He had to build a wall around each second just to make it. The whole first two weeks of it are telescoped in his memory down into like one second--less: the space between two heartbeats. A breath and a second, the pause and gather between each cramp. An endless Now stretching its gull-wings out on either side of his heartbeat. And he'd never before or since felt so excruciatingly alive. Living in the Present between pulses.
quoting IJ, p859