Johannes Punkt’s Flaskpost

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Tag: heart attack

The Parable of the Electron

There is an infinity of space between two molecules, even between two atoms as tightly knit as the ones in your cramping chest. It would be foolish for an electron to jump between the two and even if it did, if it embarked on this suicide mission, it would be ludicrous to expect its friends to follow it. It would mean an eternity of loneliness just to reach that other atom, to orbit it a little while. It is absurd for the EMT to apply the defibrillator to your chest, it just means loneliness in the back of the ambulance.


The camera zooms in on the grey letters until the only thing that’s visible is the bun of an unwitting stagehand’s red hairdo and the unlit phrase, “ON AIR.” The camera grows weary, and pans slowly across the room, until it finds an anchor’s face and does a little jig, because the camera handler is bored and light-headed. Someone taps on their watch. Reluctantly, the camera handler places the frame in the correct position and then she has a heart attack and falls over, clutching at her chest, inadvertently pointing the camera at the dusty ceiling. The letters light up.

Heart Attack

Her bed is about 80 centimetres above the floor; that should not be anything. When you are unable to move, an 80 centimetre fall hurts. She wakes up with a clenched jaw and she cannot really breathe. She can speak. She says, “Safeword,” into the air. Someone is doing this to her. No-one hears her. She is sweating profusely. “Safeword!” She jerks and falls off the bed, and starts to lose feeling in her toes, the lack-of-feeling crawling up her legs. “Safeword,” she whispers, and it takes as much energy as a full-lung scream. But it doesn’t work that way.