Demarcations: Pathetic, Unfinished Thoughts on a Life by Default in Topologies of Trauma: Essays on the Limit of Knowledge and Memory
Fadi Abou-Rihan

The protagonist-author wrote in a demarcations piece published in topologies of trauma, and I read what was written, and I read what was written again as I transcribe it here:

With the collapse of past and future it is instead caught in a moment of anti-production that is prolonged into an eternity, the eternity of a void and unimpassioned grief.

It was the description of grief as unimpassioned that caught my attention. A grief that is not suffered. A grief that is not expressed with forcefulness. Not impassioned. Somehow I had managed to take that adjective and work through the negations of expressive power towards the expressionless and somehow to assume that passion, that which is suffered, was less from within the unimpassioned and void grief. How? Somehow. The referent of the _it_ is assumed to be the subject of the previous sentence: "The machinery of the body without organs no longer responds to stimulus." And it is here and now that I realize that that which then and at that moment no longer responded to stimulus was the machinery of and not the body without organs. And it is here and now that I come to realize that the machinery did not not repsond but specifically did not respond to stimulus.

Observe a response. Miss observing a stimulus. The moment is prolonged.

If the machinery responds but does not respond to stimulus, there is temporal derangement, an accompanying collapse of past and future. The protagonist-author is careful not to make the collapse a cause of the non-response to stimulus. The event of collapse and the event of non-response to stimulus are caught together. Caught in a moment. A moment prolonged. Observe a response. Miss observing a stimulus. A moment is prolonged.

Catch a stimulus. Place a moment. Miss the moment.

The protagonist-author begins the paragraph by simple assertion, "Time stops." What flows through the stopped time is a further assertion "The drama and melodrama unwind with the collapse of past and future." which parallels the further flow of a following sentence: "The machinery [...] no longer responds to stimulus." Time keeping stops when the spring mechanism fails, when the source of energy is depleted. The "stops" in "Time stops" will here be read not as a verb inflected in the present tense but as a noun. "Time stops" taken as a label for the contents of the paragraph. Each sentence that follows is a "stop". Hard duration.

A time keeping beyond energy. The eerie spatiality of eternity. Not the eternity of all eternities. No, an eternity. Not necessarily indeterminate but indefinite, definitely. An eternity. Eerie spatiality of eternity. Scaled to human scale by mention of grief. But scaled more by the _the_ brought to refine eternity. Not to choose but to settle, to stop, on the _the eternity_. And why would this settling be machined to a human scale? Grief. The eternity of.

A grief that is void. Non-negotiable. A grief that is unimpassioned. Forceless. A grief of eternity. Not quite. Not quite yet. The void and unimpassioned grief subtends a grieving (does it?) that prolongs an indefinite eternity into a specific and definite eternity -- the eternity of a void and unimpassioned grief. What authorizes this claim that the grief subtends a grieving? Why this claim to a stretching underneath? The stretch comes from the image, yes it is an image, of a moment prolonged. The underneath position? Beneath the collapse? Not so definite.

The position underneath? collapse beneath collapse? Not so recursively receding. If a beneath a collapse be abstracted to an underneath of a position, the collapse becomes collapsable. Imagine less a ton of bricks. Imagine more a dandelion seed head. So shift body images, so shift identifications, so shift position projections, haunted by holding, such just-so shifts enable the observing attention to englobe the position, to shroud, and to resize of the collapse, hold it stopped, hold it with a lapsus, so together other observing attentions can co-lapse, spin vertigo so far down that falling into-out-of fails the imagination. So far that collapse is not a falling but a vanishing to. Serious suspension.

Series of eternities. Passage unaccompanied. No negotiation. No marker of time. No force. No marker of place. No passage to the accompanied. A grief of eternity. Alone.

Passage unaccompanied. No time kept by negotiation. No place found by force. All all alone.


Unpluggable. Unimpassioned. Not for an eternity. For eternity. Unpluggable. Incapable of stimulus response. Not even a corpse. Unpluggable. Unimpassioned.

With grief beyond necrophilia. Grief unrottable.


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