Wednesday, August 12, 2009


In the span between late-night and sunrise, something strange happened in the world. It was almost as if every physical law governing existence and interaction shifted almost imperceptibly; in fact, it was imperceptible, because nobody really noticed. But they had a feeling.

Gravity pulled every object ever-so-slightly more down to the world. Cohesian mechanics relaxed by a thousandth of a degree, and motor vehicles, while still functioning effectively, seemed to be somehow .. off. It was difficult, if not impossible, for anyone to explain; most people, when they realized it, saw it only on the periphery of their conscious mind. To explain it would have been like explaining their rationale in getting spooked when at home alone and having to leave for fear of something terrible happening - their was no rationality to it, no system of logic, no good reason. But they knew something was wrong, and they were compelled to act upon it.

Yet no one thought to do anything about this shift in the world. Nuclear physicists puzzled over what the implications of increased output in their power plants meant, and how it might affect safety guidelines. Airline pilots felt that they were slipping in between clouds, their oily surfaces pouring over the aluminum casting of the great Boeings of the sky instead of penetrating them as they had the day before. Researchers attempting to harness quantum mechanics into computer power suddenly managed to successfully develop 5-bit states that actually worked, and worked flawlessly - for the first time, they were able to predict exactly where a neutron would be in its orbit. This was most troubling to them of all, but it shouldn’t have been - somehow, the most difficult aspect of their profession, uncertainty, had been removed from the equation.

I first noticed it when driving to a coffee shop from the bank in my home town. While rounding the curve of Court Street in between Center and Ballenger, I noticed the frame of my car diverge, each mechanical component expanding ever-so-slightly, my seat growing wider as fuel efficiency fell. I could see the other vehicles on the road diverging, too, although they were each doing so to different degrees. Bizarrely, this seemed to have no impact on their performance aside from a vague drifting to the right or to the left on the road. I began to wonder if maybe my insides were diverging, too.

I decided that they were. My general anxiety during the mornings was removed, and the standard nausea that accompanies the span between wakefulness and a caffeinated state was removed - for the first time in months, I felt as if everything was right in the world upon waking up. This troubles me greatly - for if I believe everything is right in the world, but know that it is not, how can I attempt to address any of those wrongs? I am still not sure. My edge - my precious, desperate, anxiety-riddled edge has gone missing, and I am filled with a grave fear of the consequences. Will I still be able to function? Will I be able to stoke the flames of hatred deep within me so that I might find success? Will the loss of what separates me from other men begin to show in my diffusion into the crowds, into the faceless masses?

I do not know.

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