Breaking up follows some basic mathematical rules, an underlying principle of numbers. Half of
your friends and the pain of separation times two. Custody of children, if you have them,
is expressed with complicated equations that include time, money and feelings.

Breaking up, you see, is all about the math.
She does the math when he comes home too late and with lipstick on his sleeve that is not hers
and he does the math when she has an appointment that requires her to shave her legs and use
her most expensive perfume. Three is one too many and one all alone in the world is not quite enough.
The time a spouse looks at others is greater than the time reserved for looking at the significant other.
If that condition is met, it's time to start dividing what was ours into mine and yours. Some fractions
do the trick here, usually, but sometimes it's subtraction.

Then follows a definition. The old constants our and we are invalid and must be replaced by mine
and I. It's difficult and may require trials or simulations but in the end the numbers fall into their
new places accurately, if not tidy.

Looking at the whole calculation, one might be tempted to search for errors. If anywhere, they most
likely occurred somewhere at the beginning, and this is where we look.

Basically, we find an equation that expresses exponential growth, growth of joy and happiness and
expectations. It is when that growth stagnates that one of two parameters starts looking wrong and
one begins to wonder why it was chosen for such a delicate calculation in the first place. This is where
the fault is put.

The possibility that some minor constants somewhere in the middle, such as time, or love or patience,
may have been carelessly used or disregarded appears too improbable, too far-fetched, and is therefore overlooked.

Yet, that error we encountered in prior calculations cannot keep us from working the numbers in
our heads again, hoping that the next time, we'll get it right.

Alexandra Seidel writes both prose and poetry and she likes things that don't seem to go well together but do.
She would give you an example but that wouldn't be any fun, would it? Her work has appeared in the Bottom Of
The World magazine, 34thParallel, Zygote In My Coffes, Nights And Weekends and is forthcoming in  Word Riot.

I often find that I center my prose pieces around two characters and their relationship, whatever that relationship may turn out to be. In  Equation , the focus is less on any one character, obviously, as the story doesn't really have a well-defined character. Instead, a relationship and the ultimate betrayal of said relationship is portrayed as something that can be measured, calculated and expressed by logic.

I think that the attempt to distance oneself from one's feelings and emotions is something most of us do at some point in our lives. In this context, logic and math certainly appeal to the western mindset and our environment that is often ruled by logic.




Copyright 2009