A Certain Type of Decisive

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Infinity Was Never A Number #70comp2

May 9, 2020


    Fifteen steps out the door, but I could've sworn it was sixteen. Call her optimistic, but I think she's just bad at counting. I can't exactly blame her. The only number she's ever really known is infinity- and she knows it personally. Her name was Indigo- I'd like to think it's not important, there's no secret meaning, or so she assured me. But she said that about a lot of things. Everything was always more complicated than she let on.

    ​The crash landing was the worst part. The sudden re-humanization was in the middle of space- and the closest teleportation got me was the upper earthly atmosphere. All that brand new fresh skin- burned to a crisp. It kept rebuilding and regenerating, lasting only long enough to remind me I was still falling, still burning, still screaming. And what was left of my eyes told me there an was end in sight, but not for another minute or two.
    I was still screaming when I hit the ground. Flattened. I broke every bone in my body and made a crater the size of Hawaii in the middle of the New Mexican desert. Sand was pouring in- trying to fill a hole, trying to pretend this never happened. Earth never changes, I guess. Heat had sent glass crystals everywhere- they were falling from the sky, scattering light in every direction.
    A rainbow.

(i used to hate indigo, the color, because it seemed like it was cheating. it wasn't a primary or secondary color, the only reason it was grouped in with the rainbow was to make the name roy g. biv. they wrapped the crayon in the blue paper, but when you drew with it, it looked more like purple. it frustrated me and my oceans and skies to no end before i learned to read.)

    It took us longer than we would've like to figure out what she was. (character development is process, okay? i wrote a lot of interactions before i thought up a reason she was the way she was. i just wanted a powerful character and the backstory came later. the backstory always comes later.) I don't know why- she said it to our faces, told us. It's not like she was hiding anything- she never hid anything. She never had anything to lose. She was never afraid. Well- not at first.

    "Aren't you afraid you'll lose it all? Lose it all to a planet that isn't even yours?"
    "What do you mean?"
    "You aren't from around here, why do you care?"
    "I don't live here, but it is mine. They're all mine- you really don't recognize me?"
    "Recognize you? You're Indigo, aren't you? Of course I recognize you."
    "No, no, before that. Before I looked like this, before there was a this- look around, Clinton. Look at the trees, the stars, your own face- That's me. That's- that's my body, everything that is, that was, that will be- well, most of it."

    Clinton wasn't much good to us after that. He was completely shaken, the poor man. His world slipped out of focus and it took years to readjust- was this what it was like to know a prophet? One day they have a favorite color and the next day they meet eyes with god? Then they know nothing but everything? (i might apologize for it, but i never knew clinton mcdonald any other way. he was always going to be like this. i can't waste time being sorry for him if he never meant anything to me. i did not cry while he burned) He had kids- I had to call his wife and tell her to meet him in the hospital, he wasn't screaming but he wouldn't stop looking up. He was looking up like he could see the stars in the middle of the day, he wanted to know why we were looking at him, why he mattered, when all around him was so much stuff. 

    I didn't want to scare him. I never wanted to scare him, I just wanted to tell him. I wanted to tell anybody. I needed this whole world off my shoulders one word at a time but last time- what happened last time? How could I forget when they killed me, spilling my blood onto their hands and their children's hands? How could I forget that they can't understand? (she didn't mean to set that building on fire. she couldn't help it. the human body is a tight squeeze for the universe to fit inside, sometimes it tears) I didn't want to scare them, but how could I have hoped to do anything else?

    She's been here before. We always knew she had been here before, but we didn't realize who she used to be- spilling my blood onto their hands and their children's hands- Would you believe us if we said we just didn't notice? (it might be the best character backstory i've ever done, the most world building, the most lore- the night i came to the epiphany that, by definition, indigo must be jesus- i don't think i even slept that night) She set a building on fire, yet it didn't burn- but we didn't get it until it spread to a nearby bush- tread softly- and I once asked if she was religious? (she said she used to be jewish- she used to be a man, too- you wonder how much can change in two thousand years)

    Walking to me, there was the woman I had been waiting for. I called out, a language she didn't know, a name she wasn't called by, but she came nonetheless. How could she think to do anything else when I, the woman on the rocks, summoned her? (sometimes i wish i was just an australopithecus afarensis like lucy. that way, even when i die, people write religious interpretations about my bones) When archaeologists found the skeleton, they threw a party, lasting through the night, listening to their favorite songs. The fossil was named after "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds." I like to imagine, as Indigo shouted, she meant it as a cry of joy. A monument to the years spent waiting and the art of the product. I'd like to imagine, as she said "Lucy," meant it in its root language, Amharic, meaning  "you are marvelous." The thought makes me smile- it sounds like her. I'd like to believe, even if the universe doesn't care that we evolved, at least it's curator did. Maybe a god smiled when we were made. 

