Winter Digressions


Sometimes digressions bang at the back of my head until I let them out.

Sorry about that.


In the colorless light I feel something move, sitting ensconced in leather and machine after machine.

A slow, acidic pulse, like someone else’s heartbeat. A shift. A grasp. I’d reach for it but I know it is gone.

The water is sewer grate warm but fresh, it appeases the motion as I watch words dance.  My hip aches, I can taste my breath. Apples and decline.

I feel the chemicals burn as I bounce my leg, impatient with myself. Gauging the pain. I’m ok. Stiff. The flesh still feels warm and rice paper thin. I catch a glimpse of ankle gleaming in the shadows like red cellophane and return my thoughts to the water. Funny how things seem cooler to me these days, the longer I hold them.

Screens glimmer. The pulse again, I sip water and let it drift past me like the light.  I focus on and around words again. In a few days, that pulse may not be so easily ignored. Perhaps nothing will be so easily ignored then. I will cope, as I don’t like my options otherwise. I am tired. I am enraged. I understand.

Nuisances, minor setbacks. I repeat the mantra. I’m better then this. A hundred years ago I would have died three times this year, like Charles Lamb did, writhing in fashionable London delirium. A hundred years from now perhaps I will still remember my delirium by these scars. Time is funny that way.

I look at my hand against the page, skin seems almost ephemeral.

Leeched. Drawn.

Someone else’s heartbeat.


1 Comment

  1. We never realize how much our own selves, everything that’s not bound in flesh and time, depends on the outer surface. Good or bad, loved or hated, we adjust to the physical, it writes the rest of us. Marion Zimmer Bradley said, “The mind writes deeply in the body.” Sometimes, though, it works in reverse.

    Body changes can be difficult, adapting can be hard. Big or small–I have a moderately rare condition concerning my left leg. So-small thing, just an affliction of the nerves, and fairly damned specific ones. Small. Nearly insignificant.

    But I’ll be on medication the rest of my life for it, and when I’m not? It gets worse. Right now, there’s a tendency for that leg to twitch and spasm, not generally painfully. But when I don’t have that medication? I watch in bemusement as the electrical charges misfiring make my leg walk by itself. (Makes crossing rooms, simple action of walking, rather entertaining at times…morbidly entertaining, sure, but entertaining.)

    We are not our bodies, we are not the flesh we live within, we are more than that, we are better than that.

    But we are comfortable with the bodies we have, or at least familiar with them. Good or bad, loved or hated…when they change, we feel the impact, and we struggle.

    Did I mention you have a truly stunning way with words at times?

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