Physicists of the quantum mechanic variety, not the Einstein variety - get with the program -
posit that where there is time, there is heat. Per this way of thinking, if you were to film the
moon traveling around the earth and then play it in reverse, both versions would appear to adhere
equally to the laws of physics, and thus exist outside of time. No heat, no time. Alternately, if
you were to film a notebook being tossed onto a table and then watch that movie in reverse, what
you’d see is something startling — a notebook possessed, leaping into someone’s hand. This,
physicist Carlo Rovelli claims, is about time. When the notebook stops, it heats the table,
because there’s friction, and thus, “the direction of time has to do with the presence of heat.”
That moon movie is cold; the notebook, that inconsequential, oft abandoned thing, is white hot,
at least in the context of this example. Einstein would not approve.
And so. Gemma, who had spent years avoiding heat, gliding forward as prescribed and
predestined, meeting expectations but not exceeding them, in a life that looked the same forward
or backward, is now flying, and therefore, causing heat, and therefore, causing time to fly.
Gemma decided to speak. Gemma decided to demand to be heard. Gemma decided not to hide in
the back, or to make herself small, or to make herself too scared to ask a question, or to make
herself too scared to say exactly what her time was worth. And now, for the first time, Gemma is
a happening in time. She is friction. She is heat. She has hurled herself toward change, toward
chance, toward a better life, and she has hit the floor face first. Gemma is skidding, floor-burning
to a stop. If you reverse this footage of her, she is not a bird flying backward: she is a witch.
Gemma just might burn through the floor and through the other side of the world, she is so heavy