in order to achieve a floating, endless symbiosis with the body’s own processes. It becomes pure calculus: the motion of the body is X and the task the derivative, stretched over time, product of infinite moments. The mind is the only tangent, if allowed to wander. Task and purpose. “Jenny rolls her eyes. “‘They taught you to reroute your ability to feel,’ Dennis says. ‘You’ve been short-circuited.'”

Posted December 31, 2002

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