Stupid, stupid. How could he be so stupid as to think Carrie was the one? Happiness was nothing but a shared delusion, and a temporary one at that. Still, he had time – all the time in the world, as a matter of fact.
He would find the perfect girlfriend, eventually. That was what eternity was for, wasn’t it? An endless pursuit of perfection, the yearning for everything and everyone to be the best possible versions of themselves.
(Until the universe reached its ultimate fate, a slow and protracted death as all things grew colder and darker and ultimately motionless. Forever.)
And yet, he was only too acutely aware there was a fatal flaw to his reasoning. Ideas could stay perfect only so long as they were just that – ideal. Even spirits were a mere shadow of their true form, and intrinsic perfection could never be achieved within the boundaries of time and space.
(Would time still exist even after entropy had frozen the universe in place? Was eternity not as infinite nor indefinite after all? His head hurt, and he really needed that cup of tea now.)
All right, maybe perfection could not be achieved by any sentient being. Even perfect moments, they were discrete entities, soon to be muddled and forgotten; chaos would always win in the end, such was the natural order of things.
Still, if the chosen system was small enough, one could always reverse entropy – albeit momentarily, and at the expense of some other system. He could give up on finding his perfect soulmate, give up on trying to fix a world that simply couldn’t be fixed; all he needed to do was find something small enough he could focus on it entirely.
Like the cup of tea he was about to brew, for instance. If only he could make the perfect cup of tea, then maybe his own existence would stop spinning out of his control; he would have purpose again, if not happiness, and that would be enough.
(How ludicrous of Carrie to suggest that there was something wrong with him. He was fine, fine – perfectly fine, thank you very much. It wasn’t as if he was slowly descending into madness and despair, not at all. He would have his one perfect thing, and everything would be fine. Not perfect, but fine. You know, with entropy and all that.)
No matter that his perfect cup of tea tasted like tears and desperation, and his fingers were shaking as they closed around the handle. He had this. He could do it.
(Either that, or the universe would take pity on him and finally put him out of his misery. Whichever of those things came first.)