The Physics of Love

Seth Chambers

© Copyright 2007 by Seth Chambers


Chaos theory, Paul thought, observing other single men flit about the room trying, mostly without success, to break the cohesive force of clustered women.  Electrons attempting to bombard the nucleus.  He sat at the bar and let the dramas play out before him.  Couples, groups, lone men.  Butterfly effect, he thought with a laugh.  A blonde flutters her eyelashes from across the room and a hurricane of lecherous thoughts storm through my head.

He caught sight of Aaron, a friend from work, chatting up a pretty Asian woman.  Aaron looked up, saw Paul, and moved away from the woman.  The Principle of Social Indeterminacy:  an observed spouse behaves differently than an unobserved one.

But he, Paul, was single, so why was he staying at the bar?  It went back to Newton:  A body at rest tended to stay at rest, unless acted upon by an outside force.  The blonde smiled at him and that was all the outside force he needed.  He picked up his beer, plotted an intercept course, and set off after her.  Just as he did, she also began to walk.  He lost her in the crowd but only for a few moments.  There!  There she was, her celestial body moving in synchronous orbit with his Earthly corpus, two bodies traveling through time, traveling through space.

The cohesive force drew them together, while the repellent force kept them apart.  Paul downed some beer and, as he did so, their eyes met just as she was tipping a glass to her curvy lips.  Alcohol weakened the repellent force.  Closing Time, now only an hour away, exerted its crushing pressure, thus strengthening the cohesive force between their bodies.  Their orbits began to decay and they drew closer and closer.

He suddenly found himself within feet of her, poised at the Event Horizon in which time itself stopped, stood still, and stretched out forever while the language centers of his brain shut down.  Fortunately--eventually--some redundant system kicked in and, while not brilliant, this secondary speech center was able to spew out a greeting and basic information:  

“Hi.  My name's Paul.”

The blonde returned the greeting.  A neurotransmitter inside Paul's brain dove rabbit-like into a receptor and the corners of his mouth turned upward.  They spoke some more and consumed more alcohol, further weakening the repellent force.

     Last call for alcohol!

     Closing Time imminent.

     Cohesive force now exerting maximum pressure.

Two bodies in space tend to attract one another.  Their bodies, attracting one another, moved closer together.  A body in motion tends to stay in motion.  Their bodies moved together through spacetime, via taxi, to her place.  She had identified herself at some point, but short-term memory had been pushed aside by animal instinct.  They danced and laughed in her living room, then moved through time and space to her bedroom.  Clothes slipped to the floor like shed skins, like superfluous inhibitions.  Endorphines scurried about to find happy homes in receptors (when the neocortex is away, the medulla will play).  Heart rates accelerated, galvanic skin responses spiked.  They were close, now, a mere Planck length apart.  Paul soon found himself falling, falling, falling into the immense gravitational pleasure of her naked singularity.


Sleep.  Waking.  Brain begins to reboot, register words:  “... where this is going...  could be the start...”  Brain clicks, whirs, inventories lost neurons, performs function checks.  Female, beside him, continues to utter sounds:  “... and you just...  the life we could have together...”

Brain performs emergency reboot in safe mode.

     Klaxons sound.

     Red Alert!

Sudden realization:  he is being sucked into the intense gravitational field of a Relationship!  Neurons fire, sending panic signals.  Captain, we have a foothold situation!  Adrenals pump epinephrine into the bloodstream.  His body moves, grabs at clothes.  Inquiry to brain:  Where are my clothes?  Negative response.  Panic.  Tachycardia.  Fight or flight response activated.  Must escape!

He moves.  He speaks.  Believes he is getting away!  But no...  velocity insufficient for escape.   She speaks again:  “What about all those promises you made and...”

Gravitational field increasing.  Must achieve escape velocity of 12.2 excuses per second.  He speaks again but acceleration is still insufficient.  He falls, falls into the abyss, into the black hole of Commitment, in which the gravitational field is so immense not even light can escape.  

     Darkness gathers and envelopes him.

     He opens his mouth but no sound escapes.

In a Relationship, nobody can hear you scream.

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