Wednesday, September 19

the plot gets significantly more confusing

how many of these stupid stories have begun with some grand pronouncement on the nature of the universe? sweeping proclamations, where i impart various wisdoms to you, gentle readers and readerettes, that i have learned through my struggles and tragedies, so elegantly written down, diarized, journalled, hyperlinked and blogged. then, seduced by my glorious pen, you lap it up, thirsty for more of my sophos, knowing that a man of my integrity, experience, and wit, must surely have more grist for your little brain-mills. then i turn it all around, and give you some pithy, obscene slap-in-the-face, bringing you back to where you belong.

well... fuck you. i don't got no pith for you today. i'm out of pith. i pithed it all out yesterday mostly on that fucking pervert in the raincoat, then the last few tinkles on spajjy. if you need pith, go pith yourthelf.

'so what is all this about the universe?' i felt like i'd asked that question a squillion times before. apparently i expected a different answer. some far echo in my mind, a tiny, tiny shout in a dark, empty vacuum gently reminded me of the definition of insanity.

i told the voice to pith... piss off. now's not the time for thinking, brain.

'we've met before, you know that?' spajjy asked. even for a freshly-resoaked spacesponge, he looked a bit piqued.

'of course we've met before, you soggy yellow atavism, at least in my universe. if i didn't know who you were, would i have tried to get you out of prison? would i have drank gallons of starshine, carried it until my bladder burst, then tried to pee on you, then when it didn't work, mop up my tears with you, then fi...'

'that's not what i mean. you know how you keep seeing analogs in this of everybody you know from your space?'

ugh... where was he going with this?

'yea. sure. you're this's spajjy. i know that already.'

'no. i am not.' he said, firmly. 'i am the only spajjy in the all of the universes. i am unique.'

'bit egotistical, aren't you?'

'fuck off. it's true. have you ever met another spacesponge.'

'well i...' and i shut my own damn mouth. i hadn't. all that shit about comets and moisture came from spajjy.

'see... it's just me.'

i couldn't tell if spajjy was proud or sad about this.

'well, how do you know that it isn't 'just you' in every universe. maybe you're all lonely everywhere? think about that!  just a lonely squishy spacesponge destined to never reproduce. haha! touche!"

spajjy stared at me. 'because i've looked in every other universe and haven't found one. that's how.' a little blobbo juice geysered out between his eyes.

this was getting more interesting. that was a bad thing.

very very bad.

'go on. tell me more...' and immediately i wished i hadn't.

spajjy extended a pseudofoampod towards a damp corner and soaked up a bit of effluent that had run down along the little gulch from somewhere else in the brig.

'have things been going against you lately?' he asked.


'i mean more like things that ought to get you into trouble, but don't. complete disconnects. like the universe is trying to keep you out of trouble. no matter what you do.'

i thought back to the whole trying to get arrested debacle.

'it would appear that things are going unusually in my favor. although it's still fucking up what i want to do. so yes and no on this one. it does seem that the universe is trying to save me, rather than destroy me.'

spajjy nodded. as much as a large spongy abomination without any clearly defined extremities can nod.

'it's trying to keep you alive. because you, the other yous, and i assume me, since you busted in here to break me out, are trying to save it.'

'why would the universe get pissed off about us trying to save the damn thing? you'd think it'd be happy about it.'

'because it wants to die.'


the guy in the yellow raincoat farted in his sleep.

this has now become double plus ungood. i'd always sort of assumed the universe had some kind of will, but more of a general i-don't-like-you-kind-of-will-so-i-will-torture-you-for-as-long-as-it-pleases-me will, not a i-have-serious-emotional-problems-that-wouldn't-matter-if-i-were-a-teenager-or-a-business-executive-but-seeing-as-i-contain-all-that-is-was-will-be-and-so-on-it's-a-really-big-fucking-deal-that-i-should-talk-to-someone-about-only-i-am-the-universe-so-there-isn't-anyone-to-talk-to will.

