the nematode is a perfect swimmer, i heard a scientist say that
in one of the youtube videos i was watching. robotics teams use the nematode’s movements as a model.
the nematode was the first multicellular organism to have its genome sequenced. i know that’s supposed to be a good thing for us, an interesting thing for us, but it’s a comfort to know they’re unaware of it.
i watched a video on a nematode who couldn’t swim right — its serotonin signaling pathway was impaired. it couldn’t perform its alternating c-shaped body motion. it also prevents the inhibitions that stop the worm from performing certain behaviors in water — foraging, eating, shitting.
the nematode’s whole locomotion is actually dopaminergic based, like ours. and when their dopamine neurons are destroyed, they can’t transition between gaits, they can’t go from crawling to swimming and swimming to crawling. like people with parkinson’s.
after i read bluets in the dead of winter (my already bad season, always on a j-shaped curve for how bad it can get), all i could think about was drowning. the peace of realizing it’s time to stop fighting it, being enveloped in all that blue, my already favorite color, looking up, seeing the sun shining through, sinking.
i remember reading the awakening in ap english; i remember i loved the ending.
there were a few summers where i became a very nervous swimmer. my mom remarked how i had “lost my confidence” in the ocean and she “didn’t know where it came from.” the same summer or maybe the one after, i was in the ocean in the outer banks with a tropical storm a few days away and got caught in the surf. i kept getting tumbled, doing somersaults under water until i quit fighting it, eventually rolling out in a break. i remember the peace of realizing i needed to stop swimming.