I’ve recently become interested in some theoretical physics regarding basic forces of the universe, and I spent a few days filling my head with ungodly amount of research, which is easy to do, but being able to parlay this information to someone else, well, that’s where I realize I’m not glibbin’ it up, I’m not facile with the nomenclature. I’m not knowing what I’m necessarily talking about. I basically enjoy reading about it, learning something here and there, and I revisit the material I find about gravitons, shape dynamics, dark matter, particle physics, and their modelling application for narrative, for providing analogies for social or biological dynamic systems.
I’m always looking for new material. Who isn’t?
So last night, I was deep in a dicussion about tachyons and string theory with a graduate student at Stanford – we were on our way to Menlo Park, after getting some pastrami sandwiches, new corduroy jackets with the elbow patches. One of us smelled dirty. We were both dirty and couldn’t tell. We were seemingly oblivious to our surroundings as the mysteries of the universe at tremendous scales passed between us, two great minds searching for perspective, looking deeply into the mystery of those little jarnamagibbers and geegaws.
And suddenly, I was an idiot. Furthermore, I realize I’d been prattling along – I seemed drunk, but I was having an out-of-body experience – so I couldn’t really tell – was I drunk outside of my body, could I be astrally projected and drunk at the same time? So, I was floating outside and above myself watching me talk to this erudite fellow because – omg what was I actually talking about –
– hammer and then I lost my aim and hit my hand and I thought, hey stupid those nails are going to cost a LOT –
– and then all of a sudden anxiety at realizing what I was talking about. I wanted to use some children’s toys to build a floating dock. I wasn’t talking about physics, but I was talking to a scientist who, being soft of heart, was attentively listening to me talk about the tie-downs and an anchor plug and the paint stripes. And I, as an idiot, had an awakening. I was talking about a boat dock and hammers and styrofoam.
I was floating out of my body. I could clearly see how very excited I was to be discussing my fishing dock plans with a real scientist. The scientist kept gently reminding me about different limits of the laws of physics. I could tell he was, despite the fact that he was talking to a rube who had helped him pick up those papers that had scattered in the wind a few moments before, despite that he’d agreed to help the man if he, a particle physicist working at SLAC on a temporary basis on loan from Greater Baltimore Community College as a part of “teacher exchange” program – not even tenured, just an unqualified observer – he liked him. The idiot had struck a deal with him, bought him a sandwich in return for some advise on the fishing dock. Food? The thought had stormed his mind. Good lord, how long since his last meal. Maybe u=yesterday afternoon. The idiot was a genius. So, the professor herded my true idiot self to a nice Jewish deli where the bread is fresh, and they got some lunch to go.
He wolfed it down, listening to this guy. He kept feeling like everyone at SLAC was fishing for ways of making more stable phonomic crystals to control aluminum plasma. The knucklehead was talking about using stinkbugs on safety pins for bait. How pragmatic.
I was dreaming that I was an idiot suddenly cast out of my own body and could see my relative idiocy for the first time, could see myself moving along as if a needle following the groove of an album, like a line of code safe in its shell. A function. And yet, like the billions of lives denied glory of the page, defiled by circumstance and themselves, lost to dust, I could change. I could grow, and though memory would not serve my peers and those I loved to acknowledge the change, those who saw it would be overjoyed. As though I’d awakened from a bad dream.
So, I’m dreaming. I’m an idiot. My entire right arm was numb. I woke up and got a glass of water. I held the idea of the SLAC scientist firmly in my mind like in a bear trap formed of images of abstract algebra and vortexes of delisciously colored galaxies, like little candies…and I go back to sleep.
I’m back in my lucid dream. The physicist has morphed into a good friend. He wants to talk about cars. He’s a software designer and he’s picking my brain for ideas on how to use the yearning’s of people’s desire for meaning to design a way to turn surfaces in a car into power sources. Spray magnets. It was a big deal. Piezoelectric surfactants were all the rage in New Delhi. He wanted to engineer a network to create a visual language of iconic figures, a dance of sigils upon the floors of the cybernetic afterlife. This was legacy work.
But my pajamas stunk so bad. I locked my keys out of my car. Out of my house. i have a quick montage of waking up in really bad spots just as this guy is there, getting me out of jail.
I realize he’s using me, possibly drugging me. But, to find out who he worked for, I’d have to get into his head. I’d have to play my part. So. (As though a jail stint and trashing hotel rooms wasn’t endearing enough) So, I just explode and turn into a pile of bio-luminescent kelp.
I am a man dreaming I kelp dreaming I was an idiot who was a scientist interested in discussing…bubbles. We were talking about bubbles. It was windy enough that the bubbles were blowing themselves. Empty bubbles. Because you could blow bubbles with part of you in them, encased in the tension of that soapy sphere, some 200 nanometers thick. Even ink on a page had a minimal height. We were thinking about using bubbles to…what? What?
What were we using bubbles for? It was such a nice day, a long day living in Receda. A nice day to be an idiot and blow bubbles and look at people rushing by in their cars. Living in Receda.