curve

Rebecca--(Laughing) You only think its about math, Mr Dennet. You see the top of this curve? At zero. Imagine a little child, an infant balanced on top. A few weeks premature, waving his spindly fetal legs in the air, his face blowing up with red like a pinprick about to burst. Don’t feel too sorry for him, though,because despite the big sweeping line underneath him, he’s incredibly excited. Sure, he’s not really had the time to know any sensation besides excitement, but all the same. He’s preparing himself for the best ride of his life.

Dennett—(looking dubious) What?!

R—Oh. Yup. We’re wandering into dangerously analogical territory, especially for a math teacher. But you should try to listen Mr. Dennett. (pause) To be honest, I enjoy seeing you wince.

D—That explains a lot.

R—You do it all the time anyways, its not my fault, Mr. Dennett.

D—Be glad we’re not in school.

R—Or you’d what?

D—sighs

R—(laughs) So this baby.

D—The logarithm baby.

R—This baby lies plopped like a giant straw Christmas angel on top of your logarithmic curve. There’s a whole queue of snarling babes behind him, and the closest is beginning to cry himself. Our Edward doesn’t have much time.

D—Edward?

R—Edward. He has violet eyes, pink cheeks and a hole in his ventricular septum, poort thing.

D—That’s specific.

R—That’s beside the point. Who cares what he looks like now? Its all going to change in a few year, he’ll get a mole on his nose and his heart will close up. But right now the baby behind him is getting antsy—he wants his turn, and doesn’t take well to waiting. Out shoots a foot, all shiny with uterus

D—That’s disgusting

R--…Uterus and uterus sac (whatever you call it). WHOOSH! Baby Edward starts tipping over the edge, reeaaaally slowly at first, almost imperceptibly. But he’s already gone whoosh, and inevitability takes control.

D—And gravity?

R—You should lighten up. Gravity couldn’t stop this even if it went in reverse. It’s inevitable Mr. Dennett.

D—His life, like you said.

R—Unfortunately, yes. Now he’s aged a minute. A minute thrust out of his mother’s belly by the unborn horde, and the logarithmic slope will have its way.

D—(Laughing) Dramatic—

R—Every each minute he’s traveling faster and faster. From his vantage point the slope is more like a straight line. He might as well be falling through thin air, weightless and free. If he feels the line under his feet even for an instant, its more like an amusing curiosity. Another strange wind whipping at his face. Sounds, smells, the love of his mother take him up, absorb him as he frantically sucks at the air. You know, hardly anyone remembers this point in their life, because it goes by so fast, even while every second lasts forever. There’s no time to think on what happens, or to even believe in thinking. You are the scenery.

D—(Laughing) A brilliant primer to childhood.

R—Do you think so? (shrugs) Whatever keeps you going, Mr. Dennett.

D—I wasn't going there in the first place--this is your imagination. I'm only trying to teach you math, miss Rebecca.

R—Of course you are.

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