I’ll start with a girl. Alice is her name. Alice has shoulder length brown hair and brown, doleful eyes. She’s five foot, five inches tall. She’s dressed in a pink sweater and crumpled and worn jeans. Under the sweater she is wearing a t-shirt. Usually T-Shirts have witty or subversive designs and text written across them, but her shirt does not have anything imprinted on it. Right now Alice is floating in space, so we should give her a frame of reference in which we can further understand her.
She is in a room now. The carpet is gray. The walls are white. Some of the paint is chipped off here and there. There’s a bookshelf to one corner of the room in front of Alice. It is lined with rows of worn paperback novels, so many novels that they are overflowing from her shelf and laying about all over the carpet. Next to the bookshelf is a door. To Alice’s right there is a modest, old wooden desk. There is an old computer monitor on it, a keyboard, mouse, alarm clock, a stuffed rabbit, a clunky old printer, various knick-knacks and little toys that she’s accumulated (presumably) over the years of her existence — although, she has only come into existence now, making the previous statement contradictory. There are more books — I guess she likes books a lot. Behind Alice is a bed. It has three drawers under it and a head board. There is a window on the wall behind Alice overlooking an emptiness — I haven’t yet described what is out there, so it’s safe to assume that there is nothing beyond the walls and the window is a portal to nothing. There is a door back and to the left of Alice (remember she’s standing face forward towards at the book shelf). Currently this door leads nowhere. There are some portraits of herself as a younger child on the walls, and one of her parents, but we won’t discuss them here.
This so far is a decent portrait of Alice. It’s not messy. She’s not attached to anyone or anything yet. She hasn’t done anything yet that could hurt her reputation or enhance it. There is no conflict in which she’s involved with. Nobody remembers her, there are no other people in her world and time isn’t even moving yet. If this were a video game, like the Sims, I haven’t unpaused the game yet.
Let’s do that now and see what happened.
Alice, unfrozen, goes about her business. She goes first to her bookshelf. It’s as if the bookshelf has been there always and she’s always loved books, even though technically she’s existed now on this page for 450 words (not including the title and by-line) that may or may not describe her as well as I would intend too.
Alice opens the book to read it, but she looks dismayed. She throws the book aside and pulls another one of the shelf and flips through it. It too is thrown aside. She tries another and another and throws them aside. Looking over her shoulder, we can see the problem: there are no words on the pages. I certainly don’t have the clarity and patience to formulate what each of these books are.
Unable to read anything, Alice tries her computer. She turns it on. Nothing happens. We can take a glimpse into Alice’s thoughts from our vantage point. She’s thinking that maybe the power cable isn’t plugged in. She follows the line from the back of her computer to the wall. But even with a cord from her computer to the outlet, there is no electricity, because there is nothing beyond that wall.
Alice is getting frustrated. Nothing in this small world is working according to the human intelligence and common sense I bestowed upon her by allowing her to enact linear, sequential, cause-and-effect thoughts. There is a disconnect with what she believes to be how things work and the limitations in which I place upon her by not describing her world down to the most minute detail.
Bored again, Alice looks out the window. Looking, though, seems to be a problem, as with seeing, staring, glaring, and viewing, and other verbs that invoke the idea of a connection between a human being and the external world through the sense of vision. Even though Alice can see, there is no light in this world. Her eyes, though, do see, because I tell you what she sees, and out the window, she sees nothing. I tend to think of nothingness as a blank, overwhelming whiteness, but nothingness is even the absence of a blank, overwhelming whiteness. It’s just nothing. As Alice stares out the window, she sees just that: An indescribable nothingness (which I tried to describe, but you get the picture).
Should she go outside? That’s the very thought she’s mulling over now. Windows are usually not things one goes out of unless it’s an emergency. She tries the door by her bookshelf instead. The door opens, as doors do, but it leads nowhere. Just for fun though, the door next to the bookshelf leads to the door next to her bed. Opening the door by her bookshelf opens the door by her bed. Alice, with the vision I gave her, can see the foot of her bed and her desk. Alice cranes her neck around the corner of the door and peeks through and she can see herself peeking around the corner of her own door.
