I Am There

Before anything, I was there. I’m not God — that would be silly — but you can’t have anything without me. Circles, squares, rectangles. Cubes, spheres, cylinders. Colors, hues, and chromas. Space, time and mass.

I’m the reason that years pass, I’m the reason that minutes tick by. I’m the reason that temperatures rise and fall. I’m the water level, the freezing ice and the burning sun. I’m the humidity and the precipitation. I’m the light you see and the sounds you hear. I control all of that. I was meshed together with the fabric of reality the first time a person picked up a stone and threw it at another. I was embedded in the breaths of the first man and the first woman, and all of their children. I’m in the atoms that make up your beating heart, and your scrambling mind.

I am the thread of languages, of sounds, and noises. I’m the vessel through which they travel, the channel through which they all fluctuate. I’m the rope that binds them together, that balances the frequencies.

I was a companion to Plato and Pythagoras, and I was there when Newton found gravity. Ha, that was fun. I even helped him discover it. I helped Galileo, too. And Einstein, Archimedes, Ptolemy, and Turing. They’ve all gotten to know me pretty damn well.

But they barely scratched the surface.

I’m the languages, the patterns, and the codes that wrap them all. I’m the reason you trip and fall. I’m the reason you grow tall, the reason you feel tired. I’m the reason there are 7,277,111,209 people in the world today.

But that’s not it — don’t put me in a book, or a box, or in a simple calibration machine. I impose the limits. I measure the speed that light can travel, that sound can travel, and that your thoughts can be interpreted. I’m the speed limit, the time limit. I’m the language that planets use to wrap themselves around the sun. I’ve driven people insane, I’ve made children cry, and I’ve made people laugh. I’ve made countries win wars, and lose wars. I’ve destroyed millionaires and created them, too.

And after all of that, I am still a pool for a child to swim in, and an ocean that devours with my waves. I start with 2+2, and I know no limits.

You may know me from kindergarten. Or that old, stubborn textbook that you should have paid more attention to in college. Because even when you got rid of that book, I was wrapped and meshed in your every move. You can’t get rid of me.

I am mathematics.