In "The Sun Also Rises", Hemingway describes his bankruptcy as occurring "gradually, then all at once". You do not remember the day that sound submerged, you do not remember the gradual decline of yourself. It was like reaching into the bottom of pond, hands sinking through dark muck like velvet over your wrists. The rot of it dressed up and you, in a dress, rotting. You do not remember when "tomorrow" became a noose, when the seed of escape rooted to the back of your brain. Gradually, then all at once.
A collapsing night, your fever rolls on sweat soaked sheets, you find a phantom standing in the corner- you feel something growing inside of you. There are birch trees bursting from your chest and their branches snaking up capillaries. You take each breath through solid wood. Gradually, then all at once. After seeing the shadow, everything else seems to fade away, you are left with the obvious ghost of it. All at once, you push yourself into some beyond, you hand your keys to restless spirits. They don't pay for gas.