What if the shell, in this instance, serves a function contrary to that it ordinarily serves? What if, instead of protecting the fragile inner contents of the egg from the hostile outside world, this time it is designed to protect the outside world from whatever is contained within the egg? I am beginning to suspect my position is not merely a matter of bad luck and worse timing; perhaps all of this has been planned and I am the victim of a brand of consciousness that, despite its being ultimately unidentifiable, remains consciousness for all that. That can not shake off its nature no matter how hard it tries. In this it is similar of course to yours truly, but this doesn’t mean it is identical. Sometimes we imagine the contours of the Earth follow the contours of the gray matter and any attempt to separate them will destroy both. It is a symbiosis that allows for only one player and so seems, at first glance, a contradiction. Something to placate with dark chocolate and puzzles, with soothing words that nevertheless suggest in combination a second meaning – a revaluation of all previous statements in the light of the final statement. I try to palpate different portions of the shell when I am otherwise unoccupied, sitting by myself with a glass of wine and listening to the radio for clues as to what is happening at the antipodes. I expect hollow sounds but usually receive something like the sound one makes when one stubs a toe, that involuntary exhalation so deep within the body as to suggest it didn’t originate with that individual body but found its genesis in the mud of some far away swamp so removed in the dim past of the species as to seem entirely made up. Rendered from an artist’s best educated guess and years of practice of the sort those of us less dedicated to our crafts can only imagine by closing our eyes and concentrating on a single, deeply upsetting image like a beloved pet struck lifeless at the side of the road or someone we know and consider ourselves to be friendly with suddenly achieving spectacular success in his every endeavor while we are left to founder about just as lost and confused and ineffective as we have ever been. In this instance, we are left certain that the future, because it has never been anything other than a rabid continuation of the present, something without imagination or mercy, will inevitably bring more of the same, and it this knowledge that leads to visions of such intensity as to suggest both the brain has been damaged irrevocably, and that this damage -- the lesions and unseen scars, the consequent vivid hallucinations – can’t help but work to our advantage.