It is easy to become one of the people who live in boats. You can actually make the decision yourself—all you need is a boat and a body of water, unless you want to be one of the people who live in boats in their driveways, which is certainly the less attractive option. There are many rules having to do with living in boats. The people who live in boats must not know how to swim; otherwise, there is a danger that one evening, looking down deeply into the black mirror shimmering against the side of their permanent residence, they might realize it looks like the dream they have been trying to get inside of for years, they might imagine it the slowly opening bloom they have held their breath waiting to smell. The people who live in boats must have to winnow their possessions. The people who live in boats perhaps did not have that many possessions to begin with—knowing that they were the sort of people who would end up living on boats, they steered clear of the bookcases, the porcelain figurines, the baseballs in their clear glass cases. The people who live in boats must love whiskey, hate taxidermy, feel largely indifferent towards types of lighting fixtures. The people who live in boats must have ears that look blue in the moonlight, and if you embrace one of them, your shirt must come away feeling damp. The people who live in boats are all around us. If you were to live in a boat, you would wake up one morning and realize that the skin on your face was slowly turning a slick, cool gray. No one would be able to tell from behind. But in profile, it would be quite obvious: the translucency, the minnowing, the eye with the inner lid. There is a river in New Zealand that was just granted the same legal rights as a human being; the tribe that fought for its human recognition believes strongly that it is one of their ancestors. We can trace our genealogy to the origins of the universe, says the lead negotiator for the tribe. And therefore rather than us being masters of the natural world, we are part of it. The people who live in boats must become familiar with the blurry boundary between kin and predator. The people who live in boats must travel far but stay in the same sphere. The people who live in boats must curl up every night in their gently rocking beds and, growing silently bigger in sleep, dream the globe alive.