The Gut


An umbilical to the most distant cousins came as a gossamer sack. I could not move with food just floating about inside me, subject to the vagaries of diffusion, how could I. A second opening appeared, like an eye on the world, the sac stretched and narrowed bathing food in acids and enzymes squirted into a sphinctered environment. Enough energy was assured so I could cease my sessile existence and developing kinetic strategies left behind the ceaseless rocking of the waves. Hunter, prey, grazer, became the hidden rules of day and night in a circadian rhythm of fear. This is what I am in its most fundamental form, keeping entropy at bay.

The nervous system, servant to this messy kitchen, reached round its synaptic fingers, holding the tactics of feeding in its grasp and throwing open a blind race towards sentience. Sight, sound, smell, taste, touch conjured constellations of qualia igniting engines of thought. The self became inevitable. Traversing the threshold of knowledge I left behind the crawling and slavering of my infancy on slimy slopes where hope and fear could not be understood, and produced a soul. Self built, a DIY god that lives within me, another symbiont sharing a body with countless others, keeping at bay the chaos of imagining.