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The Museum of Vestigial Desire

The Explorer Said,

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By Satya Gummuluri

"I started a penance. I forgot why. What exists now, along with the familiarity of the descriptor "Penance", is pieces of practice. Like a severed root the dentist decided not to entirely extract after root canals. Root bit suspended forever in gum, a fossil in pink amber trapped under white cliff walls. A reminder of some kind of pain or pressure or an echo of a memory of the genetics of the teeth of ancestors or something, can't remember, that led to the now. It's like when I forgot to be anxious underneath the bright lights. I don't know if I'm choosing to repress something or if that's just how time works. No it must be how time works, who could possibly choose anything.

I document. I have a documentation system. I forgot why the documentation began, but I'm pretty sure it follows a rationale. If I were to use reason and logic as a proxy for remembering the root cause why, it must have started in an attempt towards discovering direction (or was it for archiving purpose?). Well in any case, it provides a routine. Purpose is a vector. A starting point lifting you off towards another starting point. It used to be, if I remember correctly, that I could retrace steps if I came upon a spot that didn't go anywhere, and then spread into a new route. But then, after too many steps back and sideways and sideways and forwards and backward again, I got tangled up in the fibre of the act. My guess is I set fire to the thing. How else to explain the flakes lying about the premises, the scattered déjà vu, intermittent encounters with jamais vu? Remembering is too much trouble now. So there is only onwards now. Which might very well be backwards, as the vectors fluster in a feverish frenzy. But it's nice to have the cartographic routine, and maps are pretty too.

Sometimes when a point is tipsy and leans its weight on the point nearby, an avalanche might occur, the precursor to insight, the flood of discovery. It feels like I have only ever been on the edge. But I don't know that for sure, I mean I don't know what it means to go over. Perhaps if I could remember what it's like to stand flat-footed, I might know what an edge feels like and whether I 'm on it or over it. Anyway, so there's this documentation system of vectors and pointers branching into starts and ends, a shell of routine functioning as a constant reminder of something I don't remember what. And even as pointers are erased, the method might yet serve a function. Yes.

The root bit's visible in x-rays at annual check-ups. Then it's promptly forgotten. I think about inquiring sometimes, when there's energy or a whisper of desire but mainly if I remember to be self-aware, into this state of affairs. I don't know if what I practice now resembles what it was when I started with the penance. Most likely it doesn't, if one tried to employ evolutionary logic of some kind. But that's still a fictional narrative thread. Bits of the practice that seem to remain vaporize even as I watch. I reason that this is a letting go by choice and that it means growth and development and uncovering new ground. Yes, I languidly rest assured, this couldn't be calcifying, osteoporosis runs in the family."

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