Fiction: ‘The First Law of Thermodynamics’

57 - The First Law of Thermodynamics

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The entire world runs on energy.

From the tiniest plant life which photosynthesises sunlight into nutrients, to the nuclear fusion which roils in the heart of our sun. Energy is everywhere. It keeps the Earth in orbit through gravitational forces. It allows us to reach out to one another across an entire planet in the form of electromagnetic waves. It’s in the chemical reaction which occurs when firewood burns in a campfire, and the combustion of fuel that lets us drive across nations in a matter of days.

Everything is infused with energy.

Even us.

We’ve been brimming with energy from the moment of our conception. We just don’t notice because it’s so innate. But every now and then I feel a power surge course through my body like a voltage spike in an electric circuit.

It increases the speed of everything.

My breathing, my heart rate, my thoughts.

I can feel the internal workings of my body and mind gain momentum like a car accelerating on a highway. There are so many things I want to put that energy towards.

I want to run

I want to create.

I want to live in each moment with all the life and desperation of a wild animal. Instead, the energy gradually thins out until it’s close to flat lining. All I’m left with is weariness and old age. But there’s a part in all of us that wants to surge.

It’s in our DNA.

I refuse to let that spark of energy die out.

When the time comes, I will fan that ember into a raging fire and fight for all I’m worth. In this uncertain world, there is only one certainty: we will eventually die. But we don’t have to vanish.

The first law of thermodynamics states that energy is neither created nor destroyed. It can only be transferred from one form to another. So when we die, we never really disappear; we just exist in a different, less structured form.

And who knows where our energy will be redistributed.

The next time you see me I could be a collection of atoms making up a blade of grass in the sidewalk or a ladybird in your garden. My energy will be repurposed again and again. It might help produce a desert rose, or a bolt of lightning, or the sound of a whistling kettle.

But while I’m here, in this form, in my current state, I intend on going out with a bang, and the entire world will feel the impact.

I will not vanish into oblivion.

Thermodynamics guarantees this.

Life is too short to let it fizzle out, and too precious to let it flicker into darkness like a faulty lightbulb. When it comes time for my energy to transform into the next state, I will leave the world the same way I came into it.

Hungry for more.

 ~ Ekaterina

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