[June 21, 1975]
I am on my back a half-naked animal fever bitten with a blade of noonsun dissecting my sweaty torso and the ceiling pulses I may heave again into the blue plastic bucket at my bedside. When I feel able I turn but it’s useless for though I pitch as a ship in weather nothing brings me comfort and I fear nothing ever will and in this moment I ask myself Am I dying Yes comes the brainword Yes as if twisted from a fetid cloth like the one that has fallen from my brow. Yes I am ready to die. Reason claws at the skin of this ocean and although the churn is sucking me down down I know it is only the fever speaking and I swim. I am ready to die but not to go down into these waters.
Today is the onset of summer and I hear the others in the yard next door under the hot hot sun their bursts of voice crossing the universe beyond my bedroom window from the otherworld I am denied but I hear the sound and fury and they do not hear or see me or send greetings or acknowledge that I am attic-bound eyes fixed to the patch of blue sky of a world that has banished me a world of games and soda and of birthday cake and here it is I heave elbow under ribs and the liquid comes out by its own volition the rude sourness of it in my nose and again from my pulsing throat the electric throb of ejaculate and I collapse and then relief.
[June 24, 1995]
I have been in bed for three days. The blinds are shut and the room is warm with afternoon sun. A dog barks, a car passes, but otherwise it is quiet. As far as I can tell I am not sick, at least physically, I’m simply unable to move. It’s as if someone has reached into my clockwork and cut the vital spring. I am not tired or sad. I am indifferent and I am nothing. Night and day do not apply. The sun rises and the world gets out of bed and eats breakfast but my body does not know sun nor breakfast nor the world of human commerce. I have either transcended the moil incarnate or else fallen into the pit and I don’t see how this distinction matters.
Eventually I get out of bed. The woman at the grocery store is the only person I have spoken to in weeks. When the weekend arrives I put on a shirt and jacket and drive to the edge of town and three times I circle the squat brown brick building but do not stop. A man in an ill-fitting suit smokes near the entrance. When the door opens I hear music and a middle aged woman steps into the thick cloistering air of mid-summer. I drive back home where I drop the classifieds into the garbage and watch reruns until I am ready for sleep. I will do the same thing tomorrow, and tomorrow.
[June 18, 2015]
I am a root in the darkness, my face a ghost of screenshine as I apprehend the bit-thin integument of light. I find I’m unable to help myself drawn as I am into this world of instant always-everywhere connection. I lie in bed where I take in the world click-by-click like a narcotic heparin drip. The bits call out to me in the restaurant and the coffee shop and the street and I answer: Yes I am here, I am always here.
Something is happening somewhere in the world and I must know. Someone is doing something somewhere and I must know. I reflexively measure myself against their metrics. They have more, and more beautiful, friends. Their food looks better than my food, their laughter better than my laughter. Nothing escapes my notice. I know everything and it does me no good yet I can’t look away.
The world creeps along as it always has, as it will until the end of recorded time. I go to the pub and the grocery store. I go to the coffee shop and the young bearded man asks my name. I say Daniel but somehow he has written Darrell on the cup. I sit in the corner and I write down these words. Everyone around me is connected.