Twice the vacuum stalls and leaves its contents dropping unceremoniously toward earth and twice those within earshot hear the accompanying groan, the rattling of metal utensils and the mild cursing under the breath as if the more virulent kind might be expected to call from the cupboards vaguely menacing supernatural entities of the sort perfected in Japanese cinema. My watch follows the same pattern the universe does, as near as I can tell, with the second hand getting caught on occasion on the cusp of the five. Not because that structure juts out, but because the interior gears are defective. They have been rubbed smooth in places by overwork. They are the victims of a shoddy design. When the urchin requests possession of my watch, I am startled for a moment, then properly outraged and only later admiring of the spirit that allowed him to approach. That said in his ear, “All things are possible. You are a Titan among canaries.” Clearly, by this line of reasoning, the urchin’s word is law. I follow along behind him for a while because I have nothing else to do and I suffer sometimes from the delusion that people can’t see me. Or if they can see me, what they see is not the same thing as who I am. This undoubtedly leads to further troubling symptoms and explains for instance that period of time (already touched upon) when I thought I was an egg. To be honest, I still think that but only because I recognize that my body is the perfect host for the incubation of both disease and that which cures disease, the pestilence and the unguent. Reason is a part of the mind no bigger than your thumb and rests on the longitudinal axis, leery of raising itself much like the turtles you see at the zoo. When it is forced into action, it pollutes the area all around it out of spite, casts its garbage and its detailed notes taken on the equivalent of paper all over the ground and leaves them there for others to pick up. I know this is difficult to follow, to condone, but If you believed at some point that you were an egg, and then you stopped believing it, for whatever reason, there would still be a part of you reluctant to embrace the new image, the one that corresponds to what you see in the mirror or the water of the pond past which you happen to be strolling. The question is which part is the more truthful one and why? Which part represents the functional self and which the soul, a term wildly out of favor at the moment but destined to make its return? I don’t know the answer to that question and I’m pretty sure the question itself has been borrowed or stolen numerous times from someone who knew the answer but refused to share it with us because he recognized that the answer was liable to distract him from the real task at hand. Namely, the completion of his symphony or his colossal philosophical system (which amounts to the same thing) – that overwhelming entity that seems to us now, if we are aware of it at all, bloated and of passing interest only to the occasional scholar who studies it in youth before stumbling upon her true passion, a perhaps more modest work created by someone else truly deserving of her time.