The person who had the antibody could be used to cure the afflicted on the
science fiction show I watched as a child. A serum could be made from the blood
of the person with the antibody. The body which had fought off the disease. A
person could be a cure.
Bodies bent over other bodies, drawing blood from one into a tiny glass tube.
Concocting the serum. Injecting it in others who slumped and then revitalized.
Young again. The person with the antibody immunized. I am the person
immunized. My boyfriend’s brother arrived one night, said, “He doesn’t like to
be reminded that he used to shoot up.” My boyfriend smiles/grimaces. Doesn’t
meet my eye. At least a year of unprotected sex. But I don’t know about hepatitis
yet. And yet, my drinking was blackout for years, so maybe, it wasn’t him.
Still, when Alice told me she’d been through the year-long treatment, and I
told her I’d tested positive, she’d asked, “Did you shoot up?” Terrified of needles,
queasy at the word “vein,” fainting when blood is drawn, even “blood” dizzying,
“No, I didn’t.” The positive terrifying, and so the liver doctor, the deeper test that
showed I have the antibody for hepatitis C. My body’s army inside surrounding
and attacking the invader. Saving me.
I am a cure, I thought. Imagined the science fiction men in their tight fitting
polyblends surrounding me on an alien planet –a violet moon – the inhabitants
children living in caves or blond sylphs in bubbles. Strapping a rubber band
around my arm, piercing my vein, drawing my blood to immunize the others. For
once, not fainting, for once strong, because my body after all had been just that,
fighting back. Winning the fight.
Marconi down the road, famous for transatlantic communication. But he
also wanted to use wireless technology to talk to the dead. The first transatlantic
wireless communication on Marconi beach in 1903. He’d heard something
anomalous through his radio receivers. In wireless contact distilled spirits and not
bodies communicate. Marconi’s first wireless was a small and fragile glass tube
about the thickness of a thermometer, and two inches long. Thich Nhat Hanh said
that simply because we don’t have the television or radio on, doesn’t mean the
waves aren’t there, all the messages being sent. Though we don’t have means to
receive. We have not come from anywhere, we shall not go anywhere. When conditions
are sufficient, we manifest. When conditions are no longer sufficient, we no longer
manifest. It does not mean that we do not exist. Like radio waves without a radio, we
do not manifest.
Hanh said this to help us not fear death anymore. There are parts of ourselves
that aren’t our bodies. There was a spark. Waves. A key held down. Fine nickel
dust in a slit. A current passed through the slit. Later, there were towers that fell
into the sea. Or were dismantled. The messages sent across the sea came from a
cliff. Each year, the sea took three feet back. Marconi used a simple telephone. It
provided a dimension in which the unheard (and who is less heard than the dead) was
combined with a second frequency that could transform it into audibility...
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