You are allowed to reenter a former life but only as something
crushed up inside the walls.
If each of your former selves can be represented as some sort of enclosure,
a la Proust, then you are only, in the act of recapitulating
them, allowed to burrow around the borders, in the chinks, behind the
plaster, along the studs, wiring and ductwork. As the enclosure involuntarily
modulates into a series, as in dreams, you find yourself squeezed and
refitted around incomprehensible associations of ideas, like memories,
only more vivid.
You may know you are dreaming but only by your failure to operate
Given a door through which to pass you will not, as you might think,
standing there ineffectually fumbling with the knob, fail to grasp its
inner workings, but instead project onto the door itself all the steps
you must take to properly turn the knob. Thus a great machinery accumulates
where normally only a simple handle would be, and this machinery is the
lattice-work of nerve fibers, muscle tissue and bone matter you must command
to make anything at all ever happen.
You may leave your body but only by burrowing into your head.
We are taught the head to be all but fathomless, but recent core samples
show only a crowding of common fibrous matter marbled with Mandelbrot
Sets and Lorenz Attractors shaping our fantasies into whorls of self-similarity
as common in structure as the simplest fern. What we find instead of,
for instance, infinite hexagonal galleries is rather more like
a single cluttered room squeezed however spasmodically into darker and
darker parodies of itself with the ineffable, silent and mysterious passage
of our own eras.
You may impart your thoughts or ideas upon an other but only if you
can fit your mouth around and over this other's head.
It may comfort you to think of reading as consumption, as eating on the
sly, ultimately something you control. But what if the text, instead of
an edifice, enclosure or nutrient, were itself thought of as a mouth?
The way it opens, it envelopes, folds over and obscures. The pain we feel
when falling into it, as they say, being taken over, what is that if not
the feeling of being chewed and gnawed? Toyed with. Slow, measured bites,
meticulous carving-the text rolls up onto your back and before long it's
unfurled, wrapping up over your neck, hooding your eyes, making its way
down over your nose.
You are allowed to reenter a former life but only as someone you've
never met before.
Burrowed into the walls, you are constantly morphing with the pressure
of your ever incredulous interior into future selves that fail to recognize
the recapitulations of rooms. The rearrangement of old furniture, the
donning of larger garments, the loss and/or reconfiguring of old/new hair-stuffs
convinces the future person that they have been crushed into new walls,
that there's nothing static about them, they are in fact moving all about
unseen. The overarching of their stretched limbs, the flattening of the
face, the spreading of the brain like gravy in an oblong boat, all serve
to estrange the future self from recognizing the scenes he hides within
himself as belonging to someone else. That is, the process of perpetual
estrangement is the only link backward, the only continuity, the only
form the self takes through time.