explained mathematically:


And the answer is: Yes

Yes I would be passion’s fool yes I will play the game or the game will play me yes for without it there isn’t a story nothing happens and yes there are no mistakes no loose ends for these we find reasons for that come before and after and yes the caves in which we dwell need no moonlight to give us our shadows we interpret on the wall yes and by me saying yes he said no because maybe his mother said yes after he was born after she said no (and the father?) and though he wanted to say no he was really saying yes and with me he could feel like he was saying yes to my no but then all this happened (the drugs the law the bullying the truth and trouble about cats and dogs) and there’s so much more merely mentioned in passing yes so much unsaid and yes it is absurd and yes it is meaningful and yes it is meaningless and yes some things are temporary and other things are fixed forever and even in our formulas how the numbers fit nicely into theories we’re really just trying to make things fit and yes when you give love you expect to get love back in return because we all need it we all need love but see what you give is determined by what you like to do what brings joy in your life and out of the fruit of this we give of our abundance and this yes this can be accepted or denied and we can hear the words Well Done or I Never Knew You and we all have the spirit of Cain in us just as Scrooge on Christmas morning could either wake up shouting with joy or be haunted by dreams of visiting ghosts so yes give according to your measure but if you expect nothing back don’t expect me to listen when you whine about it later (and yes we all do) so yes I said yes and it was never disputed I didn’t dispute that and so yes I said it I said: Take it take it…

but I think he wants…

wants what? Paradise?

No, I think he wants hell 

In the new church the stage was designed in such a way that the floor lifted to reveal the baptismal pool. A corridor ran behind so that Pastor Mike could stand with the new follower in performance of the ceremony without having to get wet. She had sat behind her the week before when V paid a visit to the altar (and now sitting in front of her was a man with his family a young baby in a carrier whom she’d seen outside in the parking lot earlier having a dispute with the Connections pastor Pastor Jason apparently about something that went wrong with name badges signing in the kids—the church takes security important). She was in no way connected to this not connected to the man sitting in front who had been irate earlier nor was she connected to V’s story how in a meeting with Pastor Mike the week before with the respective families present she had disclosed where the body was she knew where Mason was though she had not been there when he shot himself she knew where they could find him it was back away from the water away from the shore near an old tree an oak that’d seen better days where they had made love once after a party (the Herrin Reservoir was a well-known hangout by the local law enforcement for teenage kids and underage drinking). She was close to V’s age—true—and maybe in some ways their story was the same they could relate for after all it wasn’t God who made honkytonk angels and she was there getting over a man a bad relationship because in the shower that morning as the water ran over her she had sworn she’d tasted salt on her lips and it made her think of her upbringing how she had gone far astray and so yes even though she was disconnected not involved in any of this she was a part of the story too how in the end if we want to be fine with ourselves if we want to be able to tell ourselves that we’re doing a good job it’s just like that story of the lost sheep how even if 99 are accounted for (even if 99.9% of the story is alright) that one lost sheep ruins the perfection it nags on you weighs on your heart because it answers (Yes) to our Nature—the work is not finished unless everything is there unless we are all here… And so she watched from her pew she recognized V from the week before and as the screens above the stage shared the video of her testimony how she was rededicating her life to the Lord she herself was changed a seed was planted and she said to herself: Huh, maybe I oughta do that…

and she says

I TOOK THE STEPS DOWN INTO THE WATER.  I closed my eyes as I went under as I fell back with his arms holding me lifting me back up and I thought is this how it is? like they say: my whole life… This is my mind my earth and I felt him kick I felt the baby kick inside me and as I opened my eyes I thought well, my mom smoked when she was pregnant with me too