Thursday, December 27, 2012

City on a Hill (Keely and Steven in the park)

      She let her hands drop and as she opens her eyes notices distinctly the light atop Klickat hill flashing on, then off, on and off, on... It seems reassuring to her, its cyclic duty evoking a kind of eternity. The longevity of the thing briefly puts her problems into perspective, renders the search for Jeff less urgent. The red not bloody or passionate or evil but existing without any symbolic connection. A lone object bereft of significance. As Keely turns she sees, for the first time, his face in the light. It is truly sad, with dark halfmoon eyes and delicate lips which appear partially feminine. The coarse hooded pullover and dark courdoroys he wears are, to Keely, exotic and mature. It takes time for his question to sink into her, to weave its way through her and make its mark, but when it does she realizes how natural it is. How many times she has thought this without really thinking it. The exhaustion, the tedium. 'Tired of being human' as if there is anything else to be, as if being human is a temporary state, a minor inconvenience. She could put this off as a joke, a slip of the tongue (tired? glad you mean?) insanity, and yet it fits. It fits well. Maybe she has never put this into the same words but has tiptoed around the edge of it, brief thoughts that skirt the edges yet never dare to dive in. To admit it. Anyways we can be shamed in our own thoughts can't we? Some two voices in opposition, even our own deep desires ridiculed by some jaded cruel part of ourselves. And the thought runs through her now, releasing locks, flipping long staid switches, opening doors with the two of them staring at each other now as the mist blows and swirls between, it's as if she has been ruminating on this thought for years, as if it has been a common thing, a defining stream within her.
-You know...
The grass lays down in little waves around their feet. He is totally unmoving and only a few feet away but he could be at the point furthest from her in the universe or within her body for all she can tell. And she looks down and sees she is holding her own hands, tightly, weaving them slowly and she feels she has to relax, and she releases her hands.
-I am tired. I do get that.
      It was strange, she noticed after the fact, how at some point they ended up sitting on a pair of swings next to each other. Though when exactly the move occurred she could not place. It was as if they moved without thinking, moved without moving even. At one point they were standing there, and later they were on the swings and yet there was no in between, two definite states with no intermediate.
     -I try to explain it to people sometimes and they say it sounds depressing but, i don't know for me it is always a good feeling. Like I am looking forward to something. He says
     -Exactly. a sort of happiness that the mundanity of everything, the endless grind of life is just a temporary state that, someday things will change.
    -Hmmm, yeah. He doesn't laugh but she can tell that this amuses him, his eyes smile.
    -It's a nice feeling to have I guess. And as she says this a small sadness blooms within her
    -I think there's something to it though.
    -How do you mean?
    -I don't know, this is something I've been interested in for a long time. Since I was a kid I've thought about this, I've wanted to figure out where this feeling comes from. And I think I'm getting there. I'm figuring out things about this...sort of...what we are outside of our bodies, you know?
    -I guess i don't know, really. I just always let it be. Let the feeling float away. How are you doing this, what do you do?
    -Well I studied math in school and I took a few years off and did a few things you know and I learned about a professor here that was a pretty famous mathematician back in the day and then he just dropped everything and started writing these books that sort of deal with my interests. So i came here to Westham and I wanted to study under him but...
    -I got here and it turns out he doesn't take students anymore, he just sits in this basement office all day, door locked, comes out once or twice a day to make some tea or ramen. Not a very friendly fellow. I've tried to talk to him but he just blows me off, pretends like I'm not even there. But I've been finding things out. It's been slow but I'm making progress without him, I think. He studied this branch of math called basic analysis. It's really interesting, revolutionary stuff. You know most people think numbers are the basic elements of arithmetic but they aren't. This guy discovered that you can split numbers apart and play with the little pieces, the elements that make up numbers. And some really strange things happen, like things that have never been seen in math before but which have strange correlates in other systems. He calls them fundamentals. It's hard to put your finger on them, sort of like...have you seen it? This illusion with the grid of dark squares on a white field where you can see the grey circles, but only when you aren't looking directly at them. That's what these things are like. They sort of flow and shift, can be in two places at once. He talks about them having like...personalities. Not very many people know about this stuff, and the ones that do generally hate it.
     -Why...Hate it why?
He shakes his head a little, pauses to think.
    -You have to accept some things as true which you can't prove really, it takes I guess, but once you accept these things its all works out, it all fits together.

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