My fever happened a year and a half ago. Children survive dozens with no
visible effect. Fevers come and go, leaving the body cool and shaky. This
fever rose and danced like a wildfire, burning away all sense of time, some
of my memory and all my numbers. I stare at the clock for at least ten minutes:
I am counting, slipping, counting, slipping. I become shaky with doubt and
begin again, only to end up with a different sum each time. I don't understand
numbers or what I am supposed to do with them. Everything else is still
intact--almost all of it. But what has changed is that my mind can no longer
place things in relation to one another. When I try to think of when a particular
treaty or war occurred, everything fuses until all I see is a vast glowing
panorama of marble figurines, one horse crashing down upon splinters of
glass light and daylight. Every fact is marooned, swathed by detail that
is so intricate and alive that it emits its own glory. Each word stands out
clear--the sounds, the etymology, the shape of each letter curving into
the next--I am lost, too engrossed in the shape, the angle at which I would
carve it out had I the tools, the delicacy, the reach. And then my mind
moves onto my fingers, their red outline against the light. I move them, mimicking
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