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Chapter 32

The Otoyk Central Market is a place where a great deal of creatures pass from life into death.  You see them swimming around, breathing their last breaths, their scales shiny and twinkling.

And then you see them, often in pieces, lying about on broad metallic tables.  The carcasses are preserved, I suppose, in various ways for various dishes and uses.  I saw a man carting away some great skeleton, knotted still with bits of sinew and flesh.  A few scaly cousins watched on from a small plastic box, breathing their last breaths of sea water. 

Really, the market is not a morbid place.  As men and women are bustling about in plastic boots and skirts, or warming themselves in front of fat outdoor heaters, or passing a box of preserved fish from some distant world, the smiles are unstoppable, the laughter bright.

I arrived this morning in the market from the space above, where huge carriers careen by lonely human beings at high speed.  I made my way down to the market then, between towers reaching up to the sky, silver steel, pale glass, stone tiles.  Drifting down closer and closer to the surface.

In the market, there is something about the rainbow puddles on the long concrete floor, and the look of fish eyes, blankly staring from disembodied skulls; there is something that clears my cloudy mind.

And I settled again on the surface here in my ancient neighborhood, among wooden houses with heavy black roofs.   I came down from the grey sky of the morning, so unexpectedly cloudy compared to yesterday's cloudless day.

No amount of pondering can prepare oneself for an abrupt change in weather.  The heavens swirl.  Like a fish still in the sea, or a box, I am foolish to think I can choose one sky or another.