

f(x)=2x+1 I’m crushed by the paranoia fed to me in utero, as deep as my DNA. An assigned value — in this case systematic secondguessing — determines the dependent variable’s corresponding value, and I can’t walk out the door without checking the stove and then returning to check again. I resent considering potential disasters and unforeseeable consequences until I’m paralyzed. Predetermined flight, real world obligations — these equations teach me to trust myself. Still the dependent variable is the function of the independent variable, so my mom calls every Sunday to make sure I’m taking my vitamins, not walking alone at night, still breathing. 12 + 13 + 14 + … I’m falling apart at the edges. Thread by thread I unravel — each promise made, each commitment. I secure one strand, another loosens, I never finish the first. The series diverges and my ends won’t weave back together — the fringes widening, the intact center shrinking. Like painting an over eight mile bridge, I’m back at the beginning before I get to the end. With fingers cramped into permanent fists, I’m left to increasing terms that extend into namelessness. a, ar, ar2, ar3… I arrange a contrast between me and the wall, waiting
for no one to ask me to dance. Beyond junior high it’s called mingling
and career advancement, so the dancing has been eliminated. In a progression
the terms are different, but the relationship is the same. I intrude on
readings, openings, parties and try to attach myself to the clumped conversations.
I watch for arrows — a glance or gesture of inclusion. Secretly I don’t
want to force my brain into the horrors of small talk and going nowhere. y'=32x I’m left grasping after calendar pages. What I thought
was months away is long over. Just as a function changes value at a certain
rate, I’m behind again and never was caught up and more keeps piling on.
The function’s value depends on the variable. lim/n> ar^{n}/1r = 0 Daily I wait in line, forced to fade away, as one after another I’m shuffled
to the end. My diminishing space goes unacknowledged and continues to
be invaded — the terms are getting smaller as the value approaches infinite.
I imagine shoving back, even if it is the wrong solution. I consult the
pinball — ping! — and am left careening around corners and ricocheting
off ringers. The inconsideration and selfabsorption is nibbling at my
tolerance, eating its way toward my limits, and I explode to infinite. 