XXXVII. Pain Interlude (first published 3-17-13; originally misnumbered)

Just three days before, I walked down Atlantic-Pacific terminal with the elongated stride of one who wants you to believe in the importance of their destination.

And now, hobbled, I am one of the slow ones, the ones who block the way, who dawdle.

Pain is an ontological condition. Reminder of the dog in man.

Spinal cord (n): the cylindrical bundle of nerve fibers and associated tissue that is enclosed in the spine and connects nearly all parts of the body to the brain, with which it forms the central nervous system.

Macy’s Impulse™ posters on the terminal walls, models looking right at you, posing so as to look spontaneous, long strides while their heads are turned at the frazzled gazers. You too, in one of the many universes, could be having fun. So they say.

At 45th, I decide to sit down. I can’t get back up and have to grab onto the bar to support myself. Any weight on my legs, and down I would go.

You will die, says my body, you are already dead.

You will die, say my nerves, and painfully.

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