Topographia (top-o-graf’-i-a): Description of a place. A kind of enargia [: {en-ar’-gi-a} generic name for a group of figures aiming at vivid, lively description].

It wasn’t far. It wasn’t near. It was nowhere. The great absence. It’s where he exists. Tubes. Respirators. Eyes closed. Comatose. The hospital room is brightly lit day and night—like a greenhouse growing flowers or tomatoes. The bed is high off the floor. With the push of a button you can raise and lower the head-end like an expensive media room settee. But, there’s no television, no radio, no connection to the outside world, and why should there be? The man in the bed is in another world. He hasn’t opened his eyes or shown any interest in anything since he was wheeled in two weeks ago.

The floors are so clean and shiny you can see up your pant leg when you look down. The tiles are brown and yellow—earthy, solid, pastoral even. When you look out the window you see a sprawling parking lot and the Jersey City skyline—it’s early evening so the office buildings are twinkling and bits of New York City are peeking through the gaps in Jersey City’s spacious architectural sprawl.

There are flowers delivered fresh every day with a note attached: “Love, Susie.” He has his own personal woolen blanket with a giant red letter “B” woven into it. His name is Franky Silt. What’s the “B” stand for, everybody asks? Bastard? Boyfriend? Bankrupt? What?

There is one chair by the bed telling you “One visitor at a time.” Beige metal with a fake black leather seat, worn by years of vigils held over the dying and the healing, and those like him, in neither neither land: alive and dead, binding and void, null and valid.

Time for bed, which is ironic since just about everybody’s been in bed all day. Soft and soothing music starts to play over the hospital’s PA system. It’s a richly layered instrumental version of Blue Oyster Cult’s “Don’t Fear the Reaper.” Somebody has a sense of humor. I touch Franky on the forehead. His life-sign monitors beep wildly and a alarm goes off. I look up, take a breath, and disappear. Franky is dead.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” ( Bracketed text added by Gorgias.

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A video reading of this figure is on YouTube: Johnnie Anaphora

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