The Lorenz Attractor

I think I know who the last lover in Tucson will be. And it’s a good one. He taught me something once and I owe him.

Yellow butterflies are my one superstition. I started seeing them when I needed some assurance that I was doing the right thing. In Tucson, they’re common enough that I didn’t question it. But then I saw them in places they shouldn’t have been.

A park in NYC.

Pressed in glass at Samy’s apartment.

And they always came to my aid when I was worried about doing the right thing, whatever that meant.

I came home (what a funny word, home, like it’s an immutable thing) from NYC in October after the debacle (is that too strong a word?) with the Israeli. I needed some good.

So I called up the 23-year old math grad I’d had a tryst with, met him for drinks, and told him of my undulating journey through 2018. He noticed my tattoo and asked if it hurt. I said no…and asked why.

He said he wanted one. On his back.

On his back? Why? Because it would make sense when I saw the symbol. A mathematical symbol of a phenomenon called the Lorenz Attractor.

The what now? Ok, pick a starting state…you won’t be able to predict where any of it will go. You just have to keep iterating it out. It doesn’t follow anyone else’s pattern.

He handed me his phone to show me the picture of the tattoo. “It’s also called chaos theory, or …”

“The butterfly effect,” I interrupted. In my hand was a picture of yellow curves tracing back and forth into wings…butterfly wings.

My butterflies, a symbol of my journey to an as-yet unknown destination, was a symbol for predetermination. I didn’t ask for the revelation, but the kid blew my mind.

And hopefully, on Friday, we’ll have one last tryst before he gets super rich and forgets me. It’s ok. The butterflies will lead the way.


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