In the end there is only darkness: an information that is vaguely known and is defined, by physicists, as ‘dark energy’. ‘Dark energy’ is more powerful than any notion of ‘dark’ or ‘light’–or any and all binary constructs that currently exist–and is understood as the governing force of the universe. The effect of ‘dark energy’ is the opposite of gravity in that ‘dark energy’ will slowly and inevitably propagate itself throughout the universe, thus causing galaxies to accelerate and expand at an unsustainable rate; ripping apart space-time, the way galaxies form and organize through gravitational forces, cycles of star birth and death, the ebb and flow of atoms coming together and redispersing. Planets will be dislodged from their orbital paths and will “fling” through interstellar-space freely to a point of non-existence. The atoms of the universe will, at this stage, completely dissipate under the inevitable force of ‘dark energy’ that is somehow greater and more elusive than anything else in the universe.
In a way it feels as though we are already apart of the ‘dark energy’ propagating exponentially throughout the universe. That ‘dark energy’ is the phenomenon that distributes, guides, structures relationships, and pulls people apart, simultaneously, at different speeds and durations. It is valentine’s day. I drove home, through the snow, from your apartment, with a sort of empty, shitty feeling; analyzing a theory of ‘us’ as people with different lives moving at two different speeds that have interconnected, briefly, at different times, with different moments of intensity.
It seems comforting, oddly, to think of humans, earth, the universe, as already dead, individually, at different times, and that, collectively, we experience this death, simultaneously, at separate speeds. This experience could be understood as the essence of consciousness, maybe, and could offer a palatable, though unsatisfying explanation, for temporality, loss, lonliness, uncompatibaliness, or shitty feelings. It is comforting to think this way, alone, in a room, typing on a laptop, next to a half eaten jar of peanut butter.
Sometimes, when looking at a picture of the solar system, I like to think that each planet is a “viewing station’’ for a single planet that is in different historical stages–like a blueprint that outlines the birth, maturation, death, and decomposition of one cosmic entity. For example: Earth could be every planet in the solar system. Mars, Jupiter, and the Sun could be distinct stages of a pre or post history of planet Earth that, from humanity’s limited range of perspective, we are only able to view from a certain cosmic distance (light years off). From this POV the dynamic of time/space is a fabrication based on a limited capacity of human perception. From this POV ‘truth’, ‘oneness’, or ‘ultimate understanding’ could be the perspectival-capacity to be able to view all the different stages of Earth at once, at the same time, like “experiencing” the picture of the universe as a single succinct burst of information.
Another way to imagine this is to believe we are all one person. A person that is experiencing the nearly infinite emotional and cognitive facets of one human existence at the same time, by (somehow) separating and observing these facets as ‘stages’ that we perceive through our interactions with other people. From this POV it is possible that you and i are actually the same person, becoming extremely aware of a certain stage of our own life-development, by interacting with a distinct aspect of ‘our self’ that is manifested in the other person. We understand or define this interaction as ‘intimacy’, ‘romance’, or ‘attraction’, and further our ability to observe our same/one human experience by propagating different complexities of what it means to be human–binaries like Male and Female, Old and Young, Alive/Dead.
It is possible that none of this makes sense at all to any reader, and i am insane, and have failed in a responsibility of “writing” that is to distribute complex information in a more simple, communicative way; and, because of this, we will never be able to create or sustain any type of relationship, or oneness. It is also inevitable that i will be unable to communicate these thoughts to any reader in their entirety (by entirety i mean how they are to me, right now, in my head). That the idea i was first explaining in this essay, and that you were starting to form in your own mind the longer you read this essay, is also somehow lost in an exchange of information, between Writer and Reader, in a way that might be similar to how you and i were unable to sustain the same level of intimacy in our own relationship from the time that i messaged you a poem by Frank O’hara, one year ago, today, while eating pasta in an Italian restaurant. In a way that might also be similar to a darkness that is vaguely known, and is defined, by physicists, as a ‘dark energy’ that is the governing force of the known universe.
Chris Barton‘s poetry and fiction has appeared in Word Riot, Hobart, Potluck Mag, and is forthcoming from Funhouse. He goes to Kroger almost daily. He lives in Knoxville, TN. Email jobs or money: cbarton7g@gmail; @chrisnbarton twitter/instagram