Nothing. I open my eyes and breath in a massive lung-full of Nothing. All around me, from top to tail, bum to tum, nose to toes. Nothing. I have to steady myself as the enormity of this discovery overwhelms me and surrenders me giddy. Although what to steady upon? A surface of sorts, but the texture and consistency are completely undecipherable. From bending down and brushing my fingers along it, the signals the nerves in my fingers are giving read 'Nothing'. However, based upon deduction, I am standing, therefore there must be something to stand upon. I am also breathing. Again, with my trusty sidekick, Logic: my body needs to breath in oxygen to live, there must be oxygen. No trees though. No plants to turn carbon dioxide into oxygen. What if there is a limited supply? I take another deep breath and hold it for as long as possible. My head starts to swim while my eyes stream tears, and finally my mouth bursts open of it's own desperate accord. I pant for awhile and decide that was not the best plan of action.
I look around, my body following the direction of my eyes, wishing to learn more. I turn, slowly, my mind searching for more clues. I can see. Of things to see, this place is distinctly lacking, but there if a dim light colouring the world around me a pale, yellowy grey. Similar to the colour of flint. However, there doesn't seem to be a particular source that I can deduce. It reminds me of mist that has been illuminated, but from a substance contained in the mist itself rather than an external origin. Perhaps carried by the water particles and spread evenly throughout it's whole. Sadly, there is no mist in this reality, and I am no closer to defining and understanding anything. Having reached the end of my present list of things-to-think-about, my body begins to feel tired with confusion. I sit down, cross-legged, on the surface-that-is-not. I place my head in my palm, fingers covering my mouth. The other hand crossing my body to hold the opposite upper arm. Where am I?
With my rational sidekick at hand I have reason to believe that I am in a place, but it's hardly much of a place. At least, not the kind of place that I've ever heard of before. The ultra-consistent grey light dances in front of my eyes, twisting, pulsating and unfurling it's effervescent bouquet of Nothing. Nothing- the anti-matter. Does that mean it does not matter? Or is it the opposite of matter?
“Does not matter,” is usually used to mean that something is not of relevance. This expression was probably coined by someone who equated matter- all that is made of particles- with all meaning in life. If we cannot sense it, cannot measure it, it is not worth thinking about.
Perhaps I'm in the realm of the evil twin of matter- snarling, biting, wild in it's complete lack of. If I lower my eyelids, the Nothing almost seems to to be arranging itself into scenes beyond imagination. Creatures with the faintest resemblance to elephants, but with echoes for eyes, the texture of what looks like butter and what is most easily described as the bodies are covered in billowing layers of static. They dance to a repetitive, incandescent beat before morphing into waves of agitation that shiver and float across a highway of grasping bone. Sharp, with a spiky sheen, the bone marrow escapes out and descends into a waterfall of disappointment- joining the waves. All is one, all becomes each and the rest.
I close my eyes, my sidekick is utterly stupefied. He snuggles close and whispers,
“Don't listen, don't watch. That's not real. None of this is real, it's all just Nothing,”
I strain, I want to believe, more than anything, but then something in my mind is hooked by another clue- Nothing, just like matter is all made of the same thing. This world around me, filled to the brim with Nothing, conjured up that strange pantomime I just witnessed. From the be all and end all of Nothing. Our world, (at least, your world. I don't seem to be part of it any more) according to Scientists is entirely composed of particles. Although often very different in their look to us, everything is made of the same thing. So many things, all so alike, but treated so differently. Another thing drifts into my mind and knocks, trembling, at the door of conscious thought. The door handle's luminous, burning eyes swivel to face this sniveling thought that dares to tread the winding path all the way from the unconscious just to make itself heard.
“Please,” it whispers, “I am a memory.”
The door handle raises an eyebrow.
“A memory of a book, an author describing Bell's Theorem.”
Something jogs- practically kicks me in the back of my mind. The door handle becomes more enthusiastic.
“Yes, go on?”
“Well, you may remember Miss Baker. With her thin, dark hair cropped into a sharp bob, looking down upon us through her square glasses perched on the end of her nose...”
More memories flood through the door in a fierce gush. Of whiteboards, of chewing gum stuck the bottom of wooden desks. Of dirty, white classrooms. Of grey floors. Of Jon sat to my left, always sucking his pencil and glancing around with big eyes. Of Robin to my right, bright blonde hair, wearing a baggy shirt instead of a fitted one- supposedly 'cool'. Of asking to go to the toilet as a way of breaking up the monotony of the lessons. Of notes, endless, unrelenting, forgettable notes. Of a book chosen to distract myself. Of a book called Prometheus Rising. Of something that suddenly grabbed my attention.
