One vote. One nation. One dream. One spirit. One soul. Except — when, as a person, you’re only worth three-fifths. Who chooses the fraction? Who creates the integral definition of one human life over another based on decimals, point schemes, and not on whole numbers? We like to believe the world is as fair, and as ordered, as our parents promised us it would be. Two arrives after one. The opposite of amber is divinity. The soul of humankind is undisturbed, except by the precepts of intentional evil clinging to the moon to cleave the star. We live in a numeric world, where measurements are predictable, dreams are quantified, and dissolved in commandments, and end games are more than simple crucifixions.

What happens, though, to those of us who actively choose to live between the beats of the heart, to survive in the medium of the inflection, and roil in the moment between the whisper where the wind begins before it ends?

We are programmed to only know what is, what is next, and what we must become; but there is another way, a more interesting path to take, an alleyway onto a gangplank where nothing is predetermined, everything is presumed, and wonder is the one frame that creates a context of risk for reality.

We act with expectation. Reaction. This does that. Push here, move there.

Free will is the eptimony of freedom, and thinking is dangerous to those who wish to control us. If we choose to live between the integers, between the fact and the lie, in the midst of the web of wellbeing that is both invisible and imaginary — then we cannot be pinned down, or enslaved by the lesser of us, and we find inspiration in the melody of being made into joy.

Now, imagine creating your own safe space between the integers. You define what you know. You take in what others offer. You may be hard to find, and even more difficult to decipher — and that’s all a good thing — because you are hiding in plain prodigy, while still having concentric value, and you remain a stilled monument to counting, and a flaying of accountability.

Within this imaginary integer, you are able to create new rules, a subset for living right, where graciousness is the center, and not the edge; and while you still adhere to the adhesions of purpose, and the reflections of the modern world, science and intimacy are reflexively inspired to create deeper meaning in your hidden duty code.

We dive into fantasy when we are threatened, and when we need an escape. Fables, Myths, and Fairy Tales may be morality plays in veiled disguise, but the rudimentary lessons are the same — we all want to behave, and to get along to belong — but when the very crux of us is threatened by the faithlessness of outside forces, pressures that only live to redefine what we already know to be true, sanity, comity, and love are immediately tensioned in danger; the dagger glistens, the noose, lingers.

Living in the inbetwixt can be a salve for disastrous times — a safe harbor to wait it out, a warrant for fighting back, a plan to recover what has purposefully been ripped from us by the braying minority.

We may not always understand what we read, we may not always see what we know, we may not always heed what we sow, but there is one thing that we can never deny — that there will always be those around us who want to impose their will against us, and our longings, for only their own, selfish, disdainful gain — and we are required to stand up, and protect our private paradises, by removing their evil, unambiguously, from the face of the earth of the integer.