Friday, July 14, 2006


On my walk to the office this morning through the labyrinth of annexes, tunnels, byways, autowalks, escalators, overpasses, underways and internal roads of the big train station, I was zombily following one of my many routes to work (the stop-at-the-bank one, which I haven't taken for some time and usually don't in summer, it being visually more interesting but hotter and slower) (how natively we fine tune our monotonies), I was autopiloting along in weekend daydreams when my body stepped off the curb and down into the taxi street that runs inside the station but there was no longer any down at that location.

The down removers (or the up emplacers, as they're sometimes called) had raised the street to curb level since I last stopped at the bank. My body has been taking this route now and then for a couple of decades, so it knows every surface nuance, and when it (not I) stepped down into that upstreet it was like the famous crow, flying at what he thought was high altitude in the foggy air of England and suddenly coming upon a moor-strolling Aldous Huxley's face – or was it Thomas Huxley's - and squawking in disbelief, thereby evidencing to whichever Huxley that animals had assumptions, expectations, convictions, even.

The reaction I got from my body was in that same squawky ballpark when, in its quotidian naivete it could come to no other conclusion than that the entire world had suddenly risen 20 centimeters! What could this mean, it asked in adrenalin syntax. It informed me in the same but louder terms that some sort of doom was at hand, and that I should immediately seek a way to escape, wherever I was. As I had been reclining in daydream mode atop the turret roof, it took me a second or two to return to full control and override, but during that time it was quite a corporeal adventure in downup land.

Bodies too have assumptions, expectations, convictions even. Still, it's best not to get too far from the controls.

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