Title: One Giant Leap

Callout: A flattening.

Logged: 15 Jun 15 (Monday in the PM)

Copyright:

Time: 2 minutes

Replies: 27

Revisions: 6

Publicity: Workshop

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Todd had trouble every time he crossed the border into the land of two dimensionals. It bothered him to not be able to see around people, see their other side, or see them from the side. Sure they were people just like he was, but who can trust a person like that? And he wasn’t so sure anyone there could even tell that he wasn’t of their kind. It was a depressing experience to be sure, and he would avoid it altogether if he could. Unfortunately he could not, for the border lay unceremoniously right across his front stoop. Three stairs descended from his home, his sanctuary, and then leveled out in bi-axil reality as far as the eye could see. In his finished basement, a comfortable space situated reassuringly below his kitchen, entrance way and living room, he was constructing a model of the known universe. It was an ambitious endeavor of chipboard, leftover produce, clay and crayon, and Todd knew in his three dimensionally beating heart that it was painfully inaccurate. His mind was not the sharpest, it lacked that ruthless edge he witnessed of certain two dimensionals, and he had no real working hypothesis on how to reconcile the two universes. The phrase “two universes” itself was an inherent contradiction, but he couldn’t think of any better way to describe it. Despite years of effort the model remained an unintelligible mess.

It was an ambitious endeavor of chipboard, leftover produce, clay and crayon, and Todd knew in his three dimensionally beating heart that it was painfully inaccurate.

And so one day, after a particularly frustrating day trying to relate to the two dimensionals but being wholly unable to get them to understand any of his deepest desires and fears, and deducing that none of them had any deep desires or fears at all, he marched down to his basement and toppled the whole thing over. The chipboard and clay and paint and produce was violently sent over and into and onto itself before coming to rest on the floor. To a neutral observer it didn’t look all that different or less accurate in this new state, but to Todd the job was heartbreakingly unfinished. He bent his knees, eyed the ceiling, swelled his chest and belly with a deep deep breath, and leapt as high as he could with all his might above the tumbled model. His smile was almost perfectly crooked as he felt it flatten beneath his feet.

Revisions

Rabbit » Authorship
Elk » 1:44 PM 07 Aug 15
Elk » 1:41 PM 07 Aug 15
Rabbit » 1:48 PM 27 Jun 15
Rabbit » 1:45 PM 27 Jun 15
Rabbit » 1:31 PM 15 Jun 15

The Thread (27)

 Author's voice in spacey orange. 

  1. Was totally pulled in by memories of the claymation Simpsons episode.

    I want the sequel — the fourth dimension, the t-axis.

  2. The t-axis frightens and confuses me. I can’t picture it. I can’t imagine what it’s like.

  3. My immediate mental reaction was, “I can do it. And now I will.” I sat to write and for 30 seconds I was paralyzed. Then I wrote this comment. True story.

  4. Is this about a book?

  5. I’m good up until the end. So he knocks the model down and then jumps over it, leaving his soles behind, right? What was unique about the tumbled model? Anything?

  6. I’m reading this as a piece on reading/writing. 2-D folks are endeavors in the literary arts, and the struggle with them is the struggle to read or write.

    The wrecked model at the end might be his destroyed attempt at interpretation. It’s a hermeneutical mise en abyme – our interpretation of a sabotaged interpretation. The great irony is that it looks the same whether sabotaged or perfectly and meticulously constructed.

    Or is about video games?

  7. I probably got a little too cute at the end, relying on the excerpt to supplement my intent that he’s jumping on the model, reducing it to two dimensions, though not before engaging in some decidedly three dimensional actions.

    Didn’t intend a reference to books, writing, or video games, although the flexibility of interpretation is a nice draw, and in some sense it’s part of the same general sphere of influence. As with yours truly, the inspiration was a bit simpler.

