THE SIGNIFICANCE OF TEMPORARY INFINITIES

 

A few years ago I read a book that was about a lot of things, but mostly about how some infinities are bigger than other infinities (it was later made into a cheesy film that all the fan-girl teenagers cried during for all the wrong reasons). To be honest I cried during the movie too, but I wasn’t crying because cancer sucks (even though it does) and I wasn’t crying for the doomed star-crossed lovers and I wasn’t even crying when the dude, who wasn’t supposed to die, dropped dead and devastated his family. I was crying, not for myself, or for any other human who undoubtedly has experienced something impossible and shitty and loved and lost any good thing to ever come around. I cried for all of the infinite moments that were shorter than they should have been; for those flashes of clarity, breathes of fresh air, days off, the “best day to happen in a while”, the “off” days (that weren’t really “off” days, but you don’t realize that until they are too far in the past to reach, except for the brief haunting bits of nostalgia), and the beautiful in-between moments that get lost in the organized chaos of it all. None of those fleeting feelings or moments get the time or attention they deserve. Those days, and thoughts, cracked smiles, and rolled eyes, that are significant enough to be infinite, but are gone too soon.

 

Well, I cried for those lost things until I realized everything temporary, all the ephemeral that exists is simultaneously sempiternal and important. Like in the movie I watched more recently, this girl is dying right? But she might not, and what if she doesn’t? So this kid hangs out with her even though the friendship is doomed and, it’s important that he does, and it matters. He makes her happy even if she won’t admit it and accidently makes himself happy in the process, even though he would definitely not admit it, and he makes an impact on this tiny spec of infinity that she is granted. I mean it sucks too. He convinces himself she wont die and you believe him and then she fucking does (obviously) and it’s so sad, it really is, but I didn’t cry after that movie. I laughed and got angry and I loved it and it was more real than it was cheesy and even though the fact that their temporary infinity was gone didn’t make it any less infinite.

 

I know I don’t live in a movie and I’m a terrible actor and I know we aren’t “doomed” and having a crush on someone who lives too far away is more inconvenient than devastating, and that I don’t know anyone at the moment who is dying too young of cancer. But we ARE all dying, and everything will end as quickly or terrifyingly as everything starts, and all those little infinities we try to collect and cling to will be lost or forgotten or fail until the only things left of them will be pits in our stomachs and lumps in our throats and then they will be distant smiles and far off laughs in a few years or ten when we look back. None of those things will feel as infinite as the moments or people they used to be, but they are.

 

So there’s no reason two kids with cancer shouldn’t date and there’s no reason to neglect a friendship just because it’s doomed, and there’s no reason to pretend fantastic humans don’t exist as some sort of logical prevention of disappointment just because they aren’t close to you. Everything we ever do will be for nothing but its so important for us to do it all anyways and to keep creating our sacred little infinities, no matter how tiny or temporary they might seem.

6/20 2015 

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