Cary Imagines the Garden
There was a game. Cary still played it sometimes; he needed something to spur his imagination into gear. Consider any object in the house, the room, the world. Then, imagine what it would feel like to be that object.
Cary played this game for hours as a boy. Some things were easy: a butler's corkscrew, for example. His feet and legs were the screw itself. That little piece that goes over the cork was his pelvis. His two arms were of course the long handles, reflexively reaching up as the corkscrew made its way. His torso moved up and down as his arms moved down and up like a mechanical jumping jack. The top of the handle was his head. He imagined a hand completely covering his head, turning him round and round as his arms and legs did their duty. Yes, that was a easy one.
Other things were more difficult: a chair was only a little harder, but something like his older brother's stereo, figuring out which of the knobs and buttons would be his eyes, his nose, that took a little bit of thought.
One day, he sat out in the back garden and imagined himself as the garden itself. Individual nerves could be individual blades of grass. He imagined wind and felt his penis twitch. Was he lying flat? He must be, to be the garden itself. His arms and fingers would have to separate then, to be trees, the hair on his head branches and leaves. It took ages to imagine himself into every detail of the garden, imagine roots going down from him, plants growing up from him, sunlight, rain, mud, how it would feel to be run over by a fox or pecked at by a magpie. How worms would burrow into him effortlessly.
Cary had to go in for dinner when his mother called, but he knew how to be a garden.