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Reverse Galileo

The Answer Does Not Exist

By Lauren ColgatePublished 11 months ago 2 min read

At five years old, In the days before Google, we discovered a doctor who could answer any question on the World Wide Web. I promptly begged for the name of the Land Before Time movie where the characters were grown up. The answer did not exist.

My twin brother asked the question he always had ready. “What is gravity?”

The doctor proceeded with a rather long-winded explanation which I immediately tuned out.

I was a teenager when I read Albert Einstein’s comment on the subjective matter, “Gravity cannot be held responsible for people falling in love”.

And sure enough I fell in love not long after. And that was when gravity hit me.

For the first time I felt the weight that pressed me toward him. Like waves to the shore, I crashed upon him every waking (or slumbering) moment. I felt under water, longing for air when we were apart.

But he didn’t feel it. And so all I could rationally do was find a different orbit. Impossible? It was my reverse Galileo.

Gradually I learned to change my trajectory. With every new lover -and subsequent let down- I determined to fly past every powerful object in orbit. I slingshot myself from bed to bed. Awakening each of those mornings with a pit in my stomach as I snatched my hastily discarded clothes off of bedroom floors.

For years the unbearable weight of being smothered me this way. Until I met the second love of my life. He drew close to me and I to him. We mixed together as if paint poured into a can, then shaken. It was more than weight, it was melding.

But he died and left me all alone in the universe. A drifting comet.

”l love you to the moon and back”, we used to whisper to eachother as we lay tangled in bed. Drifting in a sea of oneness. We would need a slingshot to get me back though. A one way ticket back to earth.

Only now do I find the courage to look up gravity in the dictionary:






the force that attracts a body toward the center of the earth, or toward any other physical body having mass

Indeed. As at this point in time, my body and soul weigh upon me. My mind draws to the ground where my past love lies. Urban legend insists that hell lies in the center of the earth. In the still of the night, as I pine, I can feel the dirt digging me in.

After spending the night with my mind in orbit I hear the birds sing and the bees buzzing. The sight of the rising sun’s rays touching my skin.

How can force attract my body to another that lies in the earth and yet, somehow, in this glorious morning, I fly?

The answer does not exist.

surreal poetry

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