Psychopomp Magazine Fall 2013 - Page 18

III. Rotola

Rotola, an unassuming but bothersome virus, leads the afflicted to constant destabilization upon the earth, as though the planet were tilting off its axis. Manifests in the sufferer feeling too unsteady to walk, travel, eat. In rare instances, rotola erupts as a three-day delirium, wherein the afflicted believes that he or she riding a rollercoaster at an amusement park.


Rotola is an infection of the inner ear, where the body maintains equilibrium and balance. Rotola travels into the inner ear on the movement of

soundwaves, and as a result, those most susceptible include those highly sensitive to sound. Incubates for up to three days after a concert cottons one’s eardrums or after a car alarm breaks one’s predawn sleep.


· Sensation that a seat belt is needed to strap oneself into armchairs, couches, stools at kitchen tables

· Peering through one’s window blinds at the world outside, incredulous that people walk upright, that cars roll over firm ground

· Urgency to lay for days in a darkened room, hands gripping the mattress edges, locking oneself in place with scarves or neckties to avoid flinging oneself beyond orbit


Rotola often passes within days, much to the dismay of the few who experience delirium. For those, the ride abruptly ends. Residual effects can last a lifetime, however, including frequent tripping, falling out of chairs, and the unpredictable but brief sensation that one is in constant need of restraints.

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