A long-time resident of the retirement home, Mr. Fenton, shared one of the letters I’d read to him with his daughter when she visited. That’s really how all the letters started. Sometimes they want you to write whatever you tell them, but most of the time, they don’t remember from one week to the next what they told you, so you start over. Rarely do the stories go together.
Along the way, you get to know them, as best as you can get to know someone who forgets who they are. To jog his memory, I’d habitually began reading what he’d created the week prior. It not only failed to jog his memory, but seemed to work quite the opposite, and he would begin telling me another story about his life, that couldn’t possibly have related to the prior.
In any case, they were all about women. He was twice widowed, and of four children, only a daughter in her sixties was still alive. I had an idea to write him a love letter one week, from his first wife, because of all the women whose names he referenced, it was hers that came up the most often.
I only share this, so you understand the birth order of my writing. The only reason I continued doing it, is because from week to week, he forgot every story he told me, but when the love letters rolled in, he remembered how each one ended, and each week we met, he asked what ‘she’ wrote next.
Mr. Fenton taught me that love is a sort of quantum theory, and that among my self-directed desires to fold my energy into space and melt it into time, I’d glossed over one crucial factor. The approach.
I don’t know if love has an approach, but if I were a cosmologist, I think a bottom-up approach is what might be needed. Within the universe that is us, and without the universe that still lays before us to discover, we are a summary thesis with three-hundred sixty never-ending degrees.
Actually, I am a cosmologist, and so are you. We just forget who we are sometimes, and how super-symmetrical life is because everything filtered through our senses tends to appear as angles of prismatic asymmetry.
Mr. Fenton, his first wife (I imagine), his daughter and his nurses all reach the end of the letters and treat the closures as a signal to laugh or cry, but the beauty is that it’s because we are all truly on the same page.
With Mr. Fenton’s passing, I found myself in possible disagreement with a portion of Mr. Aquinas’s theory on Natural Law. Mainly because I’ve been witness to how the nature of love has not received orders to end, at least not by the same creator he credits for our existence.
Very little in nature remains natural, but of what exists, it doesn’t make sense to me to treat love like wheat, and separate it from the chaff, nor does it make sense that love should selectively feed us and then leave us to starve. All orders for endings and beginnings were placed before physics identified itself as a science. We arguably manipulate on and off buttons to convince ourselves we’ve actually been granted the power to override light and dark. But matters such as these are particles out of our control.
When we write, it is almost always an attempt to prove Newton wrong, through releasing the gravitational force of our thoughts elsewhere in the galaxy; and when we read aloud to one another, we speak the language of the alien, the ancestor, and the creator all at once.
So my loving you shouldn’t ever be a surprise, nor should it be questionable. We must continue writing, especially when we realize it’s ourselves hanging on for dear life to those on and off switches. Eventually, we must also read aloud to one another because the dissertation is part of the three-hundred sixty degrees.
Reading aloud to someone who forgot about the switch was a blessing. Mr. Fenton reminded me that on and off were not prerequisites for living in peace and walking in love. It wasn’t man’s unnatural medicine that lit him from the inside. It was natural 26-dimensional love that strung his memory and hope back together.