Nevada / 16 May to 14 June
There are two kinds of half-life (blood loss, sentimentality) and they can both kill you quietly.
Me? Myself? I suffer from a lack of generative imagery, imaginative capacity.
An eccentric, dreamy, half-educated recluse in an out of-the-way New England village cannot with impunity set at defiance the laws of gravitation and grammar.
Oblivion lurks in the immediate neighborhood.
Said Thomas Bailey Aldrich of Emily Dickinson, 1885.
I’ve tried to prepare an explanation for you the best I can:
Nosebleed, ear ache, stomach cramps. Highly derivative ways of forcing back weight. Slow. Sluggish. Already lost more than arms and legs.
I’m pretty sure we both can’t keep using exhaustion as an excuse.
Julin / 15 June to 15 July
Most hummingbirds are continuously hours away from starving to death and consume the human equivalent of 140,000 calories per day to compensate.
They enter an mini-hibernation mode (torpor) each night just to survive the suspension of calories.
Jillison, This is how I imagine it must be to live the way you do.
Incurable, without sleep, not dead enough. Still scrambling to write your same zero-sum diaries. Childless too, obviously.
This how I imagine it to be at least.
Castle / 16 November to 15 December
OK, so what did I actually actually see? These days? It wasn’t much.
Gray splotches, dust storms, pale clouds. A disconnect between patchwork and puncture sites.
You told me once, every scar has to have an origin story. Do you remember that? You said, “a cautionary tale is just culture (however you choose to to define it) designed to improve our survival rate.“
Scavenger’s daughter was right. I wasn’t going to last.
Castle / 16 November to 15 December
Before proper mirrors, the ocean or lake was the looking glass, the reflective world.
Lacking semantic or declarative memory, many of us, we still mistake this metaphor, we have a hard time remembering what lap we are on, we mistake denotation for connotation.
Even when the differences are glaring at us right in the face.
The act of predation can be broken down into a maximum of four stages: Detection of prey, attack, capture and finally consumption.
What I mean is? We have been adapting to the afterlife as if it were a normal error. Everything has slowed down. Completely.
Jillison, have you considered? Many hereafters won’t belong to humans at all.
This should come as no surprise to you by now.
Plowshare / 16 January to 12 or 13 February
I said I was going to stop writing you these letters. I should have.
We often fail to appreciate this critical aspect of the natural world: it’s brutal. Even apex predators are very often constantly on the edge of starvation.
Emily Dickinson’s complete refusal to sit for a photographer. In the end, unwilling to leave her bedroom, hiding from all visitors, even in her own home.
What is here since you left?
Some days are like hummingbirds in plastic bags and some have some have been so long and flat they may as well have been laid out on a stretcher.
Every one I thought of you at some point or another.
Why are there so many myths and folklore where humans are punished for wanting better than their present lot in life?
It’s because you can’t have it. Ultimately.
One thought on “rainy day in an amphibious house / letters”
What happened, is, I have read too much. It became my profession. I raised three boys, reading for a living. I don’t want to any more, I just want to think for myself, and reading you is an agony of mourning loss of all those FACTS and STORIES I have forgotten, but which all became part of some personal dictionary for my own language of self-realization. The textbook on psychobiology has been sitting out in the car for a month, with the bookmark stuck in Chapter One. I went to a lot of trouble to purchase Memories, Dreams, and Reflections. I did read it. Whose Memories, Dreams, and Reflections I now ask, not mine. Collective What The Fuck? I loved that book, back in the day.