One day we were obsessed with each other and the next, it felt as if we were strangers.
Everyone said it was because we left that euphoric honeymoon stage. That beautiful moment in every relationship when we are numb to each other’s faults and high off of drama of discovering every bit of each other.
I was utterly transfixed with every particle of your being, swimming in the sea of new love, and eagerly stripping myself bare to expose my true self to you.
But after a while, it didn’t feel that way. I began to notice things I didn’t like about you, question my affection toward you, and felt the growing distance between us. Everyone promised us that was normal, and that we’d get past it. And while I know this to be true of some relationships, I knew it wasn’t the case for us. The drama, euphoria, and desperation in our infant love overlooked a simple yet universal truth: the mathematical tendency of two people finding each other who may not be meant for each other. For us, the answer could not be found in a blur of emotions. The gap between us could be calculated.
You and I are simply traveling perpendicularly.
We met each other, liked each other, and fell in love at great speed. We eagerly tumbled towards each other with the attraction of opposite sides of a magnet. You were the artist and I was the mathematician. I was drawn to your ability to make profound and beautiful conclusions about the world, while you were fascinated in my attempt to convince you that art existed in numbers too. The more we learned about each other, the more quickly we rushed towards each and the more acute the angles of our crossing paths became.
Our obsession with each other picked up so rapidly until the inertia of our lives forced us to collide perfectly perpendicularly. I felt as if I was experiencing perfection in its purest and most precise form. A type of perfection I thought existed only in math. But everything about you felt so essential to my being. The way I felt when you kissed my neck, or made me breakfast, or held my hand. These were things that only meant something coming from you. And I couldn’t find answers for them anywhere. I couldn’t define the moment in which all the components of our being, for just a moment, aligned with an exactness I had never experienced before.
But perpendicular lines extending infinitely will only meet once.
That brief and perfect moment in which I felt so certain about you, left as quickly as it came. When you kissed my neck, it was because you had to. When you made me breakfast, it felt routine. And when you held my hand, it was because I grabbed yours. Those precious moments were only memories as we continued to travel along our original trajectories, repelling each other with the precision that brought us together. We were the other’s negative; the more time we spent together, the more I realized that we were pushing each other away with an exactness and exponential speed that would prevent us from ever meeting again.
I thought you were an exception to my calculative ways. You had proven to me that somehow you lived outside the rules I had abided by. And as frustrating as that may have been, it was also fascinating.
You were a math problem I could not crack.
But I had returned to my mathematical tendency with a broken heart when I found the explanation within a concept so simple, it baffled me. Perpendicularity betrayed me and forced me away from you and I could not fight it. I felt empty realizing the impossibility of ever revisiting that perfect intersection with you.
But then I considered parallel lines. Some people travel along perfectly parallel paths. People who make eye contact on the train but don’t say hi to each other. Those who travel in parallel, may be identical in nature and could be perfectly aligned, but are destined never to meet.
Perpendicularity did not betray me in the end. It may have given me an answer to something I truly did not want an answer for. But it did give me peace. Because regardless of how upsetting the separation may be, at least we were lucky enough to collide in the perfectly catastrophic and utterly intoxicating intersection of perpendicular lines.