Posted by: amygdala | July 5, 2009

scoops of jelly

“He saw that even in an age of science and unbelief our ideas are
dreams, styles, superstitions, mere animal noises intended to
repel or attract. He looked around the ring of munching females
and saw their bodies as a Martian or a mollusc might see them, as
pulpy stalks of bundled nerves oddly pinched to a bud of
concentration in the head, a hairy bone knob holding some pounds
of jelly in which a trillion circuits, mostly dead, kept records,
coded motor operations, and generated an excess of electricity
that pressed into the hairless side of the head and leaked
through orifices, in the form of pained, hopeful noises and a
simian dance of wrinkles. Impossible mirage! A blot on
nothingness. And to think that all the efforts of his life – his
preening, his lovemaking, his typing – boiled down to the attempt
to displace a few sparks, to bias a few circuits, within some
random other scoops of jelly that would, in less time than it
takes the Andreas Fault to shrug or the tail-tip star of Scorpio
to crawl an inch across the map of Heaven, be utterly dissolved.”
 
– John Updike, in his story Bech Panics.

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