Above and beyond


Have two years really gone by, my love? When I think of us together it seems like five minutes ago and another time zone at once, as if I’m watching a live television broadcast from the medieval era.

I look through a telescope in search of you, but all I see is flickering lights. Are they anomalies of bitter heat in the cold, or is the night sky a cloak for the terrible brightness? Is it love distorting the view, or madness? Is there any discernible difference?

There is a school of thought that says that once you’ve taken your last breath and your consciousness fizzles out, it’s as if you never existed.

I have an infinitesimal problem with that.

Because if that’s true then my most cherished memories, those moments when you and I occupied our own little private speck of the universe, are illusory and void. They revolve around a mythical being who was never there.

Can that be true? The others who remember you, who sometimes talk about you so vividly that for a moment you seem to flicker back to life – are those memories sheer fantasy?

And our children – did they spring from a non-existent tear in the fabric, and when I tell them stories about you are they really remembering, or just nodding in time to the despair of a mad robot?

And the sea we crossed so many times, our fates entwined as the waves rocked the ship – was that only a mirage?

And the stars we gazed up at together – mere miserable specks of dirt on my retina?

And the pain I feel, like black holes pulling at my limbs – is it just the twitching of my synapses, infected by a parasitic dream?

No, you are here, somewhere close by and impenetrable all at once. If the cosmos exists, you must be in it, or it ceases to make sense. Perhaps as a daffodil on a riverbank, or an ant colony in the Sahara, or a dragon-goddess prowling a blazing moon in Alpha Centauri. Yet you chose to spend this fragment of your existence with me, in this obscure damp corner of eternity. That, when I think about it, feels like the most sublime wonder in the universe.

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