29. my own hot breath on the inside of my fur-lined hood

And each day away from him its own unique ordeal. The weeks I waited: one two, buckle my shoe; three four, close the door; five six seven eight before it dawned on me that it might be too late, that he might not be coming. The shock of that; the moment it sank in. Had I been in his place: I would have thought the words we’d said to one another, the promises we’d made were binding, would have felt compelled to explain, to insure that the disappointment was merely a deferral. I will come, V., just not now. But what did V. do? I actually said the words to myself out loud in order to understand them: V. is forcing me to write to him to ask if he’s still coming. How can he do this? How can anyone do something like this, behave in a manner so brusque? The shock. The word “shock.” The words “stun” and “benumb.” The inadequacy of language to convey subjective experience. No matter; I stand outside the memory now, but when I recall it, even a sliver of it, it is like watching an atrocity without the power of intervention. Like gazing at a photograph and into the eyes of someone doomed.

I remember moments in which the pain coalesced and acquired form. I remember tunes, I remember snow. At least a foot of snow, and my own hot breath on the inside of my fur-lined hood as I brought my laptop in for repair. The muffled way things sounded. And each tune I remember associated with a bodily sensation, like an essence preserved in a canopic jar. No words to describe this, no words to describe my longing, my horror—my crazy, exalted, euphoric collusion in my own demise.

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