I keep burning myself in the evenings, all accidents, slips of reason.
This, from July.
I make pasta late at night - only turning the bulb that is housed in the extractor fan on. This gives atmosphere. The pasta water is raging and salty and I spoon out the macaroni c-tubes straight into the pan of sage and butter and an anchovy, a little water coming with them. One C misses the mark on this journey from pot to pan, falling to the flat below the gas burner. I pick at it unthinkingly - so unthinkingly that I use my inferior hand, and catch it. I catch my hand on the metal strata of claws that support the pans over the hob, distancing them from the direct heat of the blue lit gas. It is dry solid hot, and burns.
I carry on cooking, and then when I sit down to eat, dunk my thumb into my glass of water. The welt is white and embossed on in a wobbly square, between the two hinges of my thumb.
In the subsequent days, this soft keystone shape goes through its stages. It only causes pain that first night and the day after, and after then when grazed or brushed. I want to wear my ring one day and can’t - that is the only inconvenience it presents.
I watch it. Yesterday, a little liquid round there if you held it up to the light, glassy over its surface. Today, this glaze has crackled, and the border is more blurred; it has become more accepted by the skin around it. Everything is going well - and I take this as the marker that my body is processing things well, that my physical health is in good order. Queries come in, my body receives them, puts them in the in-tray, then they get put through the system, processed, and dealt with over the appropriate number of days. In the same way my hair grows fast - I can maybe take some credit for this all going well.
It is good that I have this evidence, for on the other side of the coin, I do not know where the litmus test is. Evidence comes in - stimuli as ever, and then they roll and roll around, get extruded by different dies again and again. The syntax changes, and because time has passed the verbs too, and that is meant to lessen their weight. Each thing is put through its paces a few times over, until it is shredded thin and fine and it is hard to pick up without it clumping or falling through the fingers.
I think I’m living half way:
Half way between these two places - I am halfway between the symbols and the thing itself. When I turn on the gas I do not look at it - it is an icon, a unit marker. Maybe that is why I surprise when it really does burn.