11 October 2011
from Joan Didion's Play It As It Lays (1970)
By the end of the week she was thinking constantly about where her body stopped and the air began, about the exact point in space and time that was the difference between Maria and other. She had the sense that if she could get that in her mind and hold it for even one micro-second she would have what she had come to get. As if she had a fever, her skin burned and crackled with a pinpoint sensitivity. She could feel smoke against her skin. She could feel voice waves. She was beginning to feel color, light intensities, and she imagined she could be put blindfolded in front of the signs at the Thunderbird and the Flamingo and know which was which. "Maria," she felt someone whisper one night, but when she turned there was nobody.