I know it most when I watch them go - walking, talking, absentmindedly - absent-bodily, actually.
They move without thinking, sure their bodies will obey. They don't think through each step; don't plan out those quick head turns. They never pause & wait for the "all clear" before continuing.
To them, movement is natural: It just happens - their feet know when to lift, when to fall. How fast they run down the stairs - never having to check, to reassess the distance between steps.
Their hearts beat faster when they need them to, slow down of their own accord.
If they trip or fall, it is because they were going so fast - too fast to notice an untied shoe or cracked sidewalk. It isn't because their bodies can't remember how to make energy or just gave up trying. It isn't because their nerves are too busy receiving pain signals to comply with the order to 'go.'
When they pause to talk to someone, they don't spend the conversation worrying about whether or not their heart will choose this moment to stall. Or if the person they are talking to can notice that they don't understand what they are talking about.
They walk. They stoop and swivel and sway as they go.
All of their systems remain connected: Each speaking to the other frequently, sharing all of the vital information that a person's body requires. My systems have turned rogue - secretive and paranoid, deciding it's best to only communicate through a complicated series of guttural clicks and signal fires.
While my body has decided to boycott anything more strenuous than yawning, theirs amble on. As they flow freely from one place to another, my body gasps at their courage - or foolishness. To face the sun unprotected?!? To wander recklessly without holding on to walls?!? To spray things at themselves without concerns of headache or nausea?!?
To move as if pain were not their constant companion?!?
Don't they know that sleep is the body's enemy? Obviously not, as they seem blissful in their hours of rest. My body knows better - it recognizes sleep as a necessary evil, battles against it as long as possible, often with remarkable tenacity. When it finally gives in, it does not surrender completely - the battle continues again and again, all through the night. And when the sun rises, I am all too aware of who has emerged the victor.
Perhaps it is their bodies that are neglectful - ignoring the obvious threats posted by any common wayward smell or ray of light. Perhaps my body is right to guard me from standing: after all, it is a a much higher place to fall from. Perhaps it is right to keep me from straying to far from my bed, to limit me to view the world outside from my bedroom window.
But I'll take one of those neglectful bodies, any day.