I am, like many people, obsessed with death, particularly my own. That everyone is not quite so obsessed is very strange to me, but perhaps they are and simply don’t let on… in any case, the idea that at some point there will be no more ideas, no more glasses of ice water, no more thunderstorms, no more walking sticks or baseballs thwacking a catcher’s mitt or handfuls of dirt is something I have dwelt upon since I knew it was there, waiting. And I know nothing is waiting, I know I have personified death, I know it so well I find nothing to believe there, I cannot even believe in death because I have no experience of it, and nor does anyone else. For a great long while, I never made a leap to any sort of afterlife, since such a prospect seemed as ludicrous as the idea of death itself; then I fell in love, and continued falling deeper and deeper in love, and now I have been married to the person I love for 11 years, and I love her with a depth of feeling that eludes perception, though it’s fun to try. All the time we have spent together, all the electrical impulses zipping around the Christmas trees in our skulls, all the kisses, all the startling hours spent knowing another person, and delighting in them, cannot simply go away when, eventually, she and I change physical conditions. I know this might sound like a leap of faith, an excuse meant to conjure away a blank eternity, but even if I had not found her, and my life had instead been endless suffering, or simple, lonely muddling, I believe I would have reached the same conclusion. We are bound to time only in the composition of our bodies, and the experiences we have with these bodies are productive of a certain kind of energy, and this energy – which I mean to also include matter, that matter and energy are part of a continuum, following Einstein’s famous formula – this energy does not disappear, it is redistributed, changed into other kinds of energy/matter. People, bodies, are agents of conversion, and we shape the universe by living in it; what is new to me is the sudden insight that by shaping the universe together, my wife and I have wound the products of our shared conversion together, into a kind of braided energy, but more tightly knit than a braid, a braid made of water, perhaps. And when our bodies are converted into other forms, this braid will still persist. It already has outlived us, in a sense, and perhaps it predated our births, and we were lucky enough to hitch a ride as it coursed along. Thank you, my love. I am so glad to have met you.