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.

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6 Comments. Add To The Mix…

  1. sophisticated or not — i’ll have them anytime of day removed from predatorial white trash junkies who do much of nothing but add to the dilemma of which frank bruni was writing today in nytimes about pessimism in 2012 ( — so i’ll stick to easter baskets and jock straps remembering bunnies beyond benders of morons. i prefer healthy queer men than the ugly trifling nonsense that has passed as an equality movement as bowel movement — i’ll never be swayed. i’ve known to many people who were solid removed from hate crime nonsense veiled as goodness. love you.

  2. I left a comment two days ago and it disappeared!! Something is going on here. I hope this one doesn’t disappear. Unfortunately I didn’t discover Bill Hicks until after he died. I watched his shows on youTube over and over and loved it so much. He is an inspiration for anyone who wants to really be a truth teller as well as a great comedian. I would like to think I carry on in his tradition to some extent, except that I don’t have his guts. I hope this comment actually makes it onto your site.

  3. OOPS!! It looks like I screwed up. I didn’t realize I was posting a comment on ‘Gears’. Oh well, there can’t be too many comments praising Bill Hicks, can there? I can’t figure out these dang computer things anyway, where do I do what? I don’t know if I too hell with it anyway I’m going to bed!

  4. I am in awe of your ability to articulate so many things that I’ve felt as a human, a woman, a body with a brain attached (I sometimes feel a disconnect).
    I see how humble and self-aware you are in your writings and I wonder sometimes how challenging it might be when your words hold such power, literally the power to change lives. My perspective has been shifted and I’m feeling hopeful for the first time in a long time about where I can go with this mind and body. Thank you, Margaret for giving me that gift.

  5. My email address is, im not sure if you do much correspondence with readers as we are so many and you are one heck of a busy lady. But I’m out here and if you’d ever like to correspond with another slightly crazy somewhat articulate lady, I’m here. Take good care you beautiful goddess.

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