Thursday, April 12, 2012

Divine Pi

Here is a piece of a short story I wrote some time ago called Divine Pi.

photo found at

He disappeared.  His name was Ziven Demidov.  He studied math, or rather he lived math.  He stood six feet two, with gangly legs.  He had quirky habits.  For instance, he mumbled a lot.  I got used to it.  His fingers were always twitching; he was full of numeric energy.  I got used to that too.
I lived with him in his creaky little apartment on the twelfth floor until the day he vanished.  I watched in agonizing astonishment, as arguably the greatest mathematical mind of our time disintegrated into, actually I don't know.  I just don't know.  I've gone over it and over it.  My instinct tells me he's still alive, somewhere.
Ziven didn't know I lived in his apartment.  If he did, he might not have wanted me there.  Mostly I kept out of sight, but he fascinated me such that I often forgot myself and wandered out into the daylight, narrowly escaping notice.  His apartment, cluttered with various scraps, had been a veritable feast for me.  When I first arrived I thought I'd found Nirvana.  But then, I don't really believe in those things.  Suffice it to say, I lived a luxurious life with him.
Most other humans found Ziven an oddity, to put it mildly.  He spoke nearly always in numbers.  His mind couldn't focus on anything without breaking it down into mathematical terms.  He even saw music as numbers.  Imagine being able to see music at all.  He had a thick accent for this part of the world.  Besides these things, he lived oddly.  He rarely socialized.  Not out of fear, but sheer dogged dedication to his quest:  searching for the face of God in math, Pi specifically.
His theory lay in the fact that Pi is infinite, and has not been found to have any discernible pattern, therein must be the key to the divine, if only he could live long enough to dig out that epicenter.  When he became obsessed with this quest, Pi had been calculated to several billion digits by the Chudnovsky Mathematician, with no concrete conclusions.  He met them once at their lab.  He had gone to them in hopes of finding like-minded souls.  He succeeded.  I've heard him tell people that he spent two weeks with the Chudnovskys, speaking only of mathematics and they felt they had barely skimmed the surface.  Of course, the conversation at some point landed on Pi and there it stayed.  When Ziven returned from that visit, he could not get Pi from his mind, literally streaming out in his head digit by digit.
As a scientist, it had devastated him that he could do nothing for his sister but watch her wither and die.  Pushed by blind grief, he pursued the one thing that made sense to him, math.  I think Ziven believed if he could seek out the divine, find a way to communicate with it, he would find answers.  He saw a better future through the eyes of Pi.  He truly went to a spiritual place in numbers.  Faith like that astonished me.  What he thought the face of God would be, I just couldn't accept.  Light, utter beauty beyond imagination, pure energy emanating from a singular source, those were his words.  Why he believed any god would be benevolent I can't figure out.  But then, the human mind just cannot be quantified logically can it?

Next Part: Divine Pi - Installment 2


De said...

And then...?

I am not strong enough to hang on the cliff too long!

Lynnea said...

De, check back next Thursday - I'll be posting up installment 2, and hang in there.

Clowncar said...

I've read this! Good story.