It would be quite useful if the doors opened up to other places. Like China, then she could go to China. Or maybe it opened up into a fantasy land. Then she could go there. Instead though, the doors aren’t very useful since the shortcut of crossing her room when she can do so with a handful of steps doesn’t make it advantageous.
The window. Alice is “looking” out the window. Angry and frustrated, Alice climbs over the window sill and into nothingness. This is problematic from a writing standpoint. Nothingness has no dimensionality. So there’s really no way to step into nothingness. We should constrain this. Alice can “look” out of her window and view nothingness, because she is in a defined four-dimensional space. Time is the fourth dimension! She’s able to move through three dimensions after all. She should be able to “look” upon spaces of lesser dimensions. But let’s say she’s not able to move into a zero-dimensional space. How could she? I guess she could become nothing, but nothing is even the absence of becoming nothing, so that’s not possible. Furthermore, we defined six walls for her, but let’s say all of these walls are one-sided — you can’t see the other side of the wall anyway, since there’s nothing out there! If the walls are one-sided, and you try to step over that wall onto the other side of that wall, you’ll still just be on the same side of the wall. Whether that makes sense or not, Alice steps through the window into nothingness only to step back to the same-side of the wall that she left, and she is back in the room. We could make it like a Moebius strip and have everything mirrored, but let’s not do that.
Thoroughly trapped now, Alice lays on her bed. I’ll make it soft, just for her.
As I said, outside there is an absence of time, imaginary-time, and all other forms of time. Inside the room, there is time, since there needs to be a way to describe her forward movement. If she walks across the room, there needs to be an interpolation of that movement across time to fully realize it.
This becomes problematic too. Time versus the Human Consciousness. Alice, because we gave her human intelligence, has a consciousness, and perhaps that was the motivation for trying to escape her circumstances. To her, it feels like she is trapped for an eternity because there is nowhere to go and time is moving at an excruciatingly slow pace because she has nothing to do or nothing she can do except focus on escaping.
Alice sits up. She has an idea. She moves her mouth but no words come out. For her to speak, there would need to be air. Presumably, she should be dead (whatever), but let’s give her air now.
“Thought!” She screams. “That’s it!”
But there’s no one there to “hear” her, except me, and you. Unfortunately, for you, you can’t really talk to her and ask her to relate further what she means by “Thought! That’s it!” I’m terribly sorry about that, but the relationship is primarily between me and Alice, while you’re a third-party. You can’t also be in on all of her thoughts either, only I can, since I make them up. I could ask her, but I shouldn’t talk to her either. At that point, I would be considered borderline insane or clever, it’s a fine line.
Alice jumped off the bed. She talks (to no one, but she’s thinking, whoever is inventing this could hear me): “If I exist, that means someone or something had to create me. If I’m saying this, then that means time is passing, that means someone is taking the time to invent what I say next, and what I do next, and evenâ€¦what I’m thinking next!” I suppose I could end the story right here and whatever thoughts she had would be hanging here for an eternity, but I’ll let her play this one through. Alice walks to the door. “I’m thinking that beyond this door, is a hallway, the hallway leads to a staircase, the stairs, go down to another room.”
Alice opened the door by her bookshelf and entered the hallway. “Just as I thought,” Alice said (a clever double-entandre, I thought).
Alice walked across the hallway to the stairs, down the stairs, and into the other room there. “I thought there was a door here.”
And there certainly was.
Alice walked over to that door. “This door, is a door to all the other doors that whomever created me has ever created. I’ll have access to all the rooms he’s made, all of the thoughts he’s had, all of the means in which he created all of those rooms and things he’s made. I’ll enter his Thoughtspace.”
She opened the door and walked through.
This I would think is incredibly problematic, mostly for me, because now I can’t find Alice. She’s in all my thoughts, memories, and experiences, and all of the things I’ve created from those resources. She’s met the people that I’ve met, though she’s only met the version of the person I hold in my mind. She knows where I work, what I’m working on, and even how I do it, my experiences become her own.
Although, at this point, who can tell if it’s me relating my experiences, or Alice relating my experiences through me.