boulder aside… pt.4


Unholy Fissure / A Pivot Is Required

S. Is familiar with this visceral disquiet.  The woman with the white tray — a ghost.  Delirium tremens.  Thick fog still clogs the world outside the window.  The interstate, with its lineup of dead cars, is merely a hint of strobing yellow hazard light sop.  The television drones its Twilight Zone Marathon.  S. is stuck in the same season since last year — since the last decade — and Burgess Meredith is on yet again.

S. sinks in to the stiff mattress, furiously tapping, his thumbs unhinged pistons pumping into gorilla glass.  A sign of life.  Anything.

“It’s been six days since I fell through the crack.  I’m spiraling down again.  The crack has been widening and if I don’t do something about it — San Andreas be thy name — you unholy fucking fissure!  This is a familiar landscape, I’m never too far from my stepping through it, into it, farther and farther down — canyon-like — now in a skirl of whorling minimalist notes, repeated and repeated until I am tranced out and lost.”

S. is writing under some form of psychic automatism, for he no longer understands much of anything he had before — being so stupid in this new year.  He persists, driven like sapling in a gale under a force too great to resist.  It is some vestige of his former self, the high school English teacher, driving him forward as he once drove his gifted students.  But he is bereft of any gifts or mercies now.  S. knows he is now so derelict in intelligence, so irremediably stupid, it is all he could do to hold on and conduit.  His fingers gouge away.

“I exist in meaningless patter, in the trifling titter of expense and abuse.  I persist in this dominant issue of breaking a standard that I once pretended to.  I perform unlimited horrors on my own discernment and troubled world view.  I will disengage from timbre and search for a tone so acute it pilfers life itself.  This signifies nothing within nothing.  But Thoreau said…” and for the life of him he couldn’t remember who Thoreau was (but he had known once, of that he was sure).

“… write while the heat is in you.  ‘The writer who postpones the recording of his thoughts uses an iron which has cooled to burn a hole with.’  And that’s why I persist with this thumb tapping.  To use what little heat warms these fingers attached to a tepid body plank of a bed.

Having lost six days now I ask myself: what’s next?  Which way do I move?  What direction?  How do I get out of this, and here I am writing again.  Is it fair enough to start like this again?  The only option really.  How did I get here again?  How do I avoid ending up here again?  I don’t think I can adequately answer the latter, but the first question must be asked always because it presupposes awareness of the situation.  And here is where I usually make the pivot, because a pivot is required.  The only other option isn’t really an option.  Is it?  No.  

So here I’ll start again, and content myself with starting again.  This is an acceptable… No, it’s a good step forward.  It had to begin somewhere.  Why not right here?”

The air conditioning unit sputters to life belching stale curtain and decades-old cigarette must through the air.  Then a shrill voice from the television breaks the spell.



“However, even an audience of one is not zero.”

— David Byrne

About istsfor manity

i'm a truncated word-person looking for an assemblage of extracted teeth in a tent full of mosquitoes (and currently writing a novel without writing a novel word) and pulling nothing but the difficult out of the top hat while the bunny munches grass in the hallway. you might say: i’m thee asynchronous voice over in search of a film....
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