Cartesian slumber

—I read Descartes’ Meditations last night, I read it twice, I hardly slept, having dreamed of my paternal grandmother and how she used to tell me, after my mother died and my father abandoned me at the old woman’s doorstep, she used to tell me that I was a special child to her but that the world was complicated and the quake had changed everything and I probably wouldn’t ever seem too special to anyone else but her.

But don’t be upset, she said. It happens to us all. This is what it means to be human.

Then she would hug me and look at me with her milky irises and she’d say, My child, I am blind, and even I can see how special you are, and that is all you need to know.

I woke up and looked over at the desk and I knew at that moment that I both hated and loved Descartes, and I didn’t know why.

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