Clouds come over the square I have isolated for myself. The window is specked with rain drops, tiny ones, from the passing cloud. The cloud cover is thin, wispy. Thicker clouds are intermittent, they amplify the sun and the room becomes brighter. But only for a moment. The clouds intensify the blueness of the sky, they are an essential reminder of the density of the atmosphere, otherwise confusion and greyness are in their highest powers. The limitations of the mind confronted only with the account of the eye would be staggering, but I am supine. Planes fly overhead, they are so fast across the square that I can almost believe they are not there, that if I were to blink they would be revealed as skyward phantoms, ephemeral and incorporeal. They are low in the sky, they do not clash with the clouds. Details are visible, the engines hanging from the wings jutting out from the brilliant white body that is lighter than its peripherals because it is round and it catches the sun but the wings are flat and their undersides do not. That’s obvious. You choose a thing to focus on, or I do, in the square, which is not a square from my perspective because the top side of the frame is slightly farther from me than the bottom. It’s the planes all over again. I have no compulsion to move from this spot. I am not tired although I lay on my back. My eyes refuse to close for more than a fraction of a second, if I hold them tight I only begin to ache. I don’t try to do anything, I allow information to come to me rather than to seek it out. If it is not forthcoming I do not panic, I allow it to elude me. I do not follow when it nears the edge of the frame, I do not try to hold it within the square, I let it pass. I am not tense, I am relaxed, I am mindful. I cannot see my reflection in the glass of the window because it is at the wrong angle. If I could see my reflection I might be less calm. With things the way they are I can pretend there is no one here, a perfect zero. I am the disembodied observer of a private, strictly limited piece of the sky, no one can see what I am seeing, not at this exact angle even if in fact the differences between what I am seeing and what anyone else close by is seeing are so imperceptible as to be inconsiderable. But I have advantages. I have the advantage of the feeling of stability, or the lack of the feeling of disruption, the stillness of indoor life, the absence of all that is extra, no current to batter the eyes or whistle against the ears, to cool the skin, to agitate the placid bonework of my joints. I enjoy freedom from distraction through an excess of limitation. I have the advantage of truth over fact, of realtime experience over remembrance and record. I pay no attention to what has come before, I do not contemplate that which is yet to come, I observe what is happening now. I am perpetually present, forever absent from the notion of time, only ever in time. To think about time is to try to place the self outside of time, to see it in totality, to measure its edges and curves, but it is an impossibility, there is only the now, only the immeasurable frame after frame after frame and too fast to think about because they are gone as soon as they have arrived. The self is lost to contemplation, cloistered and caked in intellectual muck and grease, sealed away from truth but searching for it. The self looks for symbols, connections, the alongside and peripheral scanned for a motion of elements that can be brought together in the right way to form the whole that is truth. From outside it looks like a tragedy, from the inside it is noble and just. We are all inside. I think about food. I am hungry now. There are things in my vision, they slide across my view slowly, tauntingly. They are joined by agitated white things, and these are specks or spectres. And maybe I think they are bugs. Tiny insects. Mites. Things that are all over the inner and outer surfaces of my flesh and viscera. They are hungry too. They are eating infinitesimal chunks of my corporeal being, eventually that is how they will kill me. I only see them when I look at the sky. I am still thinking about food. I am still hungry. I want to eat a sandwich. I want to eat a big sandwich. Something that will fill me up for hours. Thick with meats and salad leaves and sauces and encased in thick crusted bread. I can see the sky but I am not looking at it. I am looking inward, towards the sandwich. It is illuminated like in an advert or a cookery book, all impossibly beautiful like a woman created by a fantasy, alien and unattainable, and even if attained impossible to exist within the vicinity of. She is soft and pale, her skin is smooth, delicate, her breasts are emblems of a motherhood that she is too pristine to ever enter into. She is a doll, an ornament, a thing to be kept behind locked doors and to be loved selfishly. She is not real, she cannot exist. She is a fantastic vegetative state born into a body of equally qualitied design. She can be touched and repositioned and her warmth entered into missionarily but she is as water from then on, she flows downward to the pure white foundation of fantasy and through it as if it was not there, her route beyond unknown and unknowable. Attempts to recreate her are vain. She was in the mind for those moments only, she can neither be recaptured nor committed to record. She is an ephemeron glimpsed clumsily through a viewport in the mind’s eye. She moves from place to place, gracing single points in space to create singular moments in time. She will never return, she will never grow old, the snapshot will never fade. The image that exists now comprises multiple frames and she never stopped moving, so the mind must reconstruct on hunch and whim the true static image, that is how she remains alive, but nothing can come so close as even to approximate. She is never forgotten but she is distorted. She is displaced among a phantasmagoria of the mind. The look, the shape, the touch, the taste, the sound, they are all as debris in a wind’s moment to moment entourage swept and scattered across a vast plain of the unfathomable. It gets to be so that it cannot be said, cannot be confirmed that she was there, that reality ever was her domain, but there is a lingering visceral knowledge, immutable no matter how contaminated with the now it becomes, a faint outline, a silhouette eclipsing more a haze than a light that communicates something, the presence of a being or of an avatar to which you bore witness and that witnessed you, the inevitability of its passing, the illumination of a cloud.


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