From: Nathan Loofbourrow <>
Date: Mon, 6 Mar 1995 18:44:44 -0500
Subject: headlights

driving home last night at around 1 AM. It's been two weeks of late nights to catch up with work. there's at least another week still to come.

as I stop at a red light I admire the truck that's stopping across the intersection from me. there's no traffic this late. we wait for the light to change.

as I wait, I realize how easily my foot could slip from the brake to the accelerator. I feel the adrenaline surge as I envision the act of flooring it and steering straight for the cab of the truck just as it takes off on its right turn. I can feel the individual muscles tensing, each knowing at a moment's notice exactly what their role would be in the event that is about to happen.

I suddenly realized, with the clarity of the act laid out before me, that all my body required was a mere act of will to slip from mental exercise into action, from Gedankenexperiment into a sudden, violent, self-endangering act.

Suddenly I could see the pleasure that the Gestaltists must have felt, to see the line between the channels of the brain, that segment which can envision an act that must not be committed, and that thin wall separating that thought from the real world in which the thought, now action, cannot be retracted.

And I wonder, once committed, whether I could consciously stop.


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