The Holographic Universe

by Eric Burger

The poet read an article in Scientific American on the holographic universe; our universe could be a 3-dimensional shadow projection from a universe with four spatial dimensions, an event horizon permanently sealing them off from one another, sealing us off from any empirical knowledge of what’s on the other side. He prepared strong tea and a plate of baked beans, got a cigarette, and sat down at his bulky desktop computer. Light beamed straight through the window, further trying his desperate begonia. This wasn’t going to be easy. He wrote woozy buckets. Eh, maybe, he thought. He tried again. Flare of salmon, glib of stab-cheese. He added on high. Something turned in his stomach, coldly. Maybe his words carried some element of the 4th dimension, maybe not. What the hell did he know? His problem, among other things, was that he was precisely as limited in imagining a 4th spatial dimension as the poet writing about him writing about the 4th dimension. That poet saved what he had written and went for a walk through springtime bouquets of flower-scent from flowering trees. His job was to tell the story of failure and somehow, joy. He ordered a soft-serve vanilla ice cream and sat near the old, broken water fountain. He raised the 3-dimensional object to his mouth, pressed it to his tongue, felt his senses open to sugar and cold, felt a deep memory—washing his sticky kid-hands in the shallows as a dead crab tumbled in the surf—emerge, as if from nowhere.

Published on August 11, 2016