I was so thin

“Before we met,” I said, “I was so thin.  I couldn’t feel the flesh on my bones.  I floated, just like you.  And there’s something that goes with it, a kind of high.  It happens to dancers, and certain people, sometimes artists.  Survivors know it; survivors of any kind… the feeling of not having had enough to eat, and the rush it sometimes brings, a feeling of flowing, because at the threshold of starvation, there is pleasure in the body, and connection…not emotion, but a state of missing, and of lack. And the body smoothly rises and falls, as if on a wave of liquid black.  There is darkness there, and power.  It is why Upi says when someone dies he does not shave for days on end; why he sits on the floor and eats with his fingers.  He is curing the thing that makes our eyes grow large and dark, through some power of attraction, through some ancillary law.

“It is not sadness…or if it is, we must admit that some aspect of sadness deals in pleasure…and later, in numbess, and in absence…

“…which is the reason we make myths of widows and of ghosts.

“And if we admit this, that in this special phase of grief, in the moment before oblivion, there lies the threshold of pleasure…

I paused.

“…I’m sorry,” I said, “I’m going to dismantle everything.”

“Go on,” she said, “make it true.”  She almost whispered.  “Dismantle everything…”


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