If Anything…

It’s hardly strange that Xanther feels somewhat connected to this hummingbird after her epileptic bout. She certainly has a knack for injured animals, and I wonder if it is because she feels herself one. Hummingbirds, even in health, are all vibration and almost make a normality of epilepsy. So this injured one announces the pathology of its own state not in the shaking, but in its “eyes going blank”–though the blankness is more of a super-saturated knowledge and awareness. It does what Xanther appears to be able to do with the Narcon: invade other consciousnesses. It is able to refract itself “into another self beyond what every reflection still fails to consider” (794).

The seizure the bird was experiencing was the final stages of life. A threshold. A portal. The above analysis doesn’t change much. When the bird “departs,” Xanther is left in darkness, one that is strikingly like the blankness of the bird’s gaze, as nothing can hide there. The unequal darkness leads to her encounter (memory?) of that resuscitated kitten that sleeps next to her and transforms her inexorable sadness into a manageable one. It’s as though the darkness, the absence (or excess) of light (sense, sound, impulse…) were a proving ground, or some sort of cosmic (re)birth canal that grants the most mundane and unremarkable of second chances. Unless, of course, you’re Xanther, and then you do remark it because you recognise it for what it is.


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