Harold lamented very much the prospects of rectal discharge; so much so that those symptoms somehow became manifest. He called the Swedish Academy, describing pelvic pain, nausea, and generalized weakness. He said he could “feel a lump”.
Microscopic examination of the rectal-biopsy specimen showed no surface injury or inflammatory exudate associated with lamina propria and crypt inflammation, a case asserted by Harold. He insisted on staying at the Swedish Academy, just to be observed. The Swedish Academy suggested to Harold that he may have simply shat his pants.
Harold couldn’t sleep. He counted calcified plaques traversing his arteries, which seemed more relevant than sheep. The calcified plaques in his mind became blood clots and aneurysms. He mistook his pulse for a time bomb, shedding off the final seconds of his life, clicking backwards until his head exploded. The multi-layered pools of stains on Harold’s pillow, made by aggregate nights of head sweat, formed a large distorted grimacing face.
After a five night stay in the Swedish Academy, Harold eventually agreed to go home. But a few days later, the phone calls started. Harold, or sometimes his assistant, would call the Swedes citing a new myriad of reasons for concern: asymmetrical testicles; a vague feeling behind his eyeballs; dry hair; a chronic desire to excavate things which are “hidden inside [his] the pores”.
After being ignored, Harold began mailing the Swedes extremely large endoscopic renderings—or at least imaginings—of his rectum fashioned with pencil crayon. “Not just a literary artist, but a visual one,” the Swedes had to admit.
One evening while sitting on the toilet, Harold realized his eardrums were parasites, having sucked away all the dialog he had never written, all the conversations he never had. Finally, that part inside him came out with a sullen slap. In silence, he imagined more silence: that chorus of wind through his teeth as he yawned, respectfully, in front of a standing ovation.