What power, to hold in one’s own hands the ability to affect the present by altering the past... In the twenty-second century the world population has dwindled to fewer than a billion, with total extinction expected within a decade
An erotic tale of love and love lost, Chaotic Theory
centers around three profiles of a solitary individual, Antanas Rupkus, a young Lithuanian.
In one he is a musician endeavoring to keep alive the work of American jazz musicians of the twentieth century. Stoic and aimless, Antanas is incapable of anything but physical intimacy the result of having witnessed, as a boy, his parents killed by Estonian immigrants in search of fresh water. In another profile, Antanas is a sculptor, filled with hope and the belief that love can overcome all obstacles, until he loses the object of both his inspiration and desire.
In the third, he is a writer whose essays define the mid to late twentieth century as the point in history that set man on the path to extinction. But alas, his wisdom comes too late. If only Antanas had lived two hundred years earlier; but perhaps he can, if what Kazys Galdikas tells him is true...
“I’ve always believed in love,” Antanas says.
“Then you’ve not yet had your heart broken.”
Antanas thinks a moment of Giedre, the girl who’d done just that, broken his heart, two years ago when her family moved to Finse in Norway. Even though they’d never consummated their love, Antanas remained in touch with Giedre for nearly a year, and then her letters to him became fewer, finally stopping altogether a few weeks ago, and Antanas was forced to consider the likelihood that she’d met someone else. He sighs aloud, which prompts a laugh from Loviise.
“From your sigh it seems you believe otherwise.” When Antanas says nothing, Loviise asks, “What was her name?”
“Giedre.” Antanas’s hands stop their work; he feels Loviise’s eyes upon him. “It was perhaps only puppy love,” he says to hide his embarrassment.
“There is something to be said for young love,” Loviise says. “Innocence lost can never be regained.”
Moved by the sorrow in her voice, Antanas looks up, sees pain in Loviise’s countenance, and grieves for her. Not wishing to intrude on her discomfort, he is quick to look away.
“Where did Giedre go and why did she go?”
“Her family moved to Finse, where a greater supply of fresh water exists, thinking to buy a few more good years before―”
Loviise nods to show she understands. After a moment, she asks, “And you? Why did you not follow her?”
“I’m Lithuanian. I was born here and don’t wish to die in some foreign land.”
“Perhaps you did not love her so much as you thought.”
“Or she, me,” Antanas is quick to add as he works the cool, moist clay of Loviise’s left thigh, such a contrast to how he imagines her real flesh would feel to his kneading hands—smooth, like the clay, but warm, soft like a pillow, velvety.
“A young man should pursue his heart’s desire,” Loviise says, as if she is taunting him. Antanas ignores her.
“And you?” he asks. “Will you return to Estonia?”
Antanas watches Loviise consider several replies before she settles on: “There is nothing for me there. I will remain here, where in all likelihood I will die alone.”