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The floor seemed a good enough place to sink, as it was the bottommost spot that gravity would allow. The buzz of the room sounded familiar: Bob Dylan Thomas and the Leopard Skin Pillsbury Doughboy Hat now, later Rufus Wainwright and how he could never eat just one jellybean, but wanted everything all at once. She remembered also feeling that way before—insatiable—but now it was the tiredness that dominated and sat like a thick-roped net over everything. At some point it all became too much, the din of anger and a dancing coffin, the swelling black crowds shoving her against the wall, the ricocheting opinions of opposing sides, the homelessness of refugees, the obstinate counting of costs. There were no more efforts, just the inevitable point of surrender. Even that word, “surrender” poeticized the fact that she believed she was just quitting. So it was the term she had used in that utterly empty stone space, because even in there, where her soul and body could be bared, she still had some shards of pride.

Now the drone of a record-voice woman wailing over the perfidia of her lover permeated the room. She internalized the sounds without energy to drink them in analytically. Just enough breath to let them be. Many things need to be done, much progress to be made, impossible decisions requiring enthusiastic determination, miles to go in order to wake. All she could do was wish up a small prayer, push it out by desire, lift it against the knotted gravity off the floor and out to the atmosphere, where, perhaps, it would be caught in the fingers of two hands older than time.

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