Thinking about human consciousness as gears in a car, that neutral must be the most basic awareness, upon first waking or right before sleep comes over you in a wave, the light in your eyes growing or fading. There’s first gear, which is helped along by coffee and some kind of egg dish. That eggs are what we usually start the day with makes sense, as it’s an early food, a beginning taste, a young thing still yet unborn and consumed out of the shell. There’s a sophistication to people who eat eggs at night, that they shave parmesan and drizzle truffle oil onto the idea that they can start over anytime. It’s never to late to begin again, and they do it with their late night suppers of soft poached eggs warmly laid on bitter greens, clinking their silverware together, slitting the yolks and letting the yellow bleed onto their salad. It’s dressing and decadence, what sally bowles might eat to ward off a hangover before bed, recalling the magnificence and horror of 1930s berlin. I am not this, I am not one to eat eggs after 10am. I have them in any form, but I am strictly eggs for breakfast and I’ll never be swayed.
Second gear might be snacks or lunch or meetings that we do when we shake off sleep, leave the night behind us. It’s when the day starts to move and usually this is the time when I have to go to the bathroom, and so it’s appropriate that it is number 2.
Then the third, fourth, fifth even sixth gears are supported by the idea of times in the day. They correspond with meals and the building excitement that the night brings. Fourth gear might be fabulous early drinks and dining. Fifth might be the best rock concert you’ve ever been to or staid, sensible sex. Sixth is probably insane sex, or maybe in some cases drugs to keep the night going on into the next day. You don’t want to run that gear too much or you will burn out your engine.
And of course reverse, that is memory. It’s the gear I use the least, along with sixth, but need arguably the most. I don’t remember all things, and I really need to. Conversely, I would love to forget a lot, and I have and what I don’t want to forget will leave me by accident. In my life, I will put my mind into reverse gear and put my arm on my seat and turn to view my past in a full twist around. I need to see it all. I can’t forget.