the famous night we first made love

in the morning everything was clearer. Last night -- where were we? I remember there were stars, that the moon "was watery and pale." Robert said this, but he was remembering something altogether different. The moon, even the stars, were stand-ins for the other thing, the thing he didn't mention. That was the whole point.

"How do we substitute the flesh and bones of man for the flesh and bones of his brother?" We were silent at the long table. I don't know what the others were thinking. My morning was clear until I drank too much coffee, and suddenly there were fireworks of thought in my skull.

"That kind of substitution is essentially meaningless," I said. "How could we measure it's success? By which I mean: if man x1 is there and then we see man x2, unless we watch the transition occur we DON'T KNOW IT HAPPENED." Juan nods, and deliberately pauses before looking to Robert, asleep, his glasses a little crooked, his head just a bit above his chest.

"I think that is a very good idea but it needs to be put into proper terms."

So I said x ---> system ---> f(x) so that f(x1) = f(x2) where x1 is man and x2 is his brother, then Robert hollered, and the papers flew around and mixed with the coffee and I watched him tip the table and it headed for the floor. I felt a curious pressure behind my eyes that built until all the differences between me and my colleagues (and the table, falling, the waves of light in the air, the moon) disappeared into a colorful noise, like static but soft, an ocean I suppose, fine, okay, let's just call it that.

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