Sitting by the river on god-only-knows which day of this pandemic season, I watch a little boy say hello to a bird before it flies away. Then I dig the old lady who cut a tiny hole into her surgical mask so she can keep smoking her Benson & Hedges. After minimizing the threat of the coronavirus before becoming infected, Britain’s prime minister has been moved into the intensive care unit. In America, we’ve crossed the threshold of ten thousand dead. But there are signs the infection rate is plateauing in New York. The light is fragile, but it is there.

Dusting off some old notebooks last night, I found a diary about respiration, intubation, and oxygenation from the year I spent with my father, waiting for a lung. There’s an entry about a recurring dream from those long weeks in the hospital: I am on a small boat on a dark river, scooping lungs out of the river like fish and handing them to everyone I see along the shore.

Seefeel – Air-Eyes

From Starethrough | Warp, 1994 | More
Each night in 2020, I wrote a short post for a series called Notes From the End of a World because I wanted to etch these days into my memory. Before the world changed completely.
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