    Instead, the driving idea was the tendency, perhaps necessity, to limit our construct and regard of others to a two dimensional gloss. For ourselves, close friends and loved ones we are able to maintain an understanding of a fully formed and complicated mind. But to truly feel that way about everyone would be too demanding, too distracting, and perhaps counterproductive to our daily tasks. Our minds are made to categorize, and it’s something that extends to superficial attempts to describe others, whether friends, associates or historical figures. These descriptions can’t help but amount to something less than ourselves. Maybe that’s what loving means, not in the wishy washy romantic sense, but in the sense of true understanding of another as having a mind as deep and broad as your own. There’s a spectrum we sit on with the psychopath on one side and Jesus on the other.

    Maybe it is about video games after all.

  8. That exact description is what writing is all about, and describes its major flaw. For even at its best, it fails to capture real life, inherently simplifying actuality. And of course the great paradox is that writing also seems more real.

    Video games for sure.

  9. Quoth Rizzuto, “Holy cow.”

  10. Fun fact, I started banging this out on my phone, a rarity for me, while my flight was descending. Wanted to make sure I wrapped it up before I got to the gate. The primal destruction of a futile attempt to cast two dimensions into three, a reversal of sorts of the holographic universe.

  11. Lots of gems worth sleeping on in there, such as:

    Cosmological holography has not been made mathematically precise, partly because the particle horizon has a non-zero area and grows with time.

    And tell me “Wheeler’s Bags of Gold” isn’t the next best damn vignette title this side of the event horizon.

  12. In keeping with your original intent, Turgenev wrote, “The heart of another is a dark forest.”

    Ain’t that the truth.

  13. Hey, someone other than Beckett and Joyce. I’ll take it.

  14. Well, to hit you up with the third of the Trinity, my man Flann writes about a two-dimensional barracks in The Third Policeman.

  15. Those Russians are such drama queens.

  16. Rabbit, I read it that way. There’s a better possible execution of the end. Somehow it says too little by saying just too much. In other words, if you’re going to explain that it fell apart then leave it at that. Saying he jumped over it seems to leave me needing more about why or what that means.

  17. Bear, Turgenev, Heart of Darkness.

  18. I never thought to call a Russian a drama queen. Textbook.

  19. If we’re talking about how to make this piece better then I’d say his Nikes fall complete, not just the soles, unless there’s some sort of soul/sole entendre thing happening there.

  20. I’ll see what can do on the ending, as I do think it’s weak, perhaps due to impending deplaning. I do think jumping and stomping the model is an important piece, at least in my original conception. Along with something or other that happened on the Moon a while back, it’s the reference point of the piece’s title.

  21. My Epiphany Machine is running low on plutonium, but modified slightly the ending.

  22. My mind circled back to this piece yesterday — the visual of this fella poking through his ceiling, Nike’s still dangling in the second dimension, like he lept through into the third.

    But what happened to that part? It’s been edited out.

    Wait — I see — he didn’t leap through the ceiling leaving his shoes behind (as I envisioned), he lept onto the contraption in the basement to crush it.

    I still want him to leap through the ceiling into a third dimension, a la The Simpsons.

    Also — why isn’t this Carlos character otherwise known as Todd?

  23. Yeah, point was always that he destroyed the model. In his house he is in the three dimensional world; two dimensions starts at the front door.

    Could be a Todd piece I suppose, wasn’t thinking along those lines at the time.

  24. Changed Carlos’ name to Todd (we’ll always love you Carlos) – and added todd tag.

    There’s this thing Todd does where he time travels, or dimension warps, or something on the x, y, z, t set of axes. This is a dimensional piece. Am I crazy or does it fit like a glove?

  25. I just superfeeded the hell out of this one. Happy Friday, everyone.

  26. Nice. You’re right, the Toddness was clearly evident in this one. Dude is so sneaky sometimes, just warps right into unsuspecting vignettes.

  27. They don’t call ’em quantum narratives for nothing.

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