Coterminous w/ Landscape

September 30th, 2017

He knew my worst fear was to sleep in the open, that I must be bundled against or cradled, of course wrapt or shawled, that I required at least one wall, which it was his duty, I now saw, to deny me. He had contrived a flat space bereft of landscape and promptly took off, and I was left to sleep—or attempt, as you can imagine—in an uncastable expanse that could benefit from a few dead trees, besides. As I lay there, I scratched tenderly at the ground, which did not give, would not breach and offer a dugout solution to my sleeplessness. There was no wind from which to shelter me, so why should it? It could provide only that which I truly needed and I would still wither, sleepless, through a reviving rain or feast of ages, piling biscuits high to form a lee only to have them taken back because I had used them with ill intent, in opposite, so thinks the landscape, which is now as much a character as I, the landscape which, in spite of being utterly featureless, is the more interesting of the pair of us. (How could I have previously said that there was none?)

After this program is complete, I wonder what will become of it, if it will be dismantled like a movie set (though if there are seams, if there is give, then I have not found a sign; perhaps a chemical antidote?) or if it will remain for future use, or, left to its own devices, what might it will? Might it manifest itself at a human being, a woman, a man, something else? It could have that power; why not? I can then say that I have been its guest, if this program does not end with me. I would suggest that this human would be utterly featureless, but there seems to be no such restriction (the biscuits, after some trauma, were eaten, were quite good), and it would even stand that this person would be utterly remarkable, or at least that it stands the same chance as any other outcome. Could I come to love it? I think not; it has seen too much of me already, too much of me at my worst, things that it would take years of advancing intimacy to reveal, some only in the worst of health, and even then only with great reluctance, behind a hung sheet. My embarrassment would be too much to overcome.

But I wonder if it might not pity me, which is why it sees to my baser needs (the rain does not only serve to drink, but to wash away (where?)). In fact, the reason for my distress must be a terrible mystery to it; it cannot fathom that I am simply unable to sleep, unable even to lie down, and it must itself be going mad, trying to figure out in which way to coddle me. It is there and not there, mine and not, might I get a chair? The ground has no give. I get no chair. There is a language barrier, I’m certain. I drink the rainwater and try to cast shadows every which way. At least it is available to me. It does not want me to come to harm, ultimately (perhaps after all we are destined to die at the same moment, and that is why it sustains me, although it must know that I, a body, can only go for so long without sleeping). If I can believe that it can feel my suffering, the whitest of white landscapes, unpierceable by my filed nail, then I can imagine myself prostrate in its arms, then I can finally accord with sleep, allay my fears, and it is precisely in this position that he finds me, my enemy, and takes a snapshot.