What a difference a day makes. Now times that by 20. Clifford was hollow, a horn of unplenty, tipping the scales at 115 at most. He was more bone than flesh now, and less man than ghost.
It was sadness that gripped him far more than the fear that, if facing the truth, he had maybe a year.
When poetic phrases like "eyes, look your last" become true, all you want is to stay, to hold fast. A new, fierce attachment to all of this world now pierced him.
It stabbed like a deity-hurled lightning bolt, lancing him, sent from above, left him giddy and tearful. It felt like young love.
He had thought of himself as uniquely proficient at seeing, but now that sense felt insufficient. He wanted to grab, to possess, to devour, to eat with his eyes. How he needed that power.
Just like a child whose big gun is a stick, Cliff was now harmless.
He'd gotten too sick to take any action beyond rudimentary routines that had shrunk to the most elementary – which pill to take now, and where is your sweater, did the Imodium make you feel better?
Study your shit to make sure you'd not bled. Make sure the Kleenex is next to the bed. Make sure, be prepared, plan out every endeavor, like a scout on the stupidest camping trip ever.
The facts were now harder, reality colder, his parasol no match for this falling boulder-- and so the concern with trivial issues, slippers nearby, and approximate tissues.
He thought of those two things in life that don't vary-- well, thought only glancingly, more was too scary.
Inevitable, why even bother to test it? He'd paid all his taxes, so that left-- you guessed it.