Veritas

Our entire lives are built on the muddy quicksand of illustrious assumptions that bind us together in this invisible asylum. Veritas, we have written in the wrought-iron gates of our fantasy illusions, christening our lies as the absolute truth that fits like a ball gag, pressing back against our clenched teeth and muffling our unwitting screams as the world whips the mystery from our minds.

These are the impish thoughts flitting through my brain as I walk, placing each foot deliberately heel-to-toe. We believe, I think, in this mystical, magical force that binds us to the ground and the ground to the sun and the chair to the floor and so on. I wonder sometimes if we wrote it all down, wouldn’t we then be considered just a little bit crazy? I believe in magic, like children, except my magic is quantifiable, so we call it science. Science, built upon evidence of things we can see, or claim to see, or believe that, if we make the microscopes strong enough, we will one day be able to see. But I have never seen an atom or smelled a quark; if I believe my empirical senses, then these things cannot be proven, so what does it matter if I say you’re wrong or right or any of the blurring shades between? I believe in microscopic planets that whirl around their nucleic core; I believe we can break these down into smaller and smaller pieces that tend to exist, but just as easily could not. Our entire world is built on the mood of the quarks, on their tendency to exist, but we can’t measure it or quantify it, so what does it matter if you call it gravity and I call it God?

These are the thoughts, hot and searing, that burn through the things I once believed I believed, those things which define and defy Aristotelian logic. We mold the context of our existence in peeling cinderblock walls; we stay inside the lines when we color pictures on the wall. It is a consequence of free will, but I wonder if free will is another comfortable myth. We argue for and we argue against; we say that sin is the evidence of free will and neurons are the evidence against, but we cannot justify why we act as we do. We slide through the slices of ourselves, define the area of our beliefs as a radius from the center. We integrate ad infinitum, until the difference is negligible and we ultimately converge into a single person with a tendency to exist.

These are the places I wander while he drones in absentminded monotone: I contemplate those moments when choice is muffled and your hardened skin pulls stardust to the surface of mine. It’s crass to say sex, and it’s not sex I am thinking of now anyway, but choice and dirtyfilthywords that have no language. Gravity pulls us in and pushes back with equal measure, so when we circle back and collide together, can we blame gravity for the way we push and pull against each other? These minor adjustments in breathing hold the truth on the tip of my tongue and I choke on the beliefs I cannot release while he’s speaking monochromatic words that I should recognize; but all I can see is light reflecting and refracting, sucked in by the white side of a black hole, held hostage by her gravity sucking the stars from the sky.

These are the thoughts that tend to exist, bursting in and out of the ways we define reality and complexity, practicality and abstraction. Language has become obsolete, so the words that do not exist live within a complex plane and we boil down love and sex and prayer to incomplete abstractions. It is like a star’s birth, no; but a gentle yearning- these things and more, but what if the things that tend to make us most real are those things that tend not to exist? The black holes come from the loneliness, a star that pulled too hard without pushing back, holding tight to the glittering darkness and burying its light; we seek that which binds our souls together and unquestioningly step into the earth, believing we will never sink or fly.

 

[Published in The Rhapsodist, 2013]

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