Light breaks through the barrier and begins speaking, its insistence on finding fault so grating as to make you wish you had jumped out of the way at the last minute and landed in the ocean. Or among the pines. Anywhere that allowed you to reformulate the ideas that had been circulating in your brain at that moment and so distracted you, kept you from recognizing the peril that threatened to fall on you from above. My recollection of these events goes in a jar containing the recollections of others, all written down on slender pieces of paper, and the jar is passed around at the close of the evening when the man in the auburn blazer with the outsized, Frankish nose finds it terribly difficult to stand up straight, though whether this is due to drunkenness (he has been at the absinthe since at least six o’clock in the afternoon and he waved away the sugar cube on more than one occasion) or something gone awry inside, in the interior where we keep our organs and our oddly-shaped and worse-named organelles, is a matter of opinion. My companions suggest it is situations such as these and the interminable questions they encourage that most properly belong in that peculiar construction people once called the book but which now goes by so many names there is no point in trying to keep up with them. To catalogue them, as they say at JC Penneys, or Yale. I recognize the jibe as one directed toward my erstwhile companion and muse and make to defend her endeavors, but no words come, as usual, and I am left to explain myself later to no one in particular, just as if ordinary shadows and the occasional pitcher plant sloshing half-digested beetles around inside it can be expected do the work of ten men. The only reason we are not already floating face down in a pond on the edge of the premises ourselves is because there is no pond to be found there, just a lot of lightweight medical waste blown about on the breeze. Maybe its time to just give in, to recognize that not every utterance is worthy of the toad that sits at the end of it. And not every toad secretes the substance the toad is known the world over for secreting, which, once placed on the tongue, produces hallucination and eventually, should you ingest enough of it, death. But death in name only, for I have it on good authority that should you take it upon yourself to journey in that direction (and not accidentally the way the neighborhood cur does when he molests the lesser beings around him out of boredom or a genuine lack of what we would call focus), you’ll continue to enjoy vistas such as you might get through a window that hasn’t been cleaned in several decades. It is possible to make out certain shapes and movements – the waves cresting a mile away, say, the roosters scratching up millipedes in the dirt. And anything not readily apparent may be fleshed out then with the aid of the imagination, which is diminished, certainly, on the other side of that portal, but not altogether extinguished, despite what we might have been led to believe by the teachings of the Dominicans, say, or the nursery rhymes we insist on tormenting our children with. That faculty may last an hour or a day or, who knows? maybe even several weeks, depending on the original condition it was in and how frequently we were forced to rely on it beforehand because our own surroundings weren’t exactly pristine then, or full of the sorts of birds who dazzle with their intricate plumage.