The Equation

Something changes part way through the equation.

I can’t figure it out. From this to that and then backwards: forever again. The numbers, letters and symbols that swim in and out of my mind’s eye only make sense up to a point, and then…


It doesn’t make sense; it is the only thing that makes sense. It is the only answer that seems appropriate, and yet, for a man like me to suggest it is so utterly inappropriate that I should never dare to speak the word aloud. So, instead, I will bury my confession here: amongst the pages of my journal like some sordid confession of sexual iniquity.

I have thought of little other than the equation these past months. It has haunted my dreams and, more so, those hours where I simply lay there unable to sleep or to dream, because the very weight of my ideas presses down on me like a jumbled weight of valves, and tubes and motors.

From this to that and backwards: forever again. I can’t figure it out. The numbers and letters and symbols that swim in and out of my mind’s eye only make sense up to a point, and then…

That great academic mewling of scientists, that “rhubarb rhubarb” from which choice words and phrases nonetheless come slipping through like eels. Words like wave and theory and particle. Graph paper and arrows in red ink that are pointing right at me, accusing me of blasphemy, preparing me to be crucified for my unwillingness to fall into line alongside my mentors and contemporaries who shuffle ever forward in life’s eternal lunch queue.

I find myself amongst them and hold out my hands like a cup to catch my dreams as they are served from a stainless steel ladle held in the iron grip of a stainless steel lunch lady.

Something changes part way through the equation and I can’t figure out what it is. Worse still is the fact that everybody else is oblivious to it… this great blinding omission that hangs over us like the sun. It is woven into everything that we know and understand about the world. This truth, this lie, this…


It has to be magic. I ruminate on the word and open a few old books. I find only ever more irrelevant questions. I find myself staring at an old map of a country I don’t recognise before I realise the map is upside down. I right the map and the cities and roads settle into their familiar locations. I see the river Char.

The map is no longer an enigma, but it is of no use to me. It is a distraction, just like everything else. Like traffic lights and street signs and the smell of coffee and the taste of blood and smoke that rises from chimney stacks like Tiamat.

Listen to me: this is important. Perhaps I will never understand and one day you will find these journals stuffed away in an old trunk somewhere, in a dusty attic, in some future world. You will, at first, be inclined to dismiss these ravings as nothing more than the affectations of a madman on a decline into absurdity, a mad scientist, a mind no longer capable of reconciling the various thoughts and images and ideas that it contains.

Whosoever reads these words: no matter the form in which they reach you, I implore you to listen. For what I am about to tell you is a truth wrapped in time, a whisper that precedes the wind.

Something changes part way through the equation.

The explanation?

It’s magic.