On a Eulogy to Presence


(ENGLAND, Plymouth) I remember the leaves on that tree in the garden. (Photo taken and edited by the author.)

(ENGLAND, Plymouth) I remember the leaves on that tree in the garden. (Photo taken and edited by the author.)

And just like that, I’ve been laid low.

One day, I was standing on my head and throwing my legs up against the wall; the next day, I’m curled up in bed, my one tenuous tether to a constantly receding reality the burn of camphor on my shoulders and neck.

There’s a throb between my temples as faint and as constant as the background radiation of the universe; it shows itself as snow in the screen of my mind. Field String Theory states that all of life is a symphony of vibrating strings: I can feel the oscillations as the pulsating pain in my joints. You’re alive, they tell me, life is this illness and this pain.

Life is difficult, Editha also told me yesterday, so you have to wrest what joy you can from it. Today, despite everything, I find this easier to do than usual. (The leaves of the tree framed by my bedroom window are an especially viridescent green.)

For the most part, I lie in bed, lulled to and snatched from sleep by a bone-deep ache. Things hurt just because they’re there; the soreness glows white and blue in an otherwise twilight world.

I know that sometime late tomorrow, I’ll most probably be well, and the universe will tether me to the here and now with the humdrum little anchors of daily life.

I’m sure, even then, that the leaves will glow green.

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