[NetBehaviour] Auto-Immune

Alan Sondheim sondheim at panix.com
Fri Nov 8 10:31:58 CET 2013


When did Lyotard die? I look at someone say forty years old and
I say to him, you have only thirty years left. That's not much
time. Your body will revolt against you, peel off from your
mind, you'll see; nothing will remain intact, taken for granted.
It's not that it falls apart, it's telling you it was never
together in the first place. I watch myself watching myself and
there's no mechanism running; everything I have is the result of
a faulty auto-immune system. It's one layer in alliance with
another, resting on top, glued to it, they're together, or
rather, one layer entangled with another, pulling apart, the
weaving coming apart, almost separated, you'll see. The layers
_simmer,_ one against the other, it doesn't matter which. The
layers corrode, coagulate, collapse, they dissolve each other,
just a little bit, just like that - they're in full attack, or
rather, they pretend to a sweet friendship, as false as any
other. The fissure, where they meet, it's there that everything
happens, that the body wages its death against its death. It's
neither one nor the other, it's not both; it's not zero or null
- it's always throwing out, throwing away, if only it could get
a grip on, one against the other - if only there were something
to grasp, there's nothing. So the result is the slight warmth of
the fissure, emanation of a sickly spell, the body falters just
thinking about it. It's uncomfortable, neither rigid nor loose,
salt nor sweet, the taste of these in more than close proximity,
almost something obscene. I think of the smell of a puree of
boiled plums, it's like that, where the attack simmers, where
the surfaces are sticky, almost coming apart - it's that, the
almost separation but not quite, the binding, where the horror
lies in all of this, the auto-immune disease which tends the
body against itself, the appetition tangled up in itself. Here
the I has already disappeared, it's brought down by what -
strands which almost suffocate it - certainly there's nothing
like normal breathing here. But what's also clear, is that
nothing is brought down, the I has already disappeared in sweats
and coughs, in fevers and chills; the I has disappeared in a
stickiness so sweet that the mind gags on thought - yes, on any
sort of thought, it doesn't matter which. The sweats are the
lubricant of death and something still peers out and says, you
have only ten years to live, ten days to live. You're looking at
someone else or you're not looking at all, fantasms. You're
breathing, you're breathing in someone else, almost choking on
him, on her, and maybe it was a woman, you have only thirty
years to go, you're already fighting yourself, losing your
balance, your eye is a cataract eye, your mouth is full of
yourself, or so you think, your mouth is full of sweets, so
sweet your lungs burst, your mouth can't handle it. You're on
auto-immune pilot now, you're being run like a spy in the house
of suppurating flesh, like nothing, things have already
disappeared, persons too. Your ears burrow into your ears, air
chokes the lungs with gases that don't register, you're gasping,
you hear the sounds of your own _throat,_ you're nothing but
throat. I'm speaking of what's left of the pronoun. I look up,
say to him, you have only ten years to live, then winters and
autumns, ten days and you're gone, already you don't remember
anything, your own name, the salvation of the objects of the
world dangled by their names, nothing at all. Some might move
dark grey clouds like cotton in the throat, the windpipe almost
swollen shut, the air moist across the membrane of inner and
outer. Some might do this. The body is ripe with the fecund
body, with sweats dissolving what used to be arms, legs, chest
and eyes. The body falls into the body, dissolves in the body.
Some might say the body dissolves but in the body, a morass,
microbial soup. The eyes might be the last to see the light. I
look at her and say you have twenty years. If I could I'd rule
the apportionment, I'd write the measure theory. Everything ends
with the measure theory, with the division, with digital
collapse, analogic slough. There are periods and spots of
wetness. There seems to be something that won't get up, that
moves and shudders, that strains slight, that won't move, won't
move from here, won't think here or there. There might not be
anything at all. Air swallows air, water swallows water. Stains
dry without the periphery associated with things he barely
remembers, cleaning things, washrags, towels, soaps, vacuum
cleaners, sinks and drains. She remembers thinking about the
fester, what festers, what is festering anyway. The auto-immune
grapples with the body, the fevers are harsh, the temperature
cool, just about the same as the room, or pool, or swamp, just
the same as the soup, slightly elevated. That's it, the
temperature is slightly elevated, everything's useless in what
was once the legs and caverns between them. You never know
when it's going to happen, when the body will feel once again
it's falling towards dissolution, not the wall of death or any
barrier, or the zero and one, nothing but the slime, the abject
which has no alphabet at all, you remember towards the
asymptote, a philosopher, she has fifteen years you say, she has
no alphabet, there's no time left, there's all of that and more,
your lungs are caked with chemistry, something so sweet it's
sickening, you begin heaving, vomiting. How old was Kristeva
when she died? Your breath is horrible, there's no breathing in
it at all [...]

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