I was sixteen steps and eight seconds away from you.
We had exchanged glances and smiles amid a sea of anonymous faces. I felt the mounting elation in my heart as I walked closer to you; each constantly recalibrating halfway point that I reached signifying the delightful halving of distance between us, thereby bringing me closer, closer to you.
The first midway mark: eight steps and four seconds, before the weariness of the work day that lingered about me dissipated in the presence of your electric soul. The second midpoint: four steps and two seconds, before my lungs expanded with the sweetness of your being. The third middle point that followed: two steps and a second, before the waltzing words from within your throat reverberated in the canal of my eager ear. Subsequently, one step and half a second…
16 8, 8 4, 4 2, 2 1, 1 1/2, 1/2 1/4, 1/4 1/8, 1/8 1/16, 1/16 1/32, 1/32 1/64, … Ad infinitum? I paused for a moment. To continue with the repeated halving of distance would bring me not to you. Rather, it seemed to stretch to an apparent infinity that lay otherwise unspoken and unrealised between us, for the halving of any amount however small – so long it were not zero – would never quite result in the anticipated nothingness that might become of the distance that separated us.
Ruminating, I wondered if I had actually made my way to you that evening. As with you me all the other nights, on hindsight. A manifestation of math in our lives, perhaps? That despite the panoply of human relationships that lay before us, a lacuna would always exist in the geographies of the human heart where the last, infinitesimal space could never be transcended.
I am with you; I am infinitely far away from you.
– Agnes Chew
(let’s go said he
not too far said she
what’s too far said he
where you are said she)
– E. E. Cummings