    Do I believe in God? (does it matter?) I have to believe in something, so sure. Maybe God, maybe living things, maybe myself. I didn't believe in anything until I met her. I'm still not so sure about a God, but I do believe in Indigo. I’ve been taking care of the universe since they left, whoever they are. Whoever did all this. It didn’t take me too long to figure out that everything happens because of something else and the universe didn’t just start. I’m some kind of substitute, or nanny, or interface- keeping the place running until they get back, with nothing but a weekly planner and a lot of sticky notes to guide me. (it took me forever to come up with the "stick notes" idea. i knew i had to come up with something for her to be accountable to- a reason she suffers, a reason the story moves forward. there must be things she can't control) Sticky notes- left on planets and stars, and in the middle of the void, reminding me I am alone, but not forgotten. Reminding me I have things to do. And some of them- well, lets just say some of them are more optional than others.

    (indigo changed the way i write stories, the way i form characters, form worlds. she was loosely based on the second story of my writing career- a junior detective in a depressive coma after the suicide of a close friend. she figured out she was dreaming but didn't want to wake up- why would she live in sadness when she could lucid dream a world of superheros? i called indigo's first collection of stories "take two." she joined up with spy organization and there's like 15 chapters on that)

    “Bobby Jo, I will forcibly search this premises with my mind!”
    “You’ll never find it.”
    “You’ve got to be kidding!” She groaned, collapsing into a wheely chair.
(i wrote this way back in early development, back when she was just a super-powered spy- but i managed to fit it into the current drafts. i based a lot of her character around coffee and collapsing into wheely chairs- someone with superpowers in a "normal" office is just the funniest concept to me)
    “You have a new assignment.” There was a tense pause.
    “I’m worried,” Indigo answered carefully. “Not because it’s an assignment, but because you think you have to take my coffee for me to accept it.”
    Indigo liked her missions. They usually provided a source of entertainment, or at least something to do. People in this office didn’t do much, except anything they could get away with. Which, in itself, wasn’t very much.
(this was also a concept from early development, she was highly super powered, but they didn't have any real way to classify or control her so they put her in the boring office- way back when, i thought about her power as super empathy, a way to sympathize and gain the trust with every particle in the universe. the empath office in the superhero agency however, was very boring. i ended up scrapping most of the superhero concepts, trading them for spies because i didn't want to deal with the whole "the government needs to regulate superheros" trope- it was boring. espionage was more fun, plus aliens, of course)
    “It’s a long term assignment.”
    “I decline.”
    “And I don’t know many details, but they need you.”
    “No, I don’t want it. I decline.”
    “They asked for someone with extra power, that’s you or Charlie, she’s unstable.”
(charlie is an alien who can shoot fire out of her hands that almost got thrown out, but i just didn't want to rewrite this conversation. later, she functions as a sort of interface to the reader, an outside perspective everyone explains confusing stuff to without it being weird. while no one else gives indigo's "red-blue test" a bat of an eye, they have explain it to charlie so the reader understands)
     “I said I decline.”
    “They’re safe, hand picked, everything checks out.”
    “I don’t care, I’m declining!”
    “They’re public, I hear they’re recognized.” She looked up. This was curious- a recognized team was rare if not completely unheard of. It was an undercover team- wasn't it?
    “What kind of task team is recognized?”
(the people on this task team circled out depending on how confident i was, but at one point obama was there)
    “Hell if I know,” Bobby-Jo shook her head. “You’re relocating soon anyway, why not to the new office? They have enough clearance, you can have a free schedule.”
    “That’s really appealing, like, so appealing I could almost consider it- you have no idea how hard it is to not eat at the same restaurant twice. But I still decline.”
(okay listen being a low-level spy is hard work. idk what they do i just had to make this shit up. i thought weird rules that made some semblance of sense to seem realistic)
    Bobby Jo sighed, tucking her hair that had fallen out of the perfect bun back on her head. She seemed to be considering something of great weight- she was pulling out the big guns for this one.
    “I’ll give you your coffee back.”
    “It’s a deal.”

