In one moment more than half a century of cumulative living condenses into a heartbeat. There is no separation despite the space. Two humans, yards of skin, miles of intestine, feet of clay, a neural net as wide as two lives cast upon the spirit of the times. No need to even touch, though touching it is. Parity and intensity, serendipity and certainty, fear and elation, cellular rejuvenation, something shed and something borne, two things, now one, then something more. A vast divining sigh that constellates the sky, a moment spanning the entire breadth of time. You then I.
I find myself staring at her dresses in the closet, her books on the shelf, her washing in the hamper, her signs of life in every space. I find myself smiling, thinking how well she occupies the emptiness, thinking of the little absences I allowed for so long, thinking of the tiny ways she fits my every day, thinking of the fullness I now feel. I find myself aware for once, as though I’d been witnessing my life through one eye, oblivious of the depth I was missing. I find myself staring at the world, awestruck by its clarity.
Arris looked at the walls around us and said, ‘I bet we could knock one down if we wanted.’ Of course, I said, if it’s sound. She strode to each surface, knocked and listened in turn. ‘Well, they all sound amenable to me.’ Her laughter fell out and furnished the room around me, her dreams and intentions colouring everything. ‘We’ll start from the middle and work our way out,’ she said. ‘Making and shaping space as we need it.’ Knock down whatever you want, I told her, I will build the pillars to keep the roof over our heads.
I feel her hand on my shoulder, incalculable aeons of stardust settling. You should be working, a whisper. ‘I was daydreaming about you,’ I say. Only the day? A solar echo. That seems restrictive. Her laughter spools out, universally intertwining light and sound, gravitational waves and electromagnetism. Every move she makes causes an affect. ‘I wish you were here,’ I say, finding myself laughing. It took so long to parse, with nothing but theory until I’d felt the physics. I reach through space to take our hand and her voice is mine, ‘Even when I’m not there—’ I’m here.
When I think about us I feel more isolated then ever. I see these two lone hands stretching into an abyss, trying of course to grasp each other, so far apart. Sometimes they cling to satellites, clutching until they crush their quarry into orbital debris. Most often they float alone, grazing their surfaces upon that vast satin blackness, reading braille whispers of liveable planets and binary systems that support each other until death, glorious love sick symbioses gasping un petit mort en supernova. When I think about us I think about the horizon and wonder what I’m not seeing.