I am concerned that I have been, or should be, somewhere else. I cannot remember burning my tongue, though it has obviously occurred. There is a definite tenderness, nearly numb, that I can feel at its tip.

I look out the window again, towards the bus shelter. There is an oak tree and a yellow bulldozer on the property of a stone church. I am blinking quickly, absent in my thoughts. The scene flattens out until the tree appears to emerge directly out of the bus shelter and the bulldozer becomes two unique shapes separated at the fore by the oak’s trunk. Further up, the same trunk cuts through a snowy slope, a line of skinny maples, and a row of houses before spreading thin, bare limbs into the sky. I become aware of myself blinking. Self-consciousness envelops me and I leave.

Afterwards, as before, there are days and nights. The cognizance of time, the perception of light and dark contrasted and mingled to infinite degrees, perpetuates a unique awareness of lines and pits in my flesh, creases and wells of thought, the knowledge of non-specific pain, and the voice it lends me. I tell myself what begins will end. The knowledge of dull and sharp pains ends; the application of pressure ends; days end; conversations end. All is of measurable duration. Forty-seven minutes at the bar drinking. The descent of a snowflake. My patience. However long it takes to forget, or to remember. Some small suffering. Keystrokes. Erasure. Waiting for my mind to fill, to blank; for words to come and for words to leave.

With words I have thought so much of so little. I have allowed their effect to radiate through me, infecting every environment I enter. I become lost in a place where there is no actual knowledge, only descriptions used to conceal life’s ugly sensations; false phenomena that sink into a limbo of memories and desire. Though I do not wish it, I always find myself in that same abstracted place.


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