I forgot: I’m in the house on the river

I was defeated with tiredness, my mind was a cloud of unclarity, my will was nought—I could perceive but not exert. I was done for.

So I slouched forward, almost in Rabbit Pose, at the huge low glass table that has become my writing table since Cuntjin left.

I saw my silhouette on the carpet … and something more. I saw the dark gray shadow of my neck-sides beat with my heart. I saw that the wave on the left side pulsed slightly earlier than the one on the right.

And in that moment, everything changed.

I realized that my brain is a farm of water wheels—100 billion water wheels. Coursing through my brain are 400 miles of tiny rivers whose motion keeps all of those wheelhouses alive. And I realized that my “I” is not a ghost, but an automaton emerging from the machinations of the wheelhouses—a distributed automaton dancing to the motions of 100 billion wheelhouses, animated by water wheels that spun by the bloodstream. 100 billion robots dance, each in its own wheelhouse. The robots dance, not because they are alive, but because they are driven by the wheel outside the houses, each pushed by a stream.

Seeing my neck-sides chug chug chug reminded me that all the internal spinnings of my “self” are powered by streams branching from the mighty Mississippi coursing up my left neck-side and down the right.