The light originates, I am positive now, inside my own body. I have studied the phenomenon closely for twenty minutes and there can be no doubt of the direction the light is taking – it starts in the lower back and seeks its escape presumably because it knows it will do the most good on the outside where it can join the substance just like itself streaming down from above. I would like to facilitate its escape by loosening my garments, maybe even tearing at the flesh that is blocking the way, but it’s cold, the sky is clear and I’m afraid of what people might say should they happen to be passing by on the street, look up and witness my frantic movements. I have been accused of all sorts of pathologies in the past by these people and I’m sure they wouldn’t hesitate to add to the list. There is something about congregating in great numbers that causes the many to have at the few with big sticks, or to construct pocket-sized effigies and stick them with pins. From my vantage point on the roof, the city spreads out like a rash, covering both sides of the river and spanning it in places as if to say “You can not defeat me.” Of course the river has the last laugh when it floods, which it does seriously about once every ten years, if my memory serves me correctly. But why start in the middle when it’s better not to start at all? Or to start and then to quit immediately because you recognize the futility of every endeavor that doesn’t involve making plants appear where before there had been simply a lot of dirt? I had imagined the light would redouble its efforts once I was outside, on the roof, closer, in effect to that which the light wishes to rejoin, but I was mistaken. It seems almost as if the light has resigned itself to staying inside, where it is dark but for the aftereffects of the light itself. I must try to coax it free so that it doesn’t roast my sensitive interior with its longing, with its energy naturally intensified by being contained within such a limited space. I can feel certain organs already beginning to give way – the spleen, for instance, if the spleen actually resides in the lower portion of the body cavity where I think it resides -- and the panic I feel would be outsized and uncontrollable if not for my training in relaxation techniques that had their origins, coincidentally enough, in the thought and practice of people who spent a great deal of time thinking about and writing about the sun. They seemed to believe the sun was some sort of deity, while at the same time recognizing that this belief was basically untenable, the sort of thing the least sophisticated of our forebears always gravitated toward because they had nothing else to replace it. They operated with a paucity of thought that nevertheless left them feeling perfectly contented in the morning when they rose from their beds of, I don’t know, fallen leaves? And began scrounging around in the dirt and the tree roots, looking for grubs to eat. Or patrolled the ocean’s edge, searching for shells and other naturally-forged trinkets to trade with their frequently treacherous and always unruly neighbors.