Divided By Zero
by Samantha Murray
As a child I already knew that there were different kinds of infinity.
When I asked my mother whom she loved the most–me or my brother–she would pause and then say she loved the both of us.
How much did she love us? I wanted to know. And she’d say she loved me an infinite amount and my brother an infinite amount too.
From this I knew implicitly that two infinities did not have to be the same size.
As a child I knew this although I had no words for it. It was what drove me to ask the question. I knew also that I was waiting for her not to pause.
She always did. Every time.
Secure in his answer, my brother never asked the question. I was the lesser infinity; that of whole numbers perhaps, while his was of real and irrational numbers, which could be complex, and transcendental.
My brother won awards and prizes, was tall and athletic while I could not use my legs, but this is not why his infinity was infinitely bigger and infinitely better than mine. I’m sure people wondered how anyone could fail to love my brother when he was so brave and shining–but I think they have the causality backwards. Everybody loved him and he took all of that love inside himself until he could not help but glow like a nebula pinpricked with stars.