The body in pain contorts—of course. It shudders, twists and spasms. Pain contorts your body in other ways, warping your relationship with the body. Previously invisible muscles and organs become obtrusively visible. Elaine Scarry’s words on torture can also describe intense pain. It turns
the body back in on itself, forcing the body to feed on the body [. . .] For what the process of torture does is to split the human being into two, to make emphatic the ever present, but except in the extremity of sickness and death, only latent distinction between a self and a body, between a ‘me’ and ‘my boy.’
 Elaine Scarry, The Body in Pain: The Making and Unmaking of the World (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1985), 48-9
My first impression of Stockholm is of the sky, which is a far away and a deep, intense blue. It’s cloudless and cool. I’m looking up to avoid the more immediate view, which is of vehicles rushing by as we stand on the shoulder of a freeway, beside our taxi that has broken down. A large truck passes and the taxi shudders in its wake.
It was perhaps ten minutes after we left the airport at Arlanda, when our driver mentioned there was a problem with the motor. He’s a fair man, tall and weather beaten, with a large broad torso, like a quintessential Swedish fisherman. The engine changed tone, to a higher, tinnier pitch—it lurched each time our driver attempted to accelerate, until it cut out completely...