THE NUMBERS OF THE DEAD
The numbers of the dead are startling. All
those names and beings. I sit here again,
reading, and am only confounded by
absence. Not absinthe now, I said
absence - the sense of things being
gone. Which is what absence is. It's
a Latin compound, you know, like so
many other of our words. 'Ab,' that
means 'from' - as in 'take away,' and
'removal.' And then they graft that
onto the basic word from which we
take the idea of 'being' or 'presence.'
Like 'sentient.' So this is 'without
presence,' without a 'being,' or at
least a sense of. "Lack of Being' -
at least sort of. Of course, strangely,
we also have (just used) 'presence.'
Which is the very same thing but in
the other direction : meaning 'pre',
or 'before' sense. An idea of 'Being
right there. Right before you.
Present, that is. Well, not like the
dead then in any sense.