There is a person who lives in the blood. Everyone has one and some have more than one. Some are big, some small. All are noisy and live in boats. The persons who live in our blood are never talked about, doctors don’t mention them nor labmen, but there isn’t any doubt whatever about their existence. When a newborn takes her first breath, or him, the person inside the blood is the cause. They are said to paddle their boats up to the cry dial and turn it a quarter turn, wait, if no cry is announced to the world, another quarter turn is added, and so on – then they oar a short distance away, make sure all is okay, row off to other arterial canals, exploring the brand new life.
At night when life is calm, the person inside leaves her boat, or his, and floats on her back, watching a thousand synapses tremble and fire all along the dome of the veins. The persons are often quite lonely through most of their lives. They do, in fact, die, eventually, but sad as that may be, they seldom encounter the others, even when several others help to maintain the host. It would be utterly silly to believe otherwise – consider the scope of the body universe? nevermind all the auras and such grown beyond the physical limits of skin.
No, they exist in quite solitary ways, scraping the placque off their small boats when not needed to dial up the cries or lower the pressure on tears. Each has his, or her, own emotional curve, of course, to maintain, but, in general, the persons who live in the boats in the blood remain stoic, if not content.
When at last the voyages of the person bring her, or him, into close proximity with the chambers of the heart, for the first time they each well and truly know fear. After a while they get the boat righted again and flowing less chaotic currents again, but the tiny, tiny hearts inside the persons who ride in our blood do pound awfully loud for a pulse beat or two or three. Funny how fear can create euphoria. Sadly, once the person tastes that Whoosh through the rooms of the heart, their stoicism departs.
[After W.S. Merwin , THE TASTE, from The Book of Fables]