A Letter from Charles
I write to you while lounging in bed a week after finding myself in the trauma ER due to an accident in which I hit my head–spine against a pole–concrete divider at moderate speed.
Miraculously I left with only a minor concussion and normal results on my extensive spine and brain scans, but work occurs only intermittently now, at intervals between headaches, eye strain, and an increased number of naps.
Eyes closed, curled next to my speaker I listen to both sides of Fringe repeatedly over a couple of nights.
Upon impact with the ground my body felt as though it had coiled. My eyelids locked down and my ears appeared to do the same. Full sensory silence. My mouth however remained open for some time, my vocal cords strained as they articulated a yell–groan. The sound was involuntary, arising from within me but beyond my control. Lying on my back I remained unable to cut this vocalization off, to close my mouth, or loosen my tightened neck. Awareness of this noise was that of an interior only. Feeling it in my head and on my tongue, unable to know its pitch, amplitude, and so forth.
I write this in detail only because as I listen now I consider a sound's ability to linger. Both in that repeated sounds slowly become variants, and then news sound altogether – and the way in which these sounds may become suspended in the ear. To persist long after they were first heard.
This feels inherent to both of the pieces on Fringe, so I have tried to get there with the text via the inclusion of two animal systems. One, the cow stomach, which is broken into four compartments, each of which pulling different nutrients from food, but also passing them back up to the previous compartments, thus taking days for digestion. This is where the word ruminate comes from I just found out. Second, from an unfortunate process which forager ants find themselves in at times when they lose track of the leaders pheromone and accidentally form a circle amongst themselves. They follow this circle until exhaustion, which I think of in relation to the mutation or decay of feeding a signal through a system (though I actually don't know how either of these pieces were made).
That said, here is the text:
An eardrum split
into four compartments in the manner of a;
Ingesting, parsing, extracting
Regurgitating and absorbing
A ruminant ear
ferments that which is has received
first from the speaker, and
second from within its own body
Regurgitating, parsing, ingesting
Extracting and absorbing
as groups of ants
once separated from the foraging party
constitute with their bodies
a chitin ring crystallized upon exhaustion
PS: Speaking of rings, I am now a part–time carousel operator.
Love you and talk soon,