“Jonathan Guild. That’s the name that I’ve given myself. Most people never realize what it is that makes my name stick in their head and roll off their tongue so easily or why they like it so much, but it’s actually quite obvious.
“Take a piece of paper and draw a line. Divide the line into segments of length A and B such that the length of the whole line divided by A is equal to the length of A divided by B. There it is.
“Today is a special day. Soon I’ll be getting out of this box, standing up, and walking out the door. I have a diamond ring in my pocket and I’m going for a walk. I’m giving the ring to Susannah and I know what her answer will be. She has a beauty of her own that nobody can see but me. They’re all too busy in their offices, trading away their time.
“Take the number of days up until my 16th birthday, when I met Susannah, and divide that by the number of days up to two weeks from today, when I’ll be almost 26. There it is.
“I’ve been told that I’m quite handsome. It’s true. I spend a lot of time working on my body and it’s not out of vanity. It’s all part of my routine, part of how I’m elevating myself.
“Take the width of my shoulders and divide that by the width of my waist. There it is.
“There’s a symmetry to every part of our lives, or at least there should be, and that’s something that most people don’t realize. They can have whatever it is they want to have, I just want to resonate. I want to be aligned along…..well, you wouldn’t understand. I probably already sound like a fool to you, but that just shows how much you’ve forgotten.”
He paused for a moment.
“Take a look at the face of a sunflower. It’s all right there. It’s in your DNA and on a seashell. It is our destiny.”
He quickly glanced down at his watch, interrupting his well-practiced monologue for a second time.
“I need to leave.”
“My son”, began the man in the other half of the box, “that is the most unusual confession I’ve ever heard.”
Jonathan sat there for a moment. He blinked.
“I’ll be back in two weeks.”
While walking out of St. Peter’s he took the stairs slowly, collecting his thoughts and double checking that the ring was still there. He could feel it, cold and smooth and expensive. If the ring had a personality of its own it would be numb and calm and convinced of its own value. He knew where Susannah was right now. It would be a few minutes after five when he got there but that wouldn’t matter.
There was a brisk wind blowing, it was one of those crunchy October winds that smells like dying leaves and everything changing.
As he walked he measured his breathing, deep and slow. Smelling and tasting the wind so intentionally seemed to awaken some deep dormant part of his cold symmetrical brain. The world was a crystalline sphere, tumbling through the ether. As it emitted magnetic fields of force and absorbed radiation, there was a great exchange happening all around Jonathan. He was walking through a thermodynamic marketplace, sliding from alignment to alignment. For a moment he saw the street as if it were a kaleidoscope, everything fractally shifting and clicking, spinning around that vanishing point about which every particle was aligned. He started humming a made-up tune.
Two hours later it was all over. The initial small talk, the “let’s go for a walk”, the one-knee maneuver, the emphatic “YES”, the hugging, everything. At his insistence the date had been set for two weeks later. That was another great thing about Susannah, she was low maintenance.
For the next 14 days he was living in a tower a mile high made of frozen stone. He was unassailable.
“My wedding is in six hours,” Jonathan began, “so I’m going to have to make this brief.
“In five thousand eight hundred and thirty-nine days the amount of time that I’ve spent unmarried divided by the amount of time I’ve spent married to Susannah will reach,” he paused for a moment, “a certain Value.”
There was a slight and respectful emphasis lent to the “V.”
“On that day I will present her with a certificate of divorce.”
“Why would you do such a thing, my son?”
Jonathan hadn’t expected this. Everything was staring this man in the face and he still didn’t get it.
“I just…” he trailed off.
“I just thought,” he continued, “that you would understand an act of worship.”