One year. 100 articles. So we're having a Reader's Party. Come along to Upsidecrown.
The Limits of Melissa Joan Hart
23 November 2000
This following piece taken from the electronic journals of Professor Patric (no relation), extracted with difficulty from the charred remains of his laboratory.
I believe I may have exceeded even my own expectations. Let me explain.
Of late, function has not been complete. Sleep has been lost, thoughts derailed and, in the end, the cause can be clearly attributed to acute nostalgia. The one who was as bright as you were. The one it ended badly with. The one you thought about at once when thirty years of marriage ended, even though you hadn't seen her in a single one of those years.
Now, we are not slaves to our emotions. We are not forced to follow the urgings of dull sensibility, to charge across a plain driven by no more rational goad than the desire to be on the other side.
We are men of science. Faced by a problem, we analyse, dissect and respond. Every question has an answer, every problem a solution. The challenge is only to isolate the latter, then discover the former.
The question, in this instance, was clear - the creature itself, and the feelings engendered. The quest for an answer was, however, more complex than even I had anticipated. The speed with which conventional moods of investigation were exhausted surprised me. Science was powerless to explain. I hate that.
So, a fresh approach was clearly required. I turned to friends in the medical profession; I had cell scrapings, spinal fluid analysis, electroencephalogram after electroencephalogram. I went to doctors for extensive check-ups, pulse and heart rate checks and lung efficiency analysis, when thinking of and when studiously not thinking of.
Nothing arose from these investigations, barring a feeling of faintness and the uncomfortable awareness of being fifteen pounds of assorted liquid and solid material lighter. I must confess to a black spell after this failure, and the resultant series of experiments with alcohol and minor property crime have been excised from my papers as entirely unproductive.
Although themselves pointless, these "lost weekends" ultimately showed me the way. While drunk, depressed, and indulging in some recreational self-mutilation, I idly attempted to formulate an equation describing the relationship between the flow of blood from my upper arm, the weight and thus rate of descent of the agglomerated blood, and the increasing viscosity of the liquid pouring into the system. Regrettably, in my inebriated state I was unable to realise that dabbing a finger into the wound and scrawling calculations on the bathroom mirror invalidated the entire process.
I awoke the next day in the bathtub, with a stinking hangover and a ruined shirt. However, while opening the cabinet on which the mirror was mounted, in search of a little gauze and a bandage, I happened to see the scrawled, incoherent mathematics reflected in my shaving mirror, a view provided only by the angle of the half-open cabinet door.
Some element of this - the picture of blood speaking backwards to blood - sparked an association in my mind, and sent me back to my study with new hope. Conventional scientific methods had failed me; instead, I employed animal sacrifice, chaos thermodynamics and notionally lethal quantities of psychedelic chemicals. These led with surprising speed to a conclusion.
The theory of the Big Bang is no doubt familiar to all who read this, even those coming to this thesis from other disciplines. The corresponding notion of the "Big Crunch" is a little more obscure. Briefly, it states that, when the explosive force of the Big Bang, which still drives the borders of our universe forever outwards, runs out, the entirety of creation will begin to collapse in on itself. This process will compact not only space, but time, which will run backwards to the beginning of eternity.
Mere speculation, of course, but possible justifications exist in the cases of tachyons and ex-lovers, if the existence of either can be actively verified. Find the key to one, and you have the key to all three.
Again, I am running ahead of myself. To return to the Big Crunch. Common representations of this phenomenon have suffered from a basically linear approach to time; the unspooling and respooling of creation seen as extending in two directions from a single point - "the end of history".
This is of course nonsense. By definition, time running backwards will occupy the same space as time running forwards, but moving in a different direction. Otherwise, on a spatial equivalency, how could cars crash? The apocalypse does not modulate in a polite oscillation from something to nothing; cosmic crasis combines every moment as it passes and returns.
To return to our car crash, one might observe that an automobile looks very different when coming towards you from its appearance as it drives away. The motion of objects in space relative to the observer affects how those objects are perceived. The same applies to the motion of objects in time.
In this experiment, I will demonstrate that the single, heart-stopping ex-lover is in every case simply our own selves, travelling backwards through time towards the total compaction of matter. We perceive ourselves and are perceived by ourselves as different only due to the distorting effects of four-dimensional inversion. Circumstantial evidence already supports this contention. Why do we adopt their tastes only after they have left, claiming that we never took the time to appreciate them? Because our response is foregone and foretold - we cannot fail to experience these things in the future, because, in a sense, we already have. Despite feeling the most perfect affection, we are inevitably unable to make it work, because we are not yet the person who could hope to do so. How do you build a future with the future?
At present, this is only a thesis and, depending on your viewpoint, a very depressing one. On the one hand, the failure of this formative relationship was ultimately unavoidable, which is to say not you fault. However, the most important human contact you have ever experienced was, to all intents and purposes, masturbation. I am largely unconcerned with the psychological or ethical implications. The physics of attraction is the key here.
This journal has been begun because I believe myself to have discovered a means to verify my belief. By employing high-level theoretical mathematics and the by-now-obligatory blood sacrifice, I hope to be able to reverse in a localised area the distorting effects of temporal inversion. In effect, to unite myself with my other self in a moment of true comprehension.
At this point the file becomes corrupted, and has so far resisted all attempts to decipher it. Emergency teams subdued the blaze and found two charred corpses, each with several vital organs missing, both badly burned but recognisable as Professor Patric. They appeared to have been attempting to murder each other when struck by a burning beam.
Temporal degradation began shortly after this last journal entry. Please do not be disturbed by any unusual experiences. Please remain within your homes -do not open the door for anyone. We are working to protect you.