Our personalities are the product of the small adjustments and imperceptible turns we take as our temperaments slap against the jagged edges of reality. Now it was dark, and I could see I was in a big empty universe full of burning things, and hear microscopic dragons tunneling through the wet sand.

The past was a phantom limb, the future a horrendously erroneous projection. How long would it take to swim from here to the Cayman Islands? Meteors scratched the sky, and the sea rumbled like someone else's bad dreams. Watching flying sprays of spume and leftover reservoirs of reflected light, I experienced endless life-changing epiphanies that I forgot immediately afterwards, while within me different dragon species strove for dominance, reconfiguring my chi. Once dragons ruled the world, then we tried to exterminate them, but they just shrank and hid inside us. Our gut is womb to dragon. Then we learned to exterminate them even in our guts — but what honor is there in a dragonless world? I love you Dr. Lu, I wrote with a stick while sand blew in my face like a scaly tongue. Give me something to fight for you. All around me, answers dove from the sky like questions. Give me something to fight you for.