Synaesthesia Magazine Science & Numbers - Page 23

But this was not to last. Guests needed to be escorted to their proper places on the seating chart of variables. Negatives demanded to be squared, oversized fractions bellowed from across the page for me to simplify them (they wouldn't fit at their seats otherwise), and powers tugged on my sleeve meekly, asking if there was room for their uninvited exponents. What had begun as a cordial and civil function quickly devolved into a raucous spectacle. Once white, open, empty, and silent, the page was now a kaleidoscope of colours and textures, temperatures and volumes. Personalities clashed, for reasons as irrational as the jumbled decimal answers that gathered around each heated row.

My energy and patience drained away as I evicted the inaccurate data that charred and blackened my formulae and the oversized results that tagged along with them. As 12 handed over its hourly shift to 1, then to 2, the party failed to ebb away in tandem with my stamina. My calculations became slow and laboured, and the chatter and demands of the crowd around me blended into a grey, rumbling din as my mind numbed to the multitude of sensations around me. But I carried on, as did the numbers, splitting off and lining up into cliques and patterns broad, even and rectangular. And finally, just before boyish, yellow 3 took its place on the clock, I saw with satisfaction that the crowd, once raw, motley, and vulgar, was now harmonious and elegant. The graph, clear in its correlation but covered in a thin fuzz of variance, showed the rest of the world what only I could see: that numbers can be coaxed, goaded, and herded into order, but will always have lives and minds of their own.

b r i d l e s

xavier wright

Xavier Wright is a multiple synaesthete and student of political science and international relations in Washington, DC who must regrettably take the occasional foray into the natural sciences and mathematics. This is his first attempt at synaesthetic art, but certainly not the last.