The Object of My Possession

I got on the train in London and instead of sitting in my seat I stood by the dining car with my brown satchel strapped across my back. I was born in a strange place called Beeds. Strange not because of it's appearance, all green pastures and sheep, but because of its reputation in the neighboring towns. A reputation of having the most beautiful young women of age preceded it. I was not one of them. I was solitary, my books were my dearest friends. I did have one friend with golden hair once, but she betrayed me, and it was back to my books I went. These books could not disown or defile me with human agenda, no they were fixed and formed, and imagination was the last ingredient. I knew if a man were to read my favorite book, one about a swan, he would read it in a way inaccessible to me. I was despondent. I walked and hiked the craggy hills and looked for twisted trees to touch with trembling hands. I was a nervous wreck. My father gone, I knew not where, my mother would never tell me. And my mother a stoic, silent woman with no appetite or cause to bake bread or propensity for cheer. I often stood on our back porch stroking my flat stomach and wished for something nourishing that would feed my soul. But it was always the books, it was always the books.

On board the train the world was a blur that didn't matter. My dilemma over how far away to go was quelled by my fury over what had happened. I felt misunderstood and raw. In my twenty-five years of life I hadn't put myself on the line in such a show of bravery for anyone before. To see how quickly the academics picked apart the paper that was the culmination of my samhadi ruined it for me. I knew I had made breakthroughs through years of intense concentration, but they immediately took them for granted, and began using them as basis for their own constructs. I don't view myself as having the complex of narcissus, but that was to be my moment of triumph and it was meant to last longer. In short, I felt sorry for myself and I boarded the train on a whim.

It was so hard for me to be present because my insides were crawling, positively crawling to get out of my body. I wouldn't have been surprised had my thick skin split open, rupturing under the pressure. I pictured thick, fat, leech-like parasites battling it out inside my intestines, sometimes traveling up and down my legs, until one or two had swallowed them all becoming even fatter and juicier. And I knew that food, no matter how clean and pure, was just something to appease the parasites, so I ordered a black tea. No sugar (the parasites grow even more vile on it), no cream (they grow lazy), but rather a slice of acidic lemon. And finally I took a seat in the dining car, because I could not stand endlessly with a hot tea despite the smoothness of modern conveyance. I was past the stage of weeping over what I considered to be the end of one life. I was still alive, but my agenda had been flouted by God, or so it seemed. And who was I to argue with him.

If I had been born a woman to make a man happy I doubt I would have been so crushed. I never had my eye on men, even Sam, who was considered a great catch and the ladies competed over him. Sam for me was just a distraction from what it was I really wanted to do. I wanted to further science and make proofs that no one could refute. My margin of error was becoming smaller and smaller as I honed my equations and patiently recorded the findings. For me all my work was linked together, it had connection, it had a greater meaning. And it was like a detective that I rose every day determined to come closer to a solution, a final remedy that would forever solve the problem so I could rest.

It was the dark man in the silent chamber who told me I had to help him. No, I'm sorry, I misspoke, he politely requested my help, but I felt it was of such importance that I failed to remember it as it was. It was as though his request was made on behalf of the world. It was as though without at least steps toward a solution cataclysmic occurrences would result. It was also a compliment to be asked, because it meant that I had power. When I was eighteen I was allured by power, but then I discovered the parasites and all the rot that clings to it, and I understood the corruptibility. To see men in power we have only to turn on the radiating box that holds them like prisoners. But the women I knew of who were in power were trapped between the pages of the glossies and they were built to adorn the men and make people simper. If I was ever to marry I would be the woman behind the man and he would know it and that was that.

In order for me to be the woman behind the man I had to make the breakthroughs on my own. I couldn't share the most important ones with anyone, because they would have stolen it just by hearing it. Not a soul but myself could have the evidence. I calculated long equations without pen or paper. I was not constrained by computer, nor did I use calculators if I could help it. And in practicing these methodical procedures I found myself friendless. If numbers and qualifiers are considered people then I have many acquaintances. But I was still reeling over how quickly my precautions crumbled when my findings were made public.

The initial steam was gone from my tea. Lukewarm remnants in the bottom of my cup and it was just another reflection of me. I knew there was a tint of grandiosity on the lens I used to analyze my subjects, that coupled with the power of the magnification, became a bigger problem that I originally brushed off and quickly booted under the rug. "You are suffering from egomania," my most outspoken instructor told me. Be that as it may I let it slide. Now I didn't even regret it. I just pursed my lips and maintained my grim facade. The error in judgement came from me thinking I was great at certain points I surmised. It was there that the weakness lay. I resolved to try and never consider myself again and to only look at the work, but it felt like I was overreaching. And so I continued to struggle and mourn the loss of my youth to feckless pursuits.


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