We met at the portal, as planned. Yes planned, as in we were meant to meet there, approaching as we were from different trajectories. It was a circuitous convergence. We got it done.
The portal itself was a different story. It was bleeding time, in waves and radiation, streams complicated by disruption of the planetary balance. Once it compromised the axis, the only certainty was chaos. We had seen it before, and it was not a good look for a universe with a future.
But since it was Him, it was always something. His heart and mind were too highly attenuated for cosmological existence. The pure concentrated experience serially consumed and confused Him, lost as He was in its swirling vibrations and cathartic releases. After too much time, He couldn’t extricate from its euphoric impermanence. And then time itself suffered.
Which is why we met at the portal, to repair ourselves, and time itself. And why He looked like He was going to die.
I felt the call of her voice too strongly. A siren song from another stream. When I walked out of the wooden shell of our past, I couldn’t get past her imperceptible pull. It wrapped around me, as I peered around to find its weaknesses, but I found none. I found only her warmth, which reminded me how cold the depths of space could become. So I let her capture me, forsaking the existential luck of my kind for the eyeblink curse of hers.
Let my kind find me on their own. My exits wound, so must their entrances. I won’t have it any other way.
Because I have found her force in every stream, even the random chances I sequenced to throw the system into disarray. Somehow, against what was once an immutable precedent, she endured. I don’t have the answer to that question.
So let them find me, lost in the illusion that l’m annihilating the necessary order. Maybe time needs no order. Maybe that is why I find her everywhere. Maybe they were meant to find me, to annihilate us, so that disorder and disarray could create the hole that swallows and resurrects us all.
These things are far from final.
I was above Him now, as he cradled Himself, and tried faintly to remember. But I remember, always. It is I who must always piece Him back together across the expanse that defies meaning, so that flow can be restored.
Once the portal fractures, its fragments belong to the beyond. There’s no turning back, that We know of. Once We are detemporalized, exponology accelerates our erasure and there’s no certainty that anything remotely recognizable will remain for Us. And if He wants to keep Himself, He would do well to remember that, but He never does.
The only thing He does remember is the return. He’s always on time, in time, inhabited by punctual understanding. But He never knows why, until we step into the portal again and He remembers to forget.
But it is His choice, which He also forgets. In our beginning, long before you knew Us, He made the decision willingly, mind afire. “To become a receptacle, and a force,” He spoke likely to Himself, the shining project before Him. “A paradox worth the time and thought.”
[What an anniversary in Berkeley with my girls. Time fused in flow. Pizza at Zachary’s to Pixies and Pinback. Hippies wrote a poem for Sofie, who surfed Cal by scooter. Sat alongside Twain at Doe. Bought Beatles books on a bombed out Telegraph. Now it’s sci-fi by the 360-degree night lights of Oakland and SF. Bridges all around.]
My baby had a bad dream. She said the school was being robbed and she couldn’t get to me. First grade looms large in her mind, the bridge of separation from her childhood with her parents, cocooned around each other in a fortress from the destabilized spheres outside of them. Encroaching, heating, changing everything in a cosmological instant. The eye, blinks, the bloom, the strong standing toward to the sun. In an instant.
But now the parents she was saying farewell to weren’t ready, and neither was she, and the school wasn’t safe anymore. Because it was being robbed, attracting malfeasance thanks to teachers bringing their jewelry with them to work. That’s what adults do, she supposes, but now everyone has to pay for it because here are the robbers and she’s stuck on inside. In the lockdown, as the spheres collapse and the rose browns and reality shadows the doors and windows. And mommy and daddy are outside, stranded, unable to let go, trying to break back through.
The variables begin to spill out of control. Is the threat far enough away that we can reunite and reconnoiter and resolve to never be separated again, no matter the threat? Are they already on the inside, with our daughter and the kids and the teachers and their jewelry? The game theory destroys the narrative and it must begin again to go nowhere.
Because we never should have been here in the first place. Our kids shouldn’t have these dreams of lockdowns and collapses of the universal order. There are safeguards within reach, but we reject them because we know better. Because we’ve been nowhere in the universe, but we are everywhere here. Stuck together, and warming all the wonder we used to love before we were stranded in our mirrors and machinations…