Psychopomp Magazine Fall 2013 - Page 17

II. ACCUMULOSIS

A virus that gains strength over time, accumulosis is an affliction of the entire body wherein the sufferer experiences, simultaneously, every age he or he has ever been. Manifests in an aging process that correlates not to the breaking down of the body across time, but to the slow collapse of the body beneath the increasing weight of every person the afflicted has been.

Causes

Accumulosis attacks the lymph nodes, spreading illness throughout the entire body. As a result, the virus is experienced as a widespread aching, a uniform weight. Those most susceptible are those who hide regret in the folds of their memory, who attribute ages to sorrow, who would sooner strike

certain calendar years from the spiraled trail of their lineage.

Symptoms

· An internal cacophony, the sound of so many voices shouting

· The sensation that one’s limbs bear the weight of seventeen, twenty-five, fifty-two, thirty-seven;

every age that mattered, every age once thought forgotten

· The sensation that one’s limbs bear the weight not just of ages, but of tailored sorrow: the weight of one missed phone call, one dropped water balloon, one intentional slam down the stairs, one broken toe; the weight of everything one has ever carried within one’s pockets, within the curvature of one’s heart

Treatment

Accumulosis can run its course, leaving the body with a sudden weightlessness that stills the breath of the afflicted. Ongoing treatment to prevent recurrence includes sweat baths, diuretics, exercise, even exorcism. The virus can be chronic, however, a lingering infection that weighs down the sufferer. In the end, can be fatal if untreated, the sufferer buried beneath the weight at last.

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