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[personal profile] dreamwitch
"I thought life was a series of questions... like, who are you. What do you want. What do you think I want. Who do you need? What do you love? What is essential? But it's not."

The tortoise frowned, looking balefully at the snail. "So if it's not about questions, is it about answers, then? Like, life is full of answers you don't know the questions to? Unless you're a tortoise. Which I am, by the way," the tortoise added.

"I am who I am too, but only sometimes," his companion said. "Because sometimes, I'm a butterfly."

"Pfft!" cried the tortoise. "What rubbish!"

"You do not understand me at all," said the snail scathingly. "Have you ever been a snail?"

"Well, no, but I don't need to be--"

"That is your central mistake. You need to be a snail in order to understand pretty much anything about the order of things. Too bad, isn't it?"

"The truth is, I don't want to understand you. Your shell has no symmetry."

"You say that, wincing in jealousy because my shell is delicate like a conch, pearlescent like the moon, necessary like the earth. You know all this, but your pride is more important."

"Nothing about you is -necessary-, useless creature!"

"Have you ever asked a question you didn't know the answer to, merely to think about it and wonder at how little you understood anything whatsoever? Did you find it a reassuring feeling, reminding you of how safely small you were?"

"I'm not small!" the tortoise cried. "I'm rotund and sturdy! I have my space!"

"There are moments when I think I'm the biggest, slimiest snail-- or perhaps the only snail that matters. In my imagination, I am the proto-snail from which all snailness derives. And then I snap out of it."

"How fascinating."

"Quite, in the way that pointless ponderings have a way of propagating themselves. Watch them reproduce and wonder!"

"I'd rather have a bite to eat," the tortoise said.

"What do tortoises eat, then?"

"Oh, snails." The tortoise smiled menacingly as best it could.

"Liar!" the snail sputtered. "You have no teeth to break my shell!"

And that much, indeed, was true.
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January 2012

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