Wednesday, 26 October 2016

The Tale of Joey Quantum

The Tale of Joey Quantum
 by Trevor Teasdel 

Published as a contribution to the Scientific American Centre for Quantum Technologies 2015 Quantum Shorts competition website - here

Joey Quantum came on like a waveform but posed as a particle when the press were present. He'd do his double slit trick but ended up in some parallel dimension after a comedy of errors brought him to his knees. Soon after, disappearing into dark matter, a legend grew up around him. Joey reappeared from his double dip disappearance some months later and got featured in Natural Geodesic, deciphering esoteric mistletoe sculptures in outer Mongolia. It was there I got to know him, sunbaked in some oasis thinking it was a mirage. Joey had calmed down a lot, he'd been through a lot of scenes and dimensions and knew how to handle relationships. Joey met this violinist in some bordello on the border and all the way along on a Sampan in Shandong, she was playing along to the radio and Joey heard his was hard to recall the curves of her melody but Joey described her as pure space, ever more mysterious the closer you got.

The world of men seemed obsessed with the acquisition of collected atoms, possessions, territories. They clashed like Titans, blasted apart atomic structures and rejoiced in war. Joey knew too much to fall for this illusion, what the Hindus call Maya. A chance mutation in his genetic structure had opened his mind to endless possibilities and viewpoints, all happening at once. Joey wanted to help his fellow men but how would he explain!

The papers had it in for him, they defined him in a headline, they demonised him by association, they exposed his sex life, trashed his words of wisdom, cut up his letters to read as something else, but Joey was an a kind of illusionist, escaping their hold and challenging their grip on reality. He defied all their predictions, confounded their plots with his spontaneity and led them on a chase. One day, they would wake up with a strange notion that the world wasn't quite all it seemed. They were like laboratory rats kept in darkness, soon their eyelids would lift to a new reality. This would be his strategy!

I wanted to get Joey's story down on paper, I had a deadline and an impatient editor but nothing made sense. It would take a whole new language, a fluidity of concepts and an inter-sensory medium to even get close to getting a handle on Joey Quantum! I wasn't up for the job, a limp pen in a dark ink but I did get close to the violinist. Joey made love to her on some whole other level but we just did the physical. The three of us were like chords on her violin, she'd run her bow across us and the air would vibrate with a calming knowledge. I learnt from Joey that love was a communion of waves and atoms operating on different wavelengths. Love wasn't about possession but about letting go of concepts. Nothing was separate. I couldn't quite grasp it all but I had opened myself to learning.

It came on news, one day after sundown, they had Joey down as an alien, surrounded him in the mountains, aimed their guns towards him. Joey was non-violent, and I knew he could handle himself. How many Joeys' did they see through their sights? Joey was everywhere and nowhere, their bullets unpredictable in their trajectory. The Military put it down to oxygen deficiency, high up in the mountains. They made excuses in the press. They never did get Joey Quantum. I still see him from time to time. He was an enigma they couldn't fathom but they had begun