Fiction

Quantized Enlightenment

They might have lived together in that quiet house in the city outskirts for about a decade, a time in which they might have exchanged about seven meaningful words. Spoken language had lost interest, and most of their basic routines could be solved in delicate and thoroughly practiced gestures. She was a physicist and he was a painter, so both relied mostly on their visual sides to relate with world and to each other; although both felt and silently agreed that visual simply wasn’t enough for the intense love they felt for that person whom they shared a bed with every single day. With time he and she had developed an incredible ability to express their feelings through their touch and looking into each other’s eyes. Sometimes a simple glance sufficed. Sometimes they could stare at each other for hours.

She was studying the dual nature of light, working both as matter and energy, analyzing data from lab experiments performed around the world, projecting those observations on complex theoretical models, pushing her research to be always at fingertips distant of solving once and for all the secrets of light. Almost. He had a whole wall of the high ceiling house completely covered in chalk, charcoal, acrylic, pencil and Comté crayon sketches, all of them variations on the same theme: an impossible geometry he was very close to resolving. Almost. He and she spent most of the time immersed in their respective projects, obsessions of their own, secretly longing for each other’s warmth, occasionally exchanging a glance, acknowledging their natural cling to each other. When the night came, he and she laid in bed with their eyes open, barely able to sleep, knowing a piece was missing, that silence was almost enough. Almost.

One morning, the house was filled with crates. She had requested experimental equipment from research laboratories in Basel and Oregon. Both labs had replicated and tested several of her most advanced theoretical models with special arrays of light sources and particle emitters. Both parcel groups arrived in a fashion that could be described as a delightfully orchestrated choreography. The deliveries happened during that morning, as he was starting the outlines of a gigantic tableau that was to receive his latest attempt at discovering the hidden geometry he had been looking for over the past years. She filled the house with tiny little lights, arranging them in patterns, according to her schematics. He unconsciously copied some of those structures as she was laying them down, one experimental light source and one particle emitter at a time. One brush stroke at a time.

The days passed and she, as he, was stuck in that microscopic slice that separated her project, as his, from completion. The nights passed and sleep remained elusive while the need stood its ground, impossible, unattainable. Almost. It was that day of the week when she traded her secrets with him, and he reciprocated by sharing his passion with hers. That moment in their lifetime when realization strikes like thunder amongst the ocean of muffled words as a silver line of meaning in the reflected horizon of dark still water and night sky. It was expected, one could say natural, that they might have influenced each other in their lines of work, but the fact that both projects could be perfectly complementary achieved the level of brilliance they both needed in their lives. She filled his tableau with the light it needed. He completed the structure her array required to work and the data started making sense. From the moment she activated the array, its subtle humming cloaked the house in silence.

Weeks passed with the lights on, as the special light sources never went dark, broke or fluttered for a second. They nourished them in their sleep and subtly filled and softened the shadows during the day. Intuition and practice helped them develop slight chirping sounds that, in themselves, conveyed in less than a second more significance than all the seven meaningful words they said to each other altogether over the years past. They had so much to catch up on, years lost to meaningless words and futile attempts to overcome an invisible wall that set them apart when being so close. For a few days, the house was musical with chirping sounds bouncing all day from every wall, until, gradually, silence set its seeds through the cracks in the symphony, giving way to the imperceptible hum of the machine. They knew they could do better.

They stopped attending congresses, conferences and other social events that would require speech of any kind. To their ears, verbiage was more of a nuisance than a form of communication. Eventually they stopped leaving the house and started feeding mostly on liquids and photoelectric energy. The array encompassed the whole living space, and there wasn’t a cubic centimeter in it that its modified photons would leave untouched. Their chirping sounds became more seldom, yet more complex. Sometimes a look in the eye or half a smile would suffice to know what was going on. Then, silence followed.

More years passed, and their older bodies faded, happily giving way for their ever-expanding consciousness. Their skin was pale, and they were satisfied. The silence was complete, as they heard each other’s abstract melodies of thought in perfect harmony and precise shift in time and meaning. The night had come and they laid down in bed as they always did, only this time they were to complete the transition.

The morning after their bodies were gone. 
The house was gone. 
The Universe was gone. 
Only a consistent beam of light flooded 
existence. 
Almost.