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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

welcome to the animal kingdom


 
Say you wake up  and look down the front of your body and see a pair of legs and your chest and the rim of your nose and a tuft of hair in front of your eyes; say this is the first time you've ever seen such a thing. Say you were familiar previously with panoramic vision and great altitude, and what you feel now is  unusual and clunky, especially the continuous rumination of this large organ inside your skull - the brain,  so called. The rolling of your eyes inside your sockets is unnerving;
and that slab of meat rooted to the back of your throat feels both "off" and "in the way". Nothing is comfortable. Nothing feels like your own. Say, you wake up like this, a growl down low in the pit of your stomach, and say that you suddenly feel something, a non physical sensation, that brings a tear to your eye, and say that this has never occurred to you before, and you ask yourself what in the world has suddenly overcome you.  It occurs to you then, as you consider this, that you are holding a small creature in your  arms, a miniature duplicate of yourself, and you are swaddling that little being in your arms, but it is making a terrible racket, and much of its face is frumpled into something like a dried prune, but pale, and watery, and the screech it is emitting arrives at your core through apertures in the side of your head. All of this occurs to you to at this point in time. All of this, in fact, occurs to you at once, not in a sequence as laid out above.  

Meanwhile, a third person has joined the melee. This person is about your size - a little shorter - and you immediately understand, by some process foreign to you, that this person is your counterpart, so to speak, and is to be addressed as "she" or "her" depending on the situation;  she is unlike you in more ways than one. She is unlike you more profoundly than you are yet aware, but it strikes you immediately that she is certainly unlike you in one way:  she is not quiet, she is almost as loud as the creature in your arms and she is addressing you in tones that strike you as slightly menacing, and you find this confirmed by the fact that she quickly takes the small duplicate out of your arms and into her arms and then does essentially what you were doing before, except she has adopted a new voice,  softened, her words spoken in a sing-song way with lips pushed out. This voice - it is clear - is reserved for such duplicates, perhaps more specifically for duplicates who are shrieking. For some reason you make a mental note of this, and you feel, once again, this great hulking thing in your skull set in motion as if massaging this tiny piece of useless information, and you are  disappointed at having to carry such  at thing around, let alone use it. You decide you will attempt to circumvent its triggers, and prevent it doing any work at all. But not now, because fatigue has come, suddenly. The sound of sing-song, the sight of the duplicate and your counterpart, and that blinking light from the radio-speaker has put you in a partial trance. So you tell "she" that you must lie down briefly to recover your strength. She tells you, "yeah, you go do that. You go on and do that." And it strikes you as odd that she should repeat precisely what you have just told her you would do. But you refrain from exploring this, lest that god awful organ in your head should suddenly feel compelled to perform some laborious computation again.