March 5, 2003

Jump

I’m sick again. It’s the fourth time this winter. I’ve never gotten sick this much.

My understanding of quantum theory is that light quanta can only have certain specific energy levels. When electrons jump between levels, a packet of energy is emitted or absorbed whose frequency is proportional to the energy difference between the levels.

I thought of this today to explain what’s happened to me. I’m suddenly older. We don’t age in a steady, continuous progression, but in discreet jumps, like the way electrons jump between levels. I made a jump recently and am older than I was.

Recently I had an affair with a much younger woman. Her body reminded me of the body of a woman I dated twenty years ago. I had forgotten what breasts like that are like. Oddly it made me sad. It felt like a kind of cheating.

When I look ahead, I see myself on my knees, on my back, humbled by loss. Until recently these losses have seemed far away, an abstraction to be faced in the future, itself an abstraction. But now those loses are much closer. I can see it and feel it, and this is why I’ve been sick.