Friday, April 2, 2010

Mr. Pierson is Dead

On March 23rd 2007, a Friday, Samuel Pierson was sucked into a black hole. No one heard him scream, no one, directly, saw it happen. He was simply there one minute, and gone the next. It is said that light travels at 283,000,000 meters per second, and that past the horizon of a black hole the gravitational pull is so great that not even light, the fastest thing in the universe, can escape. Mr. Pierson was capable of running approximately 3.35 meters per second. When Mr. Pierson vanished beyond the horizon of the black hole, there was no escape. If Mr. Pierson was not torn apart before he crossed the threshold of the dark horizon, we can only imagine what thoughts were going through his head. It would have been appropriate for his life to flash before his eyes. When you are dealing with forces so powerful they can only be understood in terms of abstract formulas and numbers, worked over so that they are safe for us to handle, it is, perhaps, beyond us, and a slightly insulting request, to ask for time enough to allow our brain synapses to fire so that we can watch a replay of a life overwhelmingly opposite in every way, the black hole. It is also said that the closer one gets to the black hole, the slower time moves. This wouldn’t have allowed Mr. Pierson time to philosophize about his fate, however. Time would have flowed normally for Mr. Pierson, so that, lucky for him, his agonizing demise, while it would have stretched over a great time for an onlooker, would have flowed quite normally for him.

Since it is unlikely that Mr. Pierson had the time to comprehend the dark fate he was sucked into, he, more than likely, missed the irony that; contrary to the horizon we see now, one that fills us with a feeling of endlessness as we observe the hills rolling always into the distance (we follow them only to find more, and more and more until we exhaust ourselves on the infinitely circling and ceaseless planes), the last horizon Mr. Pierson bounded into contained only the end. I often hear the earth-babies and hippy-folks speak with their hallucinogenic tongues that nothing really dies, it is all a circle of life; we return to the earth from whence we came, dust in the wind, they say. In that sense, I assure you that Mr. Pierson is dead. In any other sense of death, I can’t be so certain.

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