As Joe moves about the house making tea, smoking cigarettes, reading trash, he finds that he is, from time to time, holding his breath. At such times a sound exhales from his lips, a sound of almost unbearable pain. It is not a pain he can locate in bodily terms. It isn't exactly his pain. It's as if some creature inside him is suffering horribly, and he doesn't know exactly why, or what to do to alleviate the pain, which communicates itself to him as a paralyzing fatigue, an inability to do the simplest thing—like fill out the driver's license renewal form. Each night he tells himself firmly that he will do it tomorrow, and tomorrow finds that he simply cannot do it. The thought of sitting down and doing it causes him the indirect pain that drains his strength, so that he can barely move.
What is wrong? To begin with, the lack of any position from which anything can be seen as right. He cannot conceive of a way out, since he has no place to leave from. His self is crumbling away to shreds and tatters, bits of old songs, stray quotations, fleeting spurts of purpose and direction sputtering out to nothing and nowhere, like the body at death deserted by one soul after the other.
William S. Burroughs, The Western Lands, 1987