Indigo, despite having a rather rudimentary grasp on concepts like math and reading, completely missed the concept of art and fiction. But how could a world be inside paper? How could a language describe existence? Could a person really be seen with oil paints? I guess Indigo just saw too many details to understand simplicity. We went to a museum and she couldn't understand why the "windows" were so "wrong." A story would need to account for every breath, every heartbeat, and every cell death for Indigo to understand what you were talking about. (my little joke- my attempt at irony. a fictional character who could not understand her own existence. she could decipher your neural pathways to know what you were thinking, but if you drew her a picture of herself, she'd just see color. just lines. idk- i think it was funny) 
     Death belongs to me- but in the same way your skeleton belongs to you, in the same way you belong to me. (she never got sad about being an immortal- she understood death. i didn't want to write a sad immortal, wallowing in how she saw so much death- she was too old for that. she did not mourn for anything or anyone.)  We're all a part of it and there's no way out. Not for anything- and I have no reason to believe it is any different for me. When people die, they're sad. Death is saddening and that's not my fault. To survive as a species, you had to avoid death, and for your own protection came to hate it. I was lucky- I never had to hate anything. I never had anything to be afraid of. Someday, I will die. I'll come across a note, telling me to do nothing, to wait, to stop- to watch the universe kill itself. Some day I'll fade from existence- and I'm not afraid of that. I've seen enough to know that the end of me would not truly be the end of me. You can destroy a painting, but you can't destroy art. (someday i will die and i can only hope this is true. i can only pray that art survives- if not for my own sake than maybe for our future. i know it's pretentious, okay? i know. but sometimes it be like that)
    Once I asked her the meaning of life and she didn't understand what I was asking for. What are you asking me? What is the meaning? The definition of existence? What separates life from death? That I can tell you. She told me the only difference was the ability to create. To live is to make, to shape, to change, to grow. She said whoever did all this liked to make things, liked to create. Whoever did this thought the thing that deserved the most time and attention was creation- and that's why we like it so much. (it took me years to think of this, but it's what i truly believe. if we are made in the image of god, is not the holiest form of worship to make art?) If you're asking why life exists at all, why whoever decided to do this decided at all, well, I'm just as lost as you. (downsides of a god character? i don't know everything she does)

    Indigo met so many people over the span of the universe, a billion trillion of people with a billion trillion thoughts and she knew them all. She was so important to so many people there's no way I could even conceive all of them. (this story spanned so wide there there was never a clear starting or stopping point, no known cast of characters, just her and the universe. just us.) Humans created numbers for things because they wanted to make sure they didn't lose anything. I never needed numbers- even when human, I was never the best at them. The universe is infinitely expanding in every direction, which I can understand. It's the only thing I've ever known. Sometimes I forget it also expands inward. I asked her once about infinity and she said people expand inward- it is the nature of a brain, of memory. The brain makes connections and calls it thinking, a highway of chemicals called imagination- there isn't a limit on what can be created- (once i called her a universe with skin) we are universes with skin.
    (to me, infinity is not a number- infinity was never a number- infinity was a woman.)

    (and her name is indigo)


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  • HelpMe512

    replying: Oh my god, that song is amazing! Thank you so much, and you're really talented! It's totally cool if you can't to do the other piece, I only expected you to do one anyways. Thanks again!

    6 months ago
  • HelpMe512

    I would be honored for you to write another song! A piece I had in mind would be Love Everlasting
    but I also think this one could sound cool
    its all up to you, and you can choose another if its easier for you. Any of my poetry really would sound cool as a song. Thanks I cant wait to hear it! And your reviews will come in the next week or so

    6 months ago
  • HelpMe512


    6 months ago
  • Anne Blackwood

    Review submitted! I'm so glad you asked me to review this; it forced me to really deconstruct the piece and try to make sense of the insane concepts in it. You seem like a very wise person to be able to write something like this.

    6 months ago
  • Currently Unavailable

    [jaw drops] What in the world?...[falls to knees and starts sobbing] How did you get so good at writing? Teach me, master! I will serve you for eternity, but please, teach me!

    7 months ago
  • A Certain Type of Decisive

    Check out the song, too:

    7 months ago
  • Anne Blackwood

    Wow... How did you write this? It feels like it took a lifetime, no, infinity, to write.
    "the human body is a tight squeeze for the universe to fit inside, sometimes it tears" This line and every other is stunning.
    This piece is so alive that it breathes.

    7 months ago
  • ElsaRee


    7 months ago
  • A Certain Type of Decisive

    PS In case it's unclear, italicized is quotes from written pieces from Indigo's perspective, in parenthesis is my comments, and regular writing is the "in-character" observations of her.

    7 months ago