Waking Hours (from Day of No Dead)

Waking Hours
(For Gilles Deleuze)

The cat – in play-dead position, marble eyes rolled back – murmurs like a dreamer. Maybe she is prey in some exciting chase. More likely, the fluttering of her eyes and the quivering of her mouth are merely a reflex.

The 22-year old man-child sits on the floor, dressed in a sweater and tie. The documentary film camera focuses on him for a (painfully) long time. He was born deaf and blind. No one ever tried to teach him how to walk. He doesn’t dress himself. Incapable of abstract thinking. When he spits and drools and slaps his cheek, listen to what he is saying.

The philosopher threw himself out the window. Maybe death’s delay was too much to take, and after years of deliberation he took the leap.

If you could pray, maybe you would ask to die a sudden death – unexpectedly. Or maybe you would choose. Time to pay. Time to pay.

Do not be sad when death arrives, someone somewhere must have once said. Welcome and accept it, rather than crying like a lost child.

The man-child can’t help it. He spits and dribbles. He winks.

The cat can’t help sleeping through the waking hours.

There are worse things than death.

Hand the man-child a banana and he’ll eat immediately. He can never think of a tree the way a philosopher thinks, but he can feel one with his hands and climb it without understanding what makes a tree a tree.

If the 22-year old man-child could speak, maybe he would say: This constant buzzing in my head. Make it stop – please. If you do, I’ll stop slapping and scratching and crawling on all four of these things you call hands and feet.

The philosopher threw himself out the window. Suddenly. Maybe it was merely a reflex. Contradiction. After several years of struggling to breathe.

Think before you leap.

The philosopher starts from the position of thinking.

The cat stares for hours on end, when she’s not sleeping.

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