Use of Negative Space in Euclidean Geometry

i.

during math class, molly, in a spell of boredom, noticed the secret second way a prism can be seen. her textbook was open to a page with pictures of three different prisms. molly was staring at the cube. as soon as she looked at it her brain would decide which face was the front, but she told her brain ‘wait’ and forced herself to see it the other way. she just concentrated on the back face and lied to herself over and over until the lie became true. on the page the cube did not move, but she felt like she could see it change, turn in on itself. the back face was in front. she wondered which way other people saw the cube. she wondered if anyone else knew you could flip it.

ii.

in small, close, square, white rooms, molly has a thing she does where she looks at each ceiling corner until all she sees is three black lines converging on a point, and she tricks her brain into seeing it wrong so the point is aiming at her. the corner stays a corner but it turns inside­out. she does this to each corner of the ceiling until in her mind she is standing just a few feet away from four suspended cubes which extend infinitely away from her. next she does it to the corners of the floor and then she is floating very near to eight infinite cubes, in a space that is the inverse of the space she’d been occupying until then: her bedroom, empty but for her.

iii.

and on the bus she takes at night to get home, molly stands in the aisle and she peers over the heads of the people seated in front of her into the reflection in the window, seeing the ghost of the illuminated bus interior intersecting everything going by, floating outside, passing undetected through street signs, trees, and people out walking. much of the bus’ reflection is lost against the darkness of the night; what remains is a loose cage made from gleaming yellow bars and hanging fluorescent lights, full of tired-­looking, transparent, shadowed people. molly is of course among them and she smiles on the inside when she sees herself meet her own gaze.

About Paul Rizza

Paul Rizza lives in Toronto. He recently reinvented the ebook and has a weird thing about pineapples. His twitter handle shares its name with a beautiful family of plankton.

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