Dream of the Heart

It occupied me for many years, it continues to occupy me, for reasons I don’t really understand. At the time, I worked in a restaurant, washing dishes and clearing out scraps of boiled meat and vegetables, the steamy waste of the kitchen. After work, I would cycle back through the late city, and it seems to me now that I occupied some kind of half-world between waking and sleep, imagination always pressing at the membrane of daily life.

A dream of cobblestones, and the sheen of dark buildings, a night as black as oil. An alleyway under moonlight. Posters and flyers I think of myself as being part of some great resistance against an oppressive force; the mist is tight on my chest as I walk the streets. A feeling of being pursued, but also of a great project being undertaken, a purpose and a cause.

Later, at a desk, under the bright light of an anglepoise lamp, I dissect a human heart. The flesh is thin and moist and strangely vegetal; imagine a beetroot or a red pepper. I pull the knife along, attempting to make precise angular patterns, which I think of as a form of code. Even now, I can see that odd, tessellated heart under the bright light of the lamp, and the smell of damp from a room without heating, a city under siege and the fizz of bright halogen lights simmering inside fog.

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