A Manifesto for the Profoundly Uncoordinated

A Manifesto for the Profoundly Uncoordinated

Some people are beautiful, symmetrical, smooth, and glowing. Some are off-putting, pocky, inexplicably lumpy, and faintly resemble a flesh-colored garbage bag full of porridge. Some are witty and erudite, but some are one taco short of a combination plate, if you catch my drift. Some are tall, some are short. Some have lovely long hair, some are bald as a Yukon Gold potato. Some are financially stable and well off, and some are sitting in a Manitowoc County jail cell for a crime they didn’t commit. Everybody’s different.

And then there are those of us who you might call “uncoordinated.” Other names include “awkward,” “bumbling,” “klutzy,” “gawkish,” or “that asshole who just tripped over my cat and landed face-first in my fishtank whilst inadvertently setting my dog on fire.” We don’t want to have a total lack of control over our bodies. We’d rather not have muscular and skeletal systems that (instead of working in concert like they do in normal, healthy bodies) are so ill-fitted that not only do they not work together, our brain has arbitrated a legally binding resolution that disallows them from ever doing the same thing at the same time, a corporeal restraining order that means we have never, not once, and never shall, swing a golf club and connect it with anything other than the ground or the skull of the person standing behind us. We’d certainly love to have an innate locomotive intuition that would allow us to gracefully bound like an antelope ballerina out of the house, turning off the foyer light with our toes while locking the house door with our teeth and remote starting the car with our right hand and waving hello to the dog in the yard next door with our left, then plié with the viscosity of a well-blended bisque into the car to head to our job as a Professional Basketball Player or Fire Juggler or Person Who Sets Things Down Gently Without Dropping or Breaking Them.

But we aren’t, we can’t, we don’t.

Instead, our daily lives are dictated by the nagging suspicion that, any moment, for any reason, we may fall down a set of stairs. Even if we aren’t on an upper floor, or indoors, or within a ten mile radius of any stairs whatsoever. If we could order hand-eye coordination via Amazon Prime Now and have it arrive at our door in an hour we would. Except no, we wouldn’t, because invariably when the package arrived, we’d gracelessly fling open the front door, smack ourselves directly in the face, tumble backwards, slip through a quantum-level crack in the space-time continuum and wind up face down in an alternate dimension where feet are hands and hands are feet which actually would feel a lot like normal life for us in this dimension anyway so what was I talking about? Where am I? Am I answering the door? Best not, probably.

But I say, it’s time we own our lumbering physical ineptitudes! It’s time we stand up for our right to sit down carefully over here so we don’t hurt ourselves! I’m proud of the fact that I don’t fear slipping on ice in the winter, I accept it as a dull inevitability, a coccyxical entropy as unavoidable as the heat death of the universe. Next time one of my friends playfully calls me clumsy, I’ll smack them in the face, airball it entirely, bang my knuckles against a doorjamb, and cry! I’ll host an uncoordinated people dance night that lookers-on will describe to the authorities later as “a horror show,” “really quite messy,” and “sort of like what I imagine Dante’s third circle of hell would look like.”

Wear your various scrapes and bruises like badges of honor! No longer panic as you approach an escalator because you know you’ll probably screw up your approach the first time around and have to circle back behind the line of perfectly normal people and try again; fuck ‘em! And then fuck ‘em again at the bottom of the escalator when you spectacularly fail to stick the landing and fall splayed out on the floor like a gangly drunk horse! We will no longer allow our lives to be dictated by these arbitrary things the rest of you call “the laws of physics.” From now on, when we go in for a handshake and seal the deal too early by clamping down on your fingers, we won’t blush with embarrassment and try to remedy the situation by awkwardly cupping your elbow with our other hand! THAT’S JUST WHAT HANDSHAKES LOOK LIKE NOW! So you’d better get used to it, you old-timey hand-to-hand contact draconian handshake LUDDITE! We don’t hoverhand, we respect your personal space! We don’t trip on our own feet, we willingly and emphatically greet our good friend The Ground with our faces! No, you Sir should probably put that thing down because it is quite expensive and irreplaceable! Here’s to all the ungainly among us who, upon hearing a loud crash in the kitchen at a restaurant, automatically assume it was probably something we did!

I am a worthwhile, valuable person who just so happens to be slightly more of a liability than you. The world is a scary, dangerous place. And I for one finally accept the fact that I am among the factors that makes it scarier and dangerouser.

Katie Sisneros