It’s a long way to my toes. From up here, in the stratosphere of human elevation, I see my distant phalanges pressing against the wilds of the earth — a place where cats tread and hairballs linger. But now the earth’s gravitational plane has shifted 45 degrees, flinging me against walls as I meander from bed to bath. I am a bent pole, lurching forward, clinging to vertical surfaces, the tops of doors, to lamps and wardrobes. Clinging to avert the excruciating shock of nerves wound tight in my lower back, that spot with a volcano of torments seething and pulsating against each step. Painkillers induce dreams of a certain grifter and his evil little dog, the one with the fangs. Incisors against the L4, in the southern lumbar, the pivot point, the point of my swivel. God help me in this, my middle age. Or get me better drugs. Or maybe another one of those Fried Oreo things.