“There are no isolated systems: every particle in the universe is in 'instantaneous' communication with every other particle. The whole system, even the parts that are separated by cosmic distances functions as a whole system.”
Everything is linked, is the same. Just as in this world. Except in your world everything looks different, has different ideas associated with each object, each person. An ink bottle being related to an Indian man on the other side of the world?
“Crazy!” they would call you.
But if everything is made of the same thing is it so crazy? Craze is a word that usually describes fashions, ideas that get latched onto by the general modern society and followed. Sometimes though, ideas last. In this world, nothing seems different, all seems the same. Seems. Nothing is not as it seems. Double negative, at least, when I considered Nothing to be a negative. My views are being coerced into new and unfamiliar lands. My sidekick is also becoming enthused.
“Test it! Experiments! Try it again! Let's see what happens.”
I lower my eye lids again. This time, what I could only describe as coconuts with spider legs are using a vacuum to suck their way into a shape similar to a totem pole. This elaborate construction rises higher and higher, swaying and swishing, I can almost hear the creatures singing their melodious mulch. They begin to plateau, spreading along an invisible line, whilst more and more join in. Suddenly, they stop, and the whole contraption begins to float upwards, slowly, softly- then stops. I wait, they wait. The atmosphere is tense and succulent. The last creature explodes in a collision of what looks like globules of dream and coiled springs, the others swiftly following suit. Envy. I feel envy. I want their carefree, joyful ease of just being able to let go. To join the throng of simple satisfaction and elegant energy. A tear drips down my cheek.
I open my eyes wide in surprise. It has been such a long time since I cried. I can't even, remember.
Where is this world taking me? Places I never even knew about. Places I thought I had forgotten. Do we ever really forget anything? Or maybe it's stored somewhere, out of reach, ready for when it's needed.
“Again!” my sidekick urges. I lower my lids.
A tree. A tree made of piano. Softly rippling notes speeding up and down, played by tongues that dip and lick in a perverted way. Leaving a trail of lustful symphony. The keys rise into soft branches that brush and trace diamonds into the sky. A sky coloured with shades that I never knew existed and I never could describe. I wish I could. Shades that move and excite me. That warm and fill me, leaving me wanting so much more, but full of melody and starlight. Another tear. It has been a while since that warmth has been akin to my body. I have been so lost in numbers, in decimal places, in what is right, what is left, up, down. All. Not for lack of trying, but my attempts are always filled with this rigid, formatted insincere longing, all the while the return to my words being far more attractive and comfortable. I open my eyes.
How can such Nothing hold so much? The absolute Anti has brought forth more than I have ever been able to imagine my entire life. Or perhaps I'm wrong. Perhaps I've always been able to imagine it, I just never let myself. Or never knew how. This rush of absolute emotion is wearing me out, I feel sleep overcoming and seducing me. Unable to stop, and utterly addicted to these images, I lower my lids one more time.
Fireworks. Fireworks made of onions, tomatoes, carrots, pumpkins, courgettes, potatoes, vegetables that I've never even seen before, all appear to be dappled in a rose-tinted smile, but when these objects fall they transform into drops of moon that hop around clashing and chattering in infinite glory. They smile at me. In the distance I see a mountain. It's calling me. I have no idea how I know this, but it's true. It's beckoning me. I stand up. I step forward, one, two, three, four, each foot firm and steady compared to my racing heart. The mountain is further than I thought, but I have so much time. All the time in the world. In this world.
I open my eyes, but I'm still there, still walking towards that mountain. Slowly. One day I will reach it, reach the Nothing. Is the Nothing really nothing any more? Has it ever been? This continent of thoughts have arrived with the Nothing, enveloping me, overwhelming me with a unanalysable passion. There is so much beauty in the Nothing. Except that it's not really nothing. I've known that for a while, just haven't admitted it until now. The Nothing is Something. But it's not that either. If the Nothing became Something it would be to bring it back to your world, back to the world of objects and measuring and particles. It doesn't belong in your world, it belongs in this world. It is not Something. It is itself, the Nothing. It always has been and always will be.
With this final thought in mind my eyes finally snap shut, giving in to the endless bliss of sleep. My drained body falls, gently, to the surface that-is-not and I listen to my dreams.