The other side of i

We sail the seas and fly the skies and drive up and down all the roads, but the deepest caves, the cleverest caverns, cannot take us to the underground, tell us what goes on in that inner realm, however it happens . . . or whether, at the genetic center of the self, in pure birth earth, there is no need for action and all is over and nothing's begun: because we're in that fabled place where compacts of conclusion coalesce like veins of coal, compressed past the thought of further futures and consequently beyond each form of the past . . . -- that's what we really don't know and maybe motivates my burrowing -- if there's a bottom nature, and just what's what where the well ends, when we pass beneath its water, when we actually enter 'in' and find ourselves in front of n and on the other side of i.

The Tunnel, William Gass