What follows is a dream my mother had.
I was walking home from grade school in Nitro, West Virginia. He came upon The Block, which is a full block surrounded by a tall wrought iron fence. Within that fence is a large mound. Upon approaching it and the duration of walking past it, we couldn’t talk and our eyes looking down at the ground in front of us. At the same time, the ground here was soft, like putty, and we were forbidden to make any impression. Then it morphs into being at my grandmother’s house. We were in her living room, where my father was using a ladder to change a lightbulb, and I was really concerned that he would fall from the ladder and make an impression in the floor. That’s pretty much it.
I started having this dream when I was very young, and anytime I was sick or had a fever I’d have it again. This went on until I was a young.
When I’m sick I feel the purest, freed of all the stupid animal desires that keep my mind caged in most other modes of consciousness. In sickness I feel able to achieve stillness. Stillness is a form of time travel, like sleep, or suspended animation.
Imagine yourself in a place where everything completely still, nothing ever moves. This is closer to reality than it seems. There’s a point we pass through in all movement and this goes on forever, an infinite regression creating stillness.
Sometimes, my fevered head in the summer grass, I imagine what still things exist beneath my head, the death that builds the earth we walk. Old churches sink into rising earth as the dead fill the lawns surrounding them. All across America the earth is swollen full with the bodies of those people living here when diseased and bearded barbarians began their never ending campaign of terror. We all live atop a mass grave. We are slowly sinking into it.
This is something so overwhelming about this that most of us are unable to factor this into the logarithm that is our development. America is a thing that never really happened, not as we imagine it. We are living in a map, not a territory. The map of freedom exists within our minds alone and so we project it onto the landscape around us. Nowhere in the map is marker that reads BUILT ON SLAVERY – BUILT ON GENOCIDE.
Our history is a re-imagining of horror into heritage. It is hard to speak of this without sinking into sickness, as the urge to deny is so strong within the map. The map will attack you. The map will beat you down. So most are silent. Most will never acknowledge the mounds of dead around us.