Epiphany of absence

X tells me he thinks he had an epiphany of absence today, but he’s not sure. He looked into an empty room from an alleyway, he says, and felt like the room itself might have felt if it could feel: lightened by the absence of an interior. A hovering sense, he says, that was heightened by fluffy seeds falling around him from a nearby tree. He says he felt in touch with nature like an opening flower or an echo in a valley and all that kind of Rilkean stuff. Would that be Rilkean? he asks. Maybe Buddhist. Maybe neither. In any case that’s how he felt, for a moment at least. Unless he just convinced himself that was how he felt, he says, he’s not sure, he’d had a few pints. When he started walking again, brushing off the fluff, he felt the usual tightness come over him, his self ravelling back into a ball, he says, worrying about where it had gone.

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