Pale Dots


They broke it down one day, our humble little universe. They documented it all with equations and charts. Some of them even drew pictures. Atoms, particles, strings – they showed how it all tied together, how everything was connected and why the choices you made had consequences.

Then, when they were finished breaking it down, they built it back up, piece by piece, from the invisible to the unseen. They showed how it got bigger and bigger until there was nothing save an assortment of dots, and the further you went, the harder it was to connect them. Pretty soon, all you could see was the emptiness.

And yet, whether all of it mattered or none of it did, whether it was part of a grand design or just the way things were, the one thing Sonja knew for sure was that the universe was working against her. And when dealing with a world that actively hated her, she figured the best thing to do was not make any plans. The less she tried to make happen, the less disappointed she would be by the outcome. So one day, she just decided to shut herself in.

With each passing day, the world outside grew smaller and smaller, and the space inside her apartment grew ever so big. She wondered if perhaps she was shrinking, turning so tiny that none of her roommates could see her. In the end, Sonja wasn’t sure if this made her a planet or an atom, nor could she decide which one she preferred to be.


3 thoughts on “Pale Dots

  1. That ten % of college students represented in a few paragraphs.. ‘Stay in your room, and nothing bad will happen’ mentality. Nothing good will happen either, apparently, and you just become part of the decoration.

  2. To be an atom is to be one of many-so many that tallying it seems pointless. To be a planet is to be exposed, larger than life, above it all. Even so, loneliness can occur when you’re alone or with the many. When you feel invisible, size doesn’t matter.

    Dunno, maybe all that matters is that an atom is whole and a planet is, too.

    Hot chocolate and Oreos got me thinkin’ all sorts of ways. (-_-)/

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