What made Burg imagine he’d come to a stop

Burg had been thinking as he walked of how Jakakason walked (which became how his left foot stepped) and then of how Afamtee, who was deceased, had walked, (which became how his right foot stepped) and this had worked out alright for a while as those two had had rather complimentary gaits: Jakakason having had almost a severe duck walk (according to Adam) and Afametee also with the foot angled out more than the norm but most notably with a sort of pronounced planting of the heel, like the planting of an ice ax or alpenstock, almost as if he were traversing a vertical surface, digging the right heel in and drawing himself forward and upward with it, then digging in the left one to claw himself up.

The problem for Burg was that after having walked for a bit with Jakakason serving as the model for his left step and Afamtee serving as the model for his right, he had the idea of switching the two (so as to even out the wear on his shoes soles) which turned out not to be, as he had initially supposed, a simple matter of doing with the right foot what he had been doing with the left, and vice versa, but required an actual transition or transfer of the idea of the left over to the right and of the idea of the right over to the left (which was something akin, if you can envision it, to a situation in which the actual Jakakason and Afamtee had been asked to switch positions in the back seat of a moving car, clambering over each other in a tight spot, only with the “car”, in this instance, being Burg’s mind); during which transference, the ideas became mixed up, which in turn lead Burg not to trip or to stumble exactly, as he had initially claimed when recounting this, but he did come near enough to losing his balance that he did briefly consider, as a precaution, coming to a complete stop, though in fact he only slowed.

[From a novel never to published or finished, tentatively known as The Beings, in which people walk around within a large gym-like structure, somewhat in each other’s company.]

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