Sunday, February 12, 2012

Timed Writing: 2/9/2012


Time: 10 minutes
Prompt: The doctor's bottled sleep
Source: Beryl Markham, West With the Night


The doctor's bottled sleep now, as well as hunger, satiety, arousal, exhaustion, despondency, glee, and several dozen other humors. She keeps them all lined up on a shelf in her study. She uses only dark brown bottles -- the kind that are almost opaque. We were told that the spirits inside are photo-labile. Now, as I creep through the darkened study, however, I perceive a glow emanating from the forbidden shelf, and I understand that the vitrine obscurity is not -- or at least not entirely -- to exclude light from the vessels' contents, but also to confine a radiance inside.

I am not here for a tincture of colic or an extract of bloodlust though. I have come for the doctor's journal. I succeeded, last night, for the first time in the sixteen months of my employ, to be present at the moment that she locked the volume away. Finally, I know in which of the four hundred eighty drawers that line the lower halves of the study walls, the leather-bound booklet resides.

The carpets in here are soft. Deep silk knap wrought in portrayal of a thousand biolochemoid pathways -- "the metabolome beneath our soles," as the doctor is wont to say. None of this appears in the glow of my veiled lantern and my bare feet make no sound as I traverse the labyrinthine map of processes that drive and power my physical self.

(about my timed writing exercises)


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