Letter on August 1

If I were to tell you how I am today, I would point out a few things:

Summer light is unbearable to me now. Sometimes it’s as if the brightness forces itself into my head and burns out everything in it, like the clouds in this photo, all details erased, just holes in the sky.

You don’t know what my life has been like, before or after. But in this case, for you, it’s just after that matters.

Which is to say, I’m alive, but I’m always running, trying to soak things in, trying not to take things forgranted, trying to really appreciate what I experience. Because I’m so aware that I would not be here but for medicine. It’s impossible not to be aware anymore.

You might think that this is no big deal, but that’s because your life is disguised. You don’t know what will happen to you, at all. I do know, every day, in a very specific manner. This means that my eyes have grown more eyes. The revelations sometimes make me feel like I can’t handle anything, like the sun deciding to inhabit my skull on a summer day.

This alley in the picture tried, but kept failing. Specifically, during some kind of awning situation that the owner tried to establish on the left wall, up there. Those awnings came up tentatively, but they tattered, and now all that’s left of their tentative beginning is a mess of retracted armatures. This is how I fail these days too.

I’ve watched this alley many times as I pass it on my way to work, on the bus. This picture was taken from a bus. And this alley never seems to get any better.

On the right are my favorite dead wedding stores, but you can only see a corner of them. They weren’t dead before, but they are now. I write about them it seems, regularly now, on one of my social media accounts, with their pictures.

Passing them makes me remember how magical they were when alive. Fairy windows, I shared a photo of them once here.

Passing them now, I’m fascinated with their embalmment, their clothes still in the front windows, the bridal part with a smashed window boarded over, the broken glass inside at the foot of almost all the wedding dresses displayed, which are still somehow white.

Homeless people camp out by their doors. Cardboard sleeping mats left behind. Once there was an office chair left in the doorway of the bridal part. I remember that as I passed by it during my commute a few times, but I didn’t take a picture of it.

This alley reminds me of something else you may be aware of. Or probably not, because you’re not that aware as a person. You just plow through everything to get to a fantasy which, as a sick person who knows better, does not exist.

As much as you claim that sensitivity is attractive, you’re incapable of appreciating it. Maybe because you lack it so thoroughly.

You just plow through, you run people over, you don’t care if your bumper is covered in blood, bits of hair and flesh, clothing you were only too happy to remove with your vehicle, that red thing that old men care about and makes them feel good about their old selves.

Life indeed is a mosaic of experiences. Unless you have a lobotomy, or some other violent and detractive brain surgery, in which case, maybe it doesn’t matter so much if you are alive solely because of medicine.

I’m undecided about how to conclude this account of my existence today, except to say that I still exist. Because of and in spite of everything, perhaps. Whether or not you are aware of my effort to keep my head above water. Whether or not I am interested in having a lobotomy, or going directly, permanently, into suspended animation.

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