Some mathematicians go so far as to call their work the language of God. In their hubris, they refuse to admit that they write in a language that is very human: one with its own idioms, clichés, and platitudes. In order to prove supposed mathematical truth, they routinely employ the same handful of phrases and arguments, yet are startled when these phrases and arguments are echoed back to them in the same language that they began with.
I am jaded to even the most famous of their supposed miracles. Euler’s identity states that e, when raised to the power of the product of π (a consequence of the limitations of numbers) and i (a conjuration of human curiosity), is equivalent to negative one (a manifestation of two anthropocentric concepts: duality and debt). While some cite the elegance of this identity as evidence of a divine hand in the medium, I only see mankind’s fingerprints upon it. It is nothing more than a chimera born from centuries of restatements of the same handful of concepts.
Despite my convictions, I am still haunted by the figure known as Gabriel’s horn. As its name implies, it is a trumpet-shaped figure, formed by wrapping the most basic of hyperbolic curves around the x-axis. Though the two sides of the horn grow endlessly closer over time, they never actually touch. If one calculates this figure’s volume, they’ll find that it can only contain a finite amount of space; should they calculate its surface area, however, they’ll find that it is infinite. Such a thing cannot be; no sculptor could ever craft such an object, and even if they could, the coarseness of reality would cause it to break down before it reached a single atom’s width. As such, the concepts from which Gabriel’s horn is crafted are nothing more than artifacts of the language, and seem to have no place in the universe beyond the brain-
-yet the brain is all the space that the horn needs to haunt me.
In the worst of my nightmares, I am already dead. Though I have been cremated, I can still somehow feel- I am a fluid of warm ashes being poured into an urn. I cannot see this urn for myself, yet I know that the sculptor’s work is godlike in its perfection. His hands have followed the most basic hyperbolic curve along the whole height of the vase, which in truth, has no bottom of its own. There is just enough volume inside to hold my remains, yet its surface area is infinite. Because of this, there is just enough room inside for my ashes, yet there is always further distance for them to fall. As they sink ever downward into the urn’s depths, I can feel myself sliding further and further apart.
I cry out to God to save me, and my voice echoes throughout the hyperbolic darkness. No matter how loudly I call out to Him, He cannot understand me, for I do not speak His language.