One Day - Excerpt

Language feels tangible to me. When reading, I slip around words like an eel wriggling through an underwater log. My brain is linguistically well-oiled; I read faster than I can comprehend, feeling out of breath when coming to the end of a paragraph before realising that although I have eaten the words, wrapping my tongue around the cadences, the amount of syllables, the shapes of consecutive vowels, I haven’t understood the ideas that shimmer around them. Language entangles all my senses simultaneously. Tautology makes me wince, desperate to wash the stickiness from my brain. Ambiguities poke out of sentences, cutting my tongue. Inelegant use of language smells like gas, making me gag. Fallacies make me irate and ill. By contrast, elegant phrases lighten my body. When language holds hands to become delicately figurative, I become short of breath. My interoception, weak at the best of times, can break down altogether when reading. I squeeze my tongue between my teeth; time feels chewy, and my imagination tastes as real as anything I have ever eaten. There is pain around my side that I cannot interpret. It could be hunger, I might need the toilet. I start when it becomes abrupt and peel through layers of clothes, suddenly sure that I have been pierced by something with serrated edges, as if a crazed robot imagined that I was a loose component that had to be bolted in place with an enormous screw, forced through my flesh until metal was painfully incorporated into my organs. I don’t recall the precise nature of what I read that day, only what it induced. Checking my watch, I was surprised to see that it was only two in the afternoon, my exhaustion arising purely from mental exertion. The moment I became aware that I was tired, the sensation was overwhelming
Author Mark Reece
Number of Pages 4
Format pdf
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