Academic journal article Chicago Review

Dismantlement

Academic journal article Chicago Review

Dismantlement

Article excerpt

At last I'm cured of the habit. I can now peacefully walk down the street and see a paperclip lying on the pavement and yet resist the temptation to pick it up. And this makes me very happy. Even though the habit was at first harmless and pure enough. For years I just had to pick up every paperclip in the street lost in thought, roll it between the fingers and then put it away in my pants pocket. But in the evenings at home when I dreamily went through my pockets they (the pockets) were empty. Still I was unworried until one fine day when I became aware of wetness between the fingertips. When I carefully investigated I could see it was blood seeping from a spot on one finger where a miniscule bite of flesh was missing. And when my hands became considerably more blunt I had to realize that this happened every time I picked up a paperclip. And sometimes I could hear a contented growl-like sound rising from the pants pocket. Bullshit I said to myself. And went to consult the doctor about the matter of my vanishing hands. He loosened his tie and laughed a laugh sounding like dry articulation through his nose and went on about erosion and rotted paw. Until I could start seeing the white of knucklebones. …

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