The Valley, 1989
The Valley (Page 7)
by William Burroughs
the precise limitations of needs. The fish, the grifa, the nettles, the ants, the lizards and the snakes, the moss from the edge of the cliffs, the birds, everything is precisely doled out. Those who are working on instruments take precedence and are allotted extra rations. Sometimes a Corner will spend years on an instrument, preparing a single song.
How else do we occupy our time? Everyday we must plan for the food of the day. This involves elaborate calculations: counting the fish, the number of moon-corn plants, the nettles, the moss. A miscalculation could mean starvation and the extinction of our line. We must believe that our line is precious, and that it must be maintained.
Often the word comes: "No food today." or there may be just a meager allottment of boiled nettles.