'it's trying to kill itself?'

'not just itself. all of itselves,' spajjy answered.

'now you are just making up words, spajjy. what the fuck does itselves mean? just say like every other asshole!'

'there are no's. this is your universe. there is only one universe.'

a small methane bubble burbled up on the surface of his body and popped. the little area we were in now stank of farts. i couldn't tell if spajjy blushed, but he turned orange, briefly, then back to yellow.

'you ever hear the theory that there is only one electron in the universe, and it zips around from atom to atom.'

'i've heard a lot of stupid shit. today's contained the bulk of it.'

'well, it's worse than that. not only is there only one electron in the universe, there is only one electron. period. there are no other universes, just this universe continually reconfiguring itself.'


he went on.

'all those alt.spaces... they're just noise. just random arrangements of the same fucking electron in an infinite number of ways. as a matter of fact, each 'moment' we have here, might very well have occurred thousands of years ago objectively, but because of the way the system is set up, you don't notice the difference. so it seems continuous. there's no time travel. there's no time. you're just jumping up and landing on a different configuration of the same shit you had before. there's no nothing. only one universe, infinitely re-arranging itself.'

'and now it's sick of everything and wants to be done with it.'

'yea.' part of spajjy shot out again right at my face, slurped my nose, then retracted.

'your nose was running,' he explained.

i'd had enough of this.

'thanks. so listen. i have no idea what's going on... first there's an infinite number of universes. now there's only one universe, reimagined in an infinite number of ways?'


'and the universe wants to die?'


'you know this makes no sense, right? by the way... how do you now you are the only spajjy? sure, yea, you said you'd visitied all the other versions of the universe, but you wouldn't have enough time.'

spajjy steamed, literally. the methane stink was gone and now it reeked of heavy water.

'what did i just tell you? there is no such thing as time. not really. you just kinda jump to your left, step to your right, and boom. you're in another version of reality. is a dream... a fantasy. these aren't other worlds. they are all our world. all these people are just out of phase, from your point of view.'

spajjy was talking nonsense. maybe absorbing blobbo did some terrible damage to his mind. wherever a spacesponge might have kept it. he went on...

'listen.. why does everything feel so old. so tired. so same. even though you go somewhere new, it feels like you've been there before. even if it looks different, and people speak different languages, and eat weirder foods and drink weirder drinks, it still feels same. the bones of the universe are old. they are creaking, rheumatic. they want to stop and rest. to rub their celestial feet, and close their telestial eyes and snooze.'

more gibberish.

'imagine yer in hangar 23, janitor. you've been on a binge, as usual, and you wake up and have forgotten to change the light bulbs. all but one of them is out, but this one is dying too. it flickers. so you see the room in strobes. you know there are times when you can't see the room, but your perception is based on a kind of clock-rate, like a computer. so as long as you see the room when that light flickers on, it looks continuous to you. but it's not. that light flickers. it turns off. it strobes. who knows what's happening in there... what perversions... what crimes... when the light is off. but as long as you see it every so often, everything seems analog. what happens in between the flickers is none of your business.'

he was starting to make sense. this was unbearable. but i wasn't about to let on.

'nonsense wrapped in garbage. you are a liar.'

'for a guy who's seen a lot of weird shit, you have no imagination,' spajjy shouted at me. 'let me show you.'

then he moves... shifts... goes superfluid... spajjy's spongy form leaps up, anti-viscous, in all directions... and lunges straight towards me. i do my best to scream like an altar-boy in the vestry, but much like that poor child, all dressed in white like the virgin he'll be for not much longer, my attacker has already filled my mouth with his being.

and i'm enveloped...

i'd explain it to you that time slowed down, but that doesn't really mean anything. imagine every film ever made, cut-and-spliced-and-rearranged into one gargantuan master reel. every successive frame is a scene from a different movie, and it's cranking at speeds that make light look crippled. you don't blink. your brain doesn't blink anymore. you see every scene, one after another, every possible combination of the relatively few particles in the universe, and that one bastard electron drawing us all together, recombobulated into vignette after vignette after vignette.

there's a million versions of you, doing things you don't want to ever see you doing again.

there's where your best friend dies, only it plays out different this time, and it's you to blame.

there's you dying... over and over... a billion times you see yourself expire. and it happens in what might be called an instant.

dip in, dip out... take a trip.. turn on, tune in, drop out...

i blinked. and we were back on the station, but now in hangar 23. spajjy stood there, wetly gleaming yellowly at me. smiling.

i stood there, staring at him. i felt warm all over... embraced by the simple entirety and oneness of everything. that the stuff that made me made everyone else... finally that feeling of loneliness, solipsism, fear... gone. slowly ebbing away as my body warmed.

weird that it was only my legs that felt that heated embrace of solidarity. i looked down.

i pissed myself. no solidarity. only urine. oh well... if it's too good to be true, it always is.

spajjy politely absorbed my little mess up without saying anything. it's good to have friends. i slumped down against some containers.

so i suppose the first question was how the fuck was spajjy capable of doing that little warp-trick-deal. i asked him.

'i'm the cosmological constant... a kind of all permeating quantum sponge. the only reference point the endlessly reconfiguring universe has. i am fixed. i am alone.'


'there are two unique objects in the universe. the electron and me. granted, the electron is shared between me and the rest of the universe, but i am the only configuration of spajjy. the universe uses me to know how to rejoin itself. like a point on the horizon.'

confused. you bet. hungover. naturally. sleepy. a bit. angry... oh fuck yea.

'what am i supposed to do know, knowing all this? what fucking good is this horrible version of an already horrible reality?'

'the universe wants to die. the only way it can destroy itself is from within... since there can never be an outside force. it can re-create itself in any number of ways, so it created an agent of its own destruction.'

guess who that agent is...

'that agent is you. in case you didn't understand.'

big fucking surprise...

'so the universe created me to destroy itself?'

'basically. haven't you always wondered why you hate it so much. why everything you touch falls apart? why you feel such antipathy, such hate, such anger towards it? that is your destiny. that is why you are here.'

'to kill the universe.'

'yup. the universe treated you so badly, it figured when the opportunity came about, you'd delight in the opportunity to get a little revenge.'

the thought was very very appealing.

'but it created many of me. there's another one farting around the station right now! why not just one?'

'in case one of you changes your mind. there's still free will, after all. if one of you chooses to absorb the simp, then that configuration of the universe will live.'

'so this whole time, the universe was betting on the fact that i'd let it die because it treated me so badly.'


'and sacrifice myself in the process?'


'pretty safe bet actually. so i do nothing and the universe dies?'


'which universe?'

'the universe you are in.'

'and if i do absorb the simp, i die?'


'and the universe i am in lives?'


'does each universe have a simp?'


'and if the other me doesn't do it, then that universe dies too?'

'what do you mean?'

'well... there are an infinite number of me in all these other configurations of the universe, right?'

'yea.... hell yea. you're right!'

'so, if you and me shift from universe to universe, we can kill the alt.mes before they absorb their simp, and destroy their configurations.'

'you want to kill every other version of you?'

i have always been a very selfish man. this would be the most perfect act. what's that about a coward... a thousand deaths? what would an infinity (minus one, of course) of deaths make me?

'why not... i got nothing else to do. besides... i don't like the idea of some other me fucking around. gives me a bad reputation. my universe is already gone. and i'll be damned if i'm going to die just cuz some accumulation of endlessly divisible sub-atomic particles is having a bad day. fuck that.'

'so you want to save one of them?'

'yes. this one. all i have to do is throw the other me in here under the simp bus, and boom! universe saved.'

spajjy stared at me, apparently in thought.

'that could work. i guess it's time to get started. you know this will technically take forever, right?'

'yea, yea, that's fine. what else do i have to do?'

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