Wednesday, August 1, 2012

After a week or two surviving on nothing but the diminutive grasshoppers that alight at my feet on occasion when the sun is high and the air feels and even smells a little as if it had been exhaled from the interior of some beast said to be long extinct, it becomes apparent that acquiring food will be my number one priority for a while, or at least among the top five, something that depresses me and so effectively neutralizes most of the hunger for a bit and allows me to put off the inevitable for a few more days. Reflected lightning plays its odd visual serenade on the walls of the cave behind me and I speculate for many hours at a time on what the nature of the infinite would be if it weren’t entirely infinite. If, for instance, it allowed itself to be erased as a kind of experiment, the way we sometimes pretend we are someone else, someone of the opposite gender, or holding convictions we ourselves, in our natural state, would never consider if only because they would make us appear heartless or weak or likely to jump headfirst into a river without knowing really how to swim, all in an attempt to determine something important about who we are and what we desire without, of course, knowing ahead of time what the results will be. This instinct is one of fifteen or so that have the potential to lead us around by the nose, to take over completely and refuse to let go, until we find some means of neutralizing their power. You can accomplish this, I’m told, by hand drawing and coloring in maps of locations that don’t actually exist or studying the footprints left behind in the snow outside your window just so long as you recognize that the footprints probably belong to someone you know or at least someone you have seen before in the neighborhood, most likely at a distance. For her part, Eulalie has never seemed overly interested in consuming flesh and when I see her with a glass of wine in her hand, I wait patiently, I avoid conversation as much as possible, so as not to distract myself, so as not to miss that moment when she brings the glass finally to her lips and parts them slightly. It is one of those moments you think you will remember forever, something sublime and deeply moving without your ever really being able to determine why. And yet, even so, an hour or two later, it has inevitably escaped my memory in all but the barest outline -- a grotesque, half-completed sketch on a sketch pad itself damaged by wind and time and rainwater, folding up at the edges and turning an insipid yellow.

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