BETA

Snow

There are three types of snow: snow blankets that keep grass covered, so lawns sleep safe through winter; snowflakes that melt when they land, then refreeze and expand; and snow clouds, which differ. Snow clouds do not save grass or crack concrete, only rise from the earth in a fluffy loaf that the wind slices thin, until flurries swirl in sheets to the sky and leave me below, thinking this scene is so beautiful someone should be staring, so here I stand, in Silliman College, Yale University, New Haven, Con., USA, North America, Planet Earth, the Solar System, the Milky Way, the Universe as of 3:14 a.m. on February 11th, 2016 C.E. Here it snows.

The wind hurts my face, but what’re a few dead skin cells to four billion years of known history, seven billion people alive today, and 100 billion stars in the sky? My friend Mohammed drains pitchers of free water when we eat out because he remembers Saudi, where water’s worth its weight in gold. He would stop and stare at white gold falling from the sky, as would my friend Samuel, who says we should return to Paris on a wintry morning, because snow days before dawn are the only times when the Louvre empties enough you need no x-ray vision to see the paintings through the people. We learned in high school optics that white holds all colors, so I believe I may see in snow the image of the world: Mohammed and Samuel, Paris and Saudi, a pile of gold and an empty city, falling like stars from the sky, in discs pale and round, like the small white pills in my sock drawer.

……….

TAKE 1 AND ½ METHIMAZOLE TABLETS DAILY, BY MOUTH—What, they think Imma crush and snort the stuff?—TO DECREASE THYROID HORMONE PRODUCTION.

……….

A man on the return walk of shame from Soads drifts by, like a car passing on the left lane, if the car rode on a spare wheel and the driver drove drunk off his ass. There’s a word, sonder, from “The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows,” (“the realization each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries…”). I think of sonder and wonder—Who’s he? Where’s he from? Why’s he harried?

I watch other people like I read old journals, understanding the words, but no longer remembering when they were mine. Time has come to work differently for me than for other people since my diagnosis. My time moves either too fast, like now—my thoughts race to eternity and around the globe before the stranger stumbles into Entryway M—or too slow, and I’m a rock in a river watching the world flow by, feeling nothing except empty, like I’m an imitation of humanity. My doctors are still looking for the happy medium, the methimazole dosage that keeps me between hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism.

……….

HYPERTHYROIDISM, THE OVERPRODUCTION OF THE THYROID HORMONE, TENDS TO SPEED UP MANY PROCESSES IN THE BODY, INCLUDING SLEEP, METABOLISM, RESPIRATION, PERSPIRATION, CARDIAC FUNCTION…

……….

Hurry, hurry, goes the voice in my head. I must hurry, I can’t move, I have to stare, I cannot stop, the snow falls, white gold melting, (What do I do? What do I do?)—I’m running out of time. Snowflakes drift onto my coat, but these snowflakes will never crack concrete, because they won’t refreeze. From my coat they’ll evaporate, rising like snow flurries, like a cloud, like stars into the evening sky. Stars will disappear in morning, but the prescription sits in my sock drawer, waiting—my pills will not vanish at dawn, and I know, I know, as snow falls and melts, winter comes and goes, night begins and ends, I know, what I have, this moment, this high—This will not last.

I have Grave’s Disease. Other people don’t wander campus at 3 a.m., starstruck by snow, half daydreaming, half sleepwalking the empty city, but 3 a.m.’s my favorite time of day, because if I’m asleep Thank God, I’m asleep, and if I’m awake, I’m batshit insane. Hyperthyroidism, a result of Grave’s disease, creates highs that give me something to hold on to as the doctors adjust my meds, something to enjoy when the dosage’s too small and I can’t sleep, something to look forward to when I’m so overdosed I go hypothyroid and forget how it feels to be human. I try to remember then how there was once a time when I liked evanescent things, when I had a weakness for people who can’t stay and things that don’t last, when I loved the snow—how I love the snow—because (if you think about it) most organism are 75 percent water, so we drift alongside amoebae and presidents and dinosaurs, through piles of shoveled snow, oceans suspended around a footpath cut bone-dry, like the Red Sea at exodus, on which I walk to my next crash.

……….

THE TREATMENT OF HYPERTHYROIDISM SOMETIMES INDUCES HYPOTHYROIDISM, THE UNDERPRODUCTION OF THE THYROID HORMONE, WHICH DEPRESSES MANY BODILY PROCESSES.

……….

I step off the path, slipping with every step as if drunk, as if walking on sand, as if tripping across the familiar courtyard for the first time. My shadow bisects the plane of light falling from a sodium lamp, and the disturbance sets the snow aglow like a million individual crystals, so my mind glitters with a million possible worlds. I taste life and see beauty as I hear the crash coming, as I know: this, too, must end, but—I’m sorry, all things end, and since when did I give the impression that I gave a flying fuck? I laugh with savage joy, remembering Paris—if you slice the city open, like a cake, you will find tourists wandering museums and catacombs. We built the City of Light on a city of bones, bound life, beauty, and death in the red thread of destiny that can never be broken and never be cut. So take the globe, spin it halfway ‘round, and touch the snow falling like feathers from the sky. In Silliman College, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, USA, North America, Planet Earth, the Solar System, the Milky Way, the Universe as of 3:14 a.m. on February 11th, 2016 C.E., it snows, I think, and I know: Nothing worth keeping lasts forever.

Leave a Reply