Getting in Touch with My Neanderthal Man

Neanderthal Man

All you have to do is move! 


I have moved many times in my adult life–college, graduate school, then of course the serious moving of the grownup–moves involving kids and school districts, moves requiring much larger determinations than whether you're within walking distance of the beer store. This morning, lying awake in my tangled sheets I tried counting the number of moves I've made and came up with 25 and this doesn't count the times when I moved back in with my parents briefly between rounds of graduate school. So I'm 56 and if you do the arithmetic this means I've moved once every 2.3 years. That's nothing of course compared to the hyper-nomadic experiences of many Americans, I know, but still, that's a lot of shoving and hauling of book boxes and wrinkled clothing.


If you're visually impaired moving is a deeply primitive experience. I crawl on my hands and knees locating electrical sockets, treating the holes like Braille, fingering them to see where the ground plug goes. I walk around the nearly empty new house (furniture won't come for at least two weeks) and touch the walls and turn the door knobs, amazed that I have a house–I mean really, think about it, a guy like me, vaguely atavistic, half in touch with his ancestors via wooly dreaming, here I am, walking around the echoing rooms like some kind of animal who has gotten indoors. "It's a house!" I tell myself. "It's a damned house!"


Then I try to familiarize myself with its myriad eclectic odditities–its wall switches that seem to do nothing, it's electrical box in the basement, it's weird bequeathed stuff, the pool table without usable cues, the gigantic desk that was obviously too heavy to carry away–a desk with more drawers than John F. Kennedy's desk…I'm enthralled and lost among things.


But it's not the wonder of newness that puts me in mind of my Neanderthal man–it's this desire to weep. Too much is new right now. I simply want my sticks and fire and instead I have this Rococo unfamiliar diamond studded strangeness all about me. Last night I almost sat down in the big, empty living room and wept for the sheer bigness of strangeness but my guide dog Nira walked in with her bone and jabbed it into my chest and I had to postpone my vatic whaling for a time.


Moving is good. I wouldn't have done it so many times were this not so. But I'm hairier today and I need a chiropractor big time because my posture is strange.



Author: skuusisto

Poet, Essayist, Blogger, Journalist, Memoirist, Disability Rights Advocate, Public Speaker, Professor, Syracuse University

0 thoughts on “Getting in Touch with My Neanderthal Man”

  1. Sally and I moved last week (a three point move from house to storage to new place). Which makes 7 moves in 7 years. My tears are wondering if my wanderings are fair to her.


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