Friday, August 15, 2003

Among all the vignettes I've written as part of the writing exercises Dean gave us, the one below is by far my favorite. Gives me hope.

Goodbye Genesis

"Well…"

The chamber crackled with luminous green energy, millions of tiny pyrotechnic flashes coruscating in a semi-spiral dance of code. Warren smiled to himself, his heart softening despite his tensed muscles, marveling at the display before him.

"You see, Arumand," he whispered. "Each tiny spark is a galaxy in bloom. If you've ever wondered what it was like to be God, to see what he saw in those seven days of Genesis…"

Arumand shifted in his seat, ambivalent towards Warren's unfinished sentence. He observed the spikes on his monitor, cross-checking each peak with an adjacent read-out panel, looking for incongruous data streams and aberrant wave-shifts. The creation of a new pocket universe did not interest him; all he cared for was the process, how things took shape, how things withered. How things died.

"Detecting microsecond jumps in the chronometrics, Warren," Arumand said blandly. "Do I track them out?"

"No," Warren answered softly, subdued by his fixation. "A chronometric jump will be about ten to fifty thousand years equivalent. We nitpick at one billion. Or five."

Arumand took a brief look at Warren, who was unmistakeably mesmerized by the fruit of a ten-year long crusade he hardly cared for. His mind reached out to Warren's pulse-strobed face, touching its softness, and for a moment he felt he was looking at God. God in the guise of a man he loved.

He cared about the process. How things died.

"Congratulations."

Warren slowly turned to him. "It's not done yet. We celebrate at midnight according to schedule."

Arumand forced a breath. "Can I take a break, then? Five billion won't come around for another twenty-three minutes."

"And where will you go?" Warren's eyes glazed over, the green luminescence catching his sudden concern. Will it be twenty-three, he thought? Or forty-six? Or sixty-nine?

"Seven-Eleven. Gotta get myself a Coke."

"I'll go with you."

"Stay, Warren. You can keep your eye on the progress. I won't take long."

Warren moved slightly to Arumand. "But you need to see this. We need to see this together. Don't you –" He stopped himself, somehow aware
of the answer. Arumand didn't want to see this, Warren concluded.

"I'll be back." Arumand stepped close to Warren, planting a light kiss on his lips and, without hesitation, trudged towards the lab exit, disappearing into the darkness.

Warren watched him as he walked away, like a star welcoming the pull of black holes. He turned back to the spectacle of sparkling green, and thought of creation. Of growth and abundance. Of life spun by his very hands. Of love. He'll be back in twenty-three minutes, Warren assured himself. He'll be back in twenty-three minutes.

That's five billion years.

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