Friday Fictioneers: His beautiful complexity

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

Denny sought significance in everything.

Dates were important, number sequences – on hoardings, in newspapers, on television – their sum, whether they were prime or perfect.

Natural phenomenon were noted, too. Snow that fell earlier than usual. The late migration of geese.

He’d collate the information he gathered, created charts of beautiful complexity with the findings, their arcs and swirls beyond my understanding, the notation written in an alphabet of his own invention

Those charts are all that remain of him now. Wonderfully unfathomable just as he was, they hang on my walls, the secret code to an alien universe.

***

Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers. See the picture and scribble a little tale to share with the group. See here to join in.

43 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers: His beautiful complexity

    1. Me neither 🙂 I don’t think Denny had a sad life, though he perhaps found it hard as no one else could quite see the world as he did. I just enjoyed that thought of the man seeing significance everywhere he looked. Thanks very much for reading Crispina

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  1. Reminds me of the film title “a beautiful mind,” about a physicist at Princeton, you know the one? Distressing! I don’t know the term hoarding in this context. But I can relate to the need to apply significance to all things, yes!

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    1. Ah, yes, hoarding in this context is perhaps what you’d call a bill board? A large board with an advert pasted on it. Not sure why it’s called that, to be honest. I do know the film you mean – Russell Crowe, was it? Must be unimaginably hard to be a genius, all those links and ideas whizzing through your mind while we mere mortals just stand by, blinking like a deer in the headlights. Seeing the significance in everything would definitely drive you mad, no? The world is a random, illogical place. Trying to make sense of it could scramble your noggin! Thanks for reading, Bill

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      1. Ah hoarding = billboards, interesting. Perhaps “hoarding one’s attention?” Like we do with our social media posts right?! Ha ha. True that. Mazes of stacked newspapers and all that, here on the Internet. Never going away either.

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    1. Thanks so much Francine – very kind of you to say so. With that last line I wanted to leave it ambiguous. It could be that Denny was just seeing patterns where there weren’t any. Could be he was seeing the traces of another world most of us can never fathom. I’l let you decide. Thanks for reading

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  2. A beautiful, sympathetic portrait of a man who had the instinct to be a scientist but not the training or, perhaps, the capability. He might well have found formal education difficult. You describe him very well, Lynn, picking very telling examples of what he observed and how he processed the information.

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    1. Thank you so much Penny. What a lovely comment. Yes, I think perhaps you’re right, Denny would have found conventional education hard, as many people do. Not everyone fits into the boxes we make for the majority, do they? Denny was perhaps inspired by a neighbour we had years ago who had mental health problems. He used to make a lot of noise – banging the walls, stamping – and when my other half went to ask him to keep the noise down, he found the man intently drawing extraordinary, complex symbols in an exercise book. That chap was obviously suffering, delusional, but if he’d been fictional, he might have seen true things the rest of us can’t. Thank you as always for your kind and thoughtful comments

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  3. I fear that Denny may be me in some guise, the detritus of my obsessions making no sense to anyone else after I’ve gone. 🙂 Another excellent vignette, Lynn.

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      1. When I read, all the time, Lynn! And maps! And timelines! But for day to day living? I’m neither organised nor inclined to plan, hate committing to appointments and only arrive on time to meet-ups by the skin of my teeth! But I’ll fill notebooks and write blog posts as though my life depended on them…

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      2. Haha! Funny how we can be organised in some ways and not others. My husband has the spice rack alphabetised but is really untidy. At least I’m consistent messy with everything!

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  4. Dear Lynn,

    This puts me in mind of my cousin Andy who was a physician. He spent a good 20 years of his life calculating the exact time of the Second Coming. Alas, he missed three of his sure-thing calculations. He passed away about 15 years ago, never realizing his predictions. (Except for himself, perhaps).

    Descriptive and evocative piece.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

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    1. Poor Andy. Not that he was wing about the second coming but that he focused so much on it happening. I suspect that our end of days will be spread out over years rather than over in 24 hours. Thanks so much for reading Rochelle and for the kind comment

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  5. My therapist hat jumped right up onto my head and whispered “autistic” in my ear, but my hat could be wrong. This person seems like someone who intellect is way above mine!

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  6. There is a sense of awe, beauty, and appreciation here for the creator but I wonder how lonely one is who can share with others but noone can understand. It’s a sad feeling, like I felt for Michael Valentine in Heinlein’s, “Stranger in a Strange Land.” Very good story.

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    1. Thanks so much for this. And you’re right, it must be such a sad thing for people who can’t connect with others. For most of us is natural, the focus of our lives. Thanks so much for reading

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh that was beautiful. I can pick up clues of Aspergers here and there. It is hard being different and not being able to find someone who can relate to how you see the world. But he was lucky to be so loved.

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    1. Thank you Fatima. Such a lovely comment. We should think ourselves fortunate in this life if we’re loved, shouldn’t we? It’s not something everyone gets. Thank you for the kind comment

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