Friday, July 21, 2006

Movement of a certain kind

A whole new set of things has been happening in my interviews with the man who is supposed to be a doctor, but I am not ready to discuss those yet. Suffice it to say certain challenges have been posed, and they'll be dispatched, and I'll discuss all of it in time.

For now, I'll tell you that I sat with Corporal Tanner at breakfast again, and said, "How do you do this morning, Corporal Tanner?"

He told me he was well. He was not, however, a corporal, but a sergeant. Furthermore, he said, I could call him by his first name, Lance. His full name is Lance Cooper Tanner, and when he got here, someone misread his file and thought he was a Lance Corporal.

I felt a new spark in Sergeant Tannner today. He's done more than correct what we call him; he's moving differently. Before his movements were marked by an economy, maybe even a parsimony. When he was not in transit or eating, he sat tense and unmoving.

But now his stillness has a calmer quality, and today he even performed what could only be described as a gratuitous gesture (a sort of one-armed shrug, while the other arm remained at his side) when he was telling the story about the mix-up with his rank.

I've become more aware of motion here. There's so little furniture, so little scenery, that people are almost all I have to look at. Garland and Arkwright both hesitate before moving, looking around, for permission, maybe, and when they do stand and walk it seems like each step pains them, like the little mermaid in the fairy tale. Meanwhile Jenna moves swiftly and heedlessly, like an animal with no known predators. I don't clearly remember noticing how the anthropologist and the ethaesthetics professor moved, and both have now left our group. Minnie, who's new, is still shy, and I'm not sure I can describe her yet.



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