…he continued to be fascinated by the idea of the city at night, by the potential for revelation contained by darkness.
Followers of obsolete unthinkable trades, doodling in Etruscan, addicts of drugs not yet synthesized, black marketeers of World War II, excisors of telepatic sensitivity, osteopaths of the spirit, investigators of infractions denounced by bland paranoid chess players, servers of fragmentary warrents taken down in hebephrenic shorthand charging unspeakable mutilations of the spirit, officials of unconstituted police states, brokers of exquisite dreams and nostalgias tested on the sensitized cells of junk sickness and bartered for raw materials of the will, drinkers of the Heavy Fluid sealed in translucent anber of dreams.
-I know a man who was blind.
When he was nearly 40 years old
he had an operation and regained his sight.
-How was it like?
-At first he was elated, really high.
Faces…colors…landscapes. But then everything
began to change. The world was much poorer than he imagined. No one had ever told him how much dirt there was.
How much ugliness. He noticed ugliness everywhere. When he was blind he used to cross the street alone
with a stick. After he regained his sight he became afraid. He began to live in darkness.
He never left his room. After three years he killed himself.
They found it hard to bear the comparatively fresh air from the stairway after being so long used to the air in the offices. They were hardly able to reply, and the young woman might even have fallen over if K. had not shut the door extremely fast.
Even at the cinema watching that awful Going My Way, the day they met, he saw every white straying of her ungauntleted hands, could feel in his skin each saccade of her olive, her amber, her coffee-colored eyes.
He’s wasted gallons of paint thinner striking his faithful Zippo, its charred wick, virility giving way to thrift, rationed down to a little stub, the blue flame sparking about the edges in the dark, the many kinds of dark, just to see what’s happening with her face.
Each new flame, a new face.