his nerves compressed to the point that walking a dozen steps resulted in intolerable pain, an interest in  the pathology of painless cardiac stoppage via oxygen deprivation resurrected in neat irony. A psychic  Lazarus-syndrome, trailing mental bandages from the tomb of the subconscious …

Much of his attention was diverted to maintaining equipoise, though he allowed the loquacity of a morphiate saturated  bloodstream as a pressure-release valve——it amused him to notice comic routines spewing forth with minimal conscious effort and it offered intrigue in that they were generally rejected as inappropriate whilst being mild compared to a current sampling of televised comic rants (let alone at events where people payed for entry: this act appeared to raise the tolerance for outright abuse to the level of severe self-flagellation for the majority of the audience).

But comic banter was no shield against a psychic crevasse of incalculable depth and a  moment of serious consideration to dialling The Samaritans jabbed a bodkin in any puffed up pretense that these thoughts were to be dismissed of little weight.

Given this, it seemed absurd beyond credence that his daughter would want to spend her days trapped in “Home Education” with him, yet she did.

He supposed it should give him reason enough to survive but it made no mark in that black machine. He hoped she was not subconsciously motivated by some protected instinct but she seemed sufficiently self-preoccupied to void this notion (as was only natural for that age).

He wondered what black beating heart could pump up a darkness that  could well up and threaten to engulf him in the moment his philosophy of life and education was at last opened before him——once an inconceivable outcome.

Perhaps Freud was partly right in his Todestriebe, the “death drive”, present in all of us, even though it seemed a late bolt-on to save a crumbling tower of theory. Thanatos wreaking well-planned havoc with his scythe and Greek mask of impenetrability.

Whatever its genesis, he could only hope to endure it.


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