Sooty Oystercatcher (Haematopus fuliginosis), Bruny Island, Tasmania: photo by Noodle snacks, 2010
It was five or six years since anyone had seen me, to begin with myself. I mean the face I had pored over so, all down the years. Now I would resume that inspection, that it may be a lesson to me, in my mirrors and looking-glasses so long put away. I'll let myself be seen before I'm done. I'll call out, if there is a knock, Come in! But I speak now of five or six years ago. These allusions to now, to before and after, and all such yet to come, that we may feel ourselves in time. I had more trouble with the body proper. I masked it as best I could, but when I got out of bed it was sure to show. For I was now beginning, then if you prefer, to get out of bed again. Then there is the matter of its injuries. But the body was of less consequence. Whereas the face, no, not at any price.
Hooded Plover (Thinornis rubricollis), Bruny Island, Tasmania: photo by Noodle snacks, 2009
For I have taken to getting up again. I thought I had made my last journey, the one I must now try once more to elucidate, that it may be a lesson to me, the one from which it were better I had never returned. But the feeling gains on me that I must undertake another. So I have taken to getting up again and taking a few steps in the room, holding on to the bars of the bed.
Upland Sandpiper (Bartramia longicaudia) perched on fence post, Carden Alvar region, near Kirkfield, Ontario, Canada: photo by Johnath, 2010
What ruined me at bottom was the athletics. With all that jumping and running when I was young, and long after in the case of certain events, I wore out the machine before its time. My fortieth year had come and gone and I still throwing the javelin.
Athlete, University of Nebraska, Lincoln: photo by John Vachon, 1942 (Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Collection, Library of Congress)
Samuel Beckett: edited excerpt from Fizzle 2 (translated from the French by the author), in Fizzles, 1976