Scenario: An amnesiac wakes one morning in London, England, in bed with two women. In the process of recovering his memory, he goes back in time 160 million years to the Jurassic geological period to find his true original parents, the first of the flying dinosaurs. The narrator is himself a flying dinosaur, and The Jurassic Shales ends with his being united with his father and mother. Here I am writing to you half a life's history "A horse which throws the dreamer to the ground." I am homesick and America has had a nervous breakdown. I am taking shaman lessons and studying Karate. My greatest complaint (you've offered to help) is amnesia. Do you believe in transmigration of the soul? Yes, I do too. But what if it can happen not only when one dies, but several times in an afternoon? And I'm sure it's not properly amnesia I am speaking of. I go out of my body, I come back in. I say amnesia because sometimes when this happens I forget just who I am. I've been doing this, I believe, with some regularity for a quarter of a million years. I'm doing it more and more frequently now because I'm unhappy. Even the light depresses me. That is, the light on Oxford Street, 6 PM on a Sunday. The light in Bloom's. The light in Wimpy's. I haven't seen light like this since the Middle Ages of the Animals. We drink, we smoke, we go to parties. Friday night we went to the dullest party in 3,000 years in Bayswater off the Moscow Road. I thought the whole time of algae, worms, primitive brachiopods, molluscs, crustaceans, I thought of my mother and those birds with the hollow bones. I am in the library at Swiss Cottage eating chocolates in the children's room What am I reading? Probably I have gone mad. I am reading up on the eohippus, the first true archaic horse. I identify. Those horses were no larger than dogs. I'm a dog and interested in horses that were once my own size. Why? I don't know why. Yes, I do. It's because I feel I was once (also) a wooly rhinoceros. That I am at this moment a wooly rhinoceros. Anyway, I am no longer incapacitated by my erotic fantasies. I am devoting my whole attention to insects, geology, etc. Each morning I have friends come in to read me my biography and my passport. Then I know who I am. Then I can pay attention to what needs to be done. Who are these people anyway? They think they speak English, but I don't understand a word they say. My only reason for coming was to learn Karate with Kanazawa, who has left for Germany. Oh, I've just gone out of my body and now I'm back. What is happening in America where, I am convinced, in my previous existence, I was a Confederate soldier killed in action, 186-? Well, it doesn't matter. I'll find out soon enough and probably know anyway if I'd only think about it. Before I was born, my mother who is the Mother of fire, gave birth to fire. Then to the Sabine women and my sister. My father, who has an upright tail, practices and earns his living in Chicago. That he is a Rosicrucian and I am not is no obstacle. We have made our peace, and increasingly-- I might say this is a love poem for my father. A love poem for the seven maidens with the heads of snakes. Half a life's history.
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