The universe operates on a misapprehension known as the Equivalency Paradox. All systems in our universe tend toward balance, yet balance can never be achieved. Something must be always out of whack. Like how Galileo noted that a pendulum’s swing lasted a consistent amount of time no matter how wide its arc. Then the clock was invented and time became a regulation. Then railroads, then medicine began extending our life span. Then you and me. I can measure every single thing about the physical world, categorize and theorize about the way things work, but you are and will forever be a mystery to me. Something shimmering that rose to the surface, mesmerized me, and evaporated back into an ether. The Equivalency Paradox implies that for everything you took from me, I will get back too much. My arc, consistently timed, will push me outward in a complete and opposite direction. That you left me with nothing means you’ve given me more than I could ever imagine.
Reflections are imperfect representations of the real. To see yourself backwards offers little in the way of self-awareness. In cinema, someone who casts a reflection is of two minds or has a hidden agenda. You’ll never know who you really are until you see yourself in someone else’s eye. Even this can’t reveal what you are capable of. Even what you’ve already done. I believe that my mirror self knows a way he can still love you. I believe he is still with you. I know there are infinitely many chances for happiness and that you are but one. The universe expands outward in all directions. There are an infinite number of choices made every day that draw us together, keep us apart, but somewhere, the choices we did not make—even you—linger out there in someone’s eye, watching us watch them.
Symmetry is a closed system, unlike the wave or time. What begins also ends, clearly and firmly, as it began. All creatures of this earth possess one of two kinds of symmetry. Radially symmetrical beings can be sliced across their length at an infinite number of points while maintaining a perfectly equal division. Humans are bilaterally symmetrical, meaning we cut one way: down the middle. A scissoring. Some philosophers believe our inner essence is symmetry waiting to happen, that we are halfway whole. The system inside of us, aphysical in nature, can never be measured. But you know when it’s whole, don’t you. You have a pretty fucking good idea when that part of you inside suddenly doubles. Becomes an even number. And then again when it’s trimmed away. Toward the odd. We drift apart, try to grow again. A starfish regenerates its missing arms like this. It must—its entire concept of the universe is plugged into a base-5 system.
A wave is a repetition you can measure infinitely long in either direction. But time is measured backwards, only by what has passed. We anticipate that time is a repetitive system like the wave, that each minute ahead of us will be equal in length to the minutes we’ve lived, but there is only probability of this. It seems certain when you consider rt = d. This means space and time have an equivalency. Since the universe is infinitely large, time must therefore be endless. And time has existed as long as space as existed. I am very thankful to time and to waves for never stopping. Imagine what could be, what moment you might be trapped in. Out of all of them, chances are the moment would likely be a painful one. Instead of a series of painful ones.
I want to remember us like this: in love, on a beach, our arms connecting to the same body. Every day the past grows more and more hazy. It’s harder to remember you, all of you—just bits and pieces stay behind. But I’ll always have the kiss. The funny thing about loving you is that it can only end in losing you: either you leave, or I leave, or one of us dies. I have been left, discarded, tossed away by so many lovers that there’s clearly a foregone conclusion to reach when I try to love another man. In dating we are destined to be disappointed. The true thing happens only once. Why does this need persist? To attempt again the tired first-conversations and first kisses unlike yours. That inevitable result: loss. I read somewhere yesterday: insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
Imagine each chair represents a person in the world who is thinking of you this very minute. What a bold testament this is to your likeability, how much potential for love exists in the world you inhabit. It comes at you from all directions. If you have been loved, your probability of being loved again increases exponentially. Love makes you anti-immune. You become more susceptible to it the more it infects you. This is true for all people, and so now we say the luckiest people are also, generally speaking, the sickest.
for Gina Franco
This is not an emergency. This is not a test. When I walk along the shore to hear the waves crash, it triggers some kind of alarm nevertheless. Yesterday I stood in the dishsoap aisle of the dirtiest Kmart in the United States. I was wrapped in the smell of that apartment and it rang the alarm. The quiet of the hotel room at night rings the alarm. The empty plate of room service food left outside the door triggers that alarm. To travel alone is to see the world as it if were in a heightened state of alert. A code orange. When I realized they weren’t rushing to save me, it occurred to me then, for the first time, that I actually was in very real danger. There is more to say——too much to squeeze into this mere note. Have you been able to read what I never said?