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Missing Formula

Part of the Moving Stories collection By Anthony J Hughes

Missing Formula 3 and a half minutes from the house to the main road, 9 minutes in total to the foot of the little walkway leading up to the front of the train station at a 35%incline. A 5 minute average wait for the train which was 50%likely to be delayed. John was obsessedwith detail. Well, maybe it was not so much the detail as the methodologies and systems that led to the detail and data. Every event, walk, meeting and chance was, in itself, a chance to form some conclusion around these occurrences. Every action, decision and purchase; the result of an intricate plan and subtle processing of the likely variable outcomes. He was, after all, a logical sort of chap, often called upon by his colleaguesto apply that logic to add a of senseof balance to their own situations and, like a good adviser, lead them to their own conclusions rather than impose his own. He felt important. But somehow he was not happy. John was methodical and logical in all matters, that is, except his heart. You see, John fell in love at least 9.5 times a day (Week days) and by good fortune, numerical balance and disposition 5.9 times at weekends. He couldn’t help it, he had no system in place to prevent this, although he had developed some very complex ones and beta tested them through some rapid prototyping. Avoidance: Didn’t work as when he stayed at home he would invariably switch the television on out of boredom or a thirst for the knowledge about the stock exchange, political news or quiz shows and this led to him falling in love with everyone from the weather girl to the quiz show dolly or even the ever increasingly attractive news readers. Distraction: didn’t work, he tried listening to music on the train, switching on his favourite songs and immersing himself in a warm cocoon of sounds, but this inevitably led to him framing the image of a girl on the train with his audio senses that somehow made it a more cinematic experience and heightened his feelings.

Thesefantasies were always short lived though, as the woman or women in question on any given day would usually arrive at their destination within a few stops and, after all there were always new ones to distract him. He was at a loss to know what to do. His entire logical approach to life could not coexist with his emotional state being a polar experience? How could he stop being so irrational in the matters of the heart when his head was so logical? Then one day, while trying to arrive at a formula, he hit upon the one variable he had not thus far considered. The one set of neatly constructed aims and objectives that had never occurred to him in his quest to end this conflict. He decided that rather than control his heart, he would take the opposite approach and conduct the rest of his conscious life in the same illogical, carefree way. No more would he be Mr. dependable, logical and sensible. No more would he calculate the minutiae of his every action. He would from this day forward be totally governed by lack of governance. He would be carefree, reckless and follow every whim and fancy. He would no longer strive for his head to rule his heart, but would allow his heart to always rule his head. From that day forward he was truly happy.

Š Anthony J Hughes 2011

Missing Formula