Fifteen minutes sitting at the table next to the mirror, waiting for Noor. There’s no wifi and we may have to leave when she arrives. I’m happy to be reflected in this way, I mean out of the corner of my eyes, I mean this screen reflected, my fingers typing, though I hate now to look at my own reflection directly. But the subject of the book I am writing at the moment is just this sort of glancing irritation. 

Two weeks of working with Noor whenever possible. 

Should have realized that it would be painful to take the train to Jane, to visit a station I have not seen since the summer. But what is not painful? What passes smoothly? Last night I was jittery on the squash court, swinging wildly, often well off the mark (though twice I almost sent the ball into Mark, my conveniently named opponent). But I knew that my fitness level was higher than it was in September, and despite the fact that I was practically radioactive I managed to take two games, including the final one which was for “all the marbles.” 

Speaking of radioactivity, Sunday afternoon after the scare had died down I went for a run, and came back with a strange rash on the lower edge of my stomach. It’s gone now, and I assume it was only the cold against my flesh, oddly lingering even past my shower, but it was easy at the time to wonder if it was indicative of some trace of Pickering floating through the air. But if that was the case, why not my face? Why not my neck? Why not my eyes, or my lungs, or my ears? Why did they all escape unburned? 

I’m at Jane for the book, to remind myself of an atmosphere, a feeling, that exists here. Before the city dissolves itself past Jane station (even as it multiplies itself to the point of illegibility). I’m also at Jane to abide in radioactivity, at least for a moment. At least for now. To let things be a little painful. To feel this radioactive half-life—however I have been burned.

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