Asbestos clings to bronchioles tighter than a stalactite, and lights up the lungs brighter than a miniaturised arc reactor. It’s a dirty little secret buried deep in the chest of the working class: a time capsule that will never be unearthed.
Is this a type of synecdoche, where asbestosis destroys the lungs and by virtue destroys the body? Pars pro toto. A bouncing ball has two points at which it is still, robbed of motion – likewise the ragged breathing of the diseased is quiet at the cusp of the intake and expulsion of air.
One learns to live in these moments, in this sweet silence, where if you close your eyes you can just hear soda bubbling away in a scotch and soda. This is the place where memories are dusted off.
Lying on the bed too sick to move, the sounds of a fight next door bleed through the porous walls. No amount of rotten breathing can drown out the sounds. She gets the upper hand, calling him every word used against the unborn. This is what you have now.
Burning to breathe, by which I mean both the yearning, the hankering for a breath that is pure and the burning pain of every breath that reality has dictated. There are no more moves to make. You won’t make it out or back or to the embassy. This is a stalemate. We all saw it about five moves back.
Written on Tuesday, 28 August 2012