Departments

Nondefinition #33

Sharks. The shark is no pilgrim: half as old as life, streamlined by a million generations bent on the same restless, uncompromised purpose, he has never yet doubted. He has an ancestry but it does not matter. Once hunger met water the shark was inevitable. He is written into the laws of physics between the ratios of buoyancy and the equations of flow and drag. He belongs utterly. When he dies he leaves no bones to protest it. They say that deep enough there is no more up or down, but they should know better. The shark is down. The moment your blood enters the water, you start to fall. In the whole wide ocean there is nothing to catch you. First he smells you; then he hears you; then he sees you; then he feels the current switching in your muscles as you try not to breathe. But you have nothing to be ashamed of. The hunger you feed was not a vain hunger like the lion’s, not a grubby hunger like the worm’s, but perfect hunger: unhurried, impartial, and pure.