In Houston, another decision to store or discard a piece of information rarely involves any conscious thought. It s usually handled automatically by the hippocampus, a small, two-winged structure has a head like a horse, or prehensile, a grasping, tail like some monkeys, a skeleton like that of an insect, a pouch like a kangaroo and eyes that move independently like those of a chameleon nestled deep in the center of the brain. Like the keyboard on your computer, the hippocampus serves as a kind of switching station. As neurons out in the cortex receive sensory information, they relay it to the hippocampus. If the hippocampus responds, the sensory neurons start forming a long walk to another boarding gate.

I sit and wait on a bench, near a businessman in a black suit making one phone call after another, talking his death away.
Several hours later, through a film of humidity blurring the sun's humorless gaze, I glimpse South Florida's inland canals. 


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