I’d done a free style writing thing yesterday and posted whatever I wrote in ten minutes or so. However, I felt like it was heading somewhere so I continued the piece and came up with this:
Paradoxical Parallel Lines
The sound of the sea kissing the shore splayed in the air. My hands were chilled from the cold, hiding in my pockets as I made my way across the beach. It was a rare place, where the ocean and the frost met and mingled, but where no one else ever did. It had become my place of wandering, deserted and lonely but peaceful and if anything at all, I needed that.
Toes digging into the pastel tinged sand, I made my way towards a few rocks jutting out, cutting the sea with their sharp lines and crevices as if they were right angles dissecting a white page. Reminding me of the math homework laying piled up at home, I sighed. If x were a variable I could solve, I’d be having a much better time with it.
The numbers stood in neat little rows, separated by brackets and addition signs, which looked a language of its own. I just couldn’t speak it. Nor read. I was illiterate in an enforced tongue.
People, on the other hand, I was better with. They were complex and confusing which I liked because when you box things up neatly like a little question answer package in arithmetic, things seem too compartmentalised and rigid. People aren’t meant for that. We’re paradoxes, both logical and emotional; contradicting ourselves so many times we’ve all become knots in the ceaseless string of life.
These were the thoughts that kept me occupied, so much so that my feet weren’t aware that they’d tripped over something until I hit the ground with a dull thud.
“Ouch.” I muttered, elbows propping me up to take a look at what I’d fallen over.
It was a boy. He was dressed oddly, as if from a different time, a different era. Kneeling beside this stranger, I found him knotted up in strands of fishers net and seaweed. Slowly, I untangled it all, having to cut the net with a sharp stone lying nearby. Yet, on looking over to his right, it seemed I didn’t need the stone at all.
There lying a few finger lengths from his hand, was a sword in its sheath. Frowning, I picked it up, unsheathing an inch but the minute I pulled it out, it was as if gravity had congregated to keep it down, hurting my hand.
“Don’t. It’s not for humans.”
Alarmed, I spun around to see that the boy was conscious. Lowering the sword I asked, “What do you mean it’s not for humans?”
“You can’t unsheathe it.” He said, trying to get up but faltered, his knees buckling under his weight. I hesitated about helping him. He seemed so odd that for once, I wished more people were around.
“And you can?”
“Yes.” He grunted, finally getting on his feet.
I frowned. “So…you’re not human?”
Bending down to retrieve the sword, he looked up at me sharply as if it were an insult. “No.”
With that he walked away, resolute and stubborn. Yet, sure. As if he’d come for a purpose.
In that moment, math had seemed more understandable than he.
I never saw him again, though I hadn’t really looked. I just knew that the beach was back to being mine once more, strolling around weeks later. It was better this way but I couldn’t help but be curious. I began to think of the time my teacher had drawn two long chalk lines on the blackboard saying, “These are parallel lines. And no matter how far you extend them, stretch them out to infinity, they will not meet.”
Maybe math is wrong. Maybe sometimes they do.