Thursday, October 26, 2006

uncertainty can be a guiding light

When the broseph was taking mathematics, he would call me to ridicule his instructor, mimicking her accent, "You see, negative, negative.... is positive. And positive, negative... is negative. And positive, positive... positive. Okay?"

So, in my head, whenever I start in with some classically faulty logic of mine, I use that mantra for support. I realized recently that I am drawn to scoundrels because of all of my many flaws. In my head, I am convinced that I am a big, unmanageable, unstable mess. And as a result, I somehow sussed out that two wrongs would make a right. Negative, negative... positive.

And of course, I am repelled by kindness, by seriousness of intention of any kind. Instinctively, I think, "oh, no good can come of this." And it must be because- negative, positive... negative. Those good folks are destined for other good folks. Together, they make apple pie and rainbows and bunny rabbits (except the kind that potentially play dead when their cages are rattled on strange islands).

But there is a lot I seem to have overlooked in my simple little equations. This is typical. I was never all that good at math, not beyond the most cursory level. Calculus was fine, but as soon as Multivariate started up, I got the queasy feeling that I was stumbling in the fog. I took a graduate class in Kinetics once, saw a triple integral sign, and nearly hyperventilated.

But chemistry, I understood much better. Yet somehow I overlooked the negatives and positives in chemistry, as they applied to life. In chemistry, they refer to charges on atoms or ions or molecules. You can think about it like magnets. Like repels like. Positives attract negatives.

It's not that simple though; that is what chemistry spells out. I know this; not all bad guys go for the goodie two-shoes. But on a normal, neutral molecule, it is not that simple. It does not appear to be charged necessarily, but it leans one way or the other, its charge distribution a little more positive than negative, or vice versa. And it is attracted to other molecules because of those tiny inclinations. Even then, the environment around the molecule exerts its forces, keeping molecules apart or encouraging them together. It's the opposite of straightforward. In fact, I find it nearly miraculous in its complexity.

Sometimes I think I get tired, and I want everything to be black and white. And so I like to make sweeping statements, such as- I like jerks. But all of the nuance is lost in such an uninteresting remark. It is not that I like jerks, or even psychos, as I sometimes claim. In fact, I tend to have no tolerance for such behavior (as my posts probably often point out, no doubt tediously). It is more that I am drawn to what is not obvious. I am just a neutral molecule with a little hint of negativity, waiting to be drawn in the right direction. Whatever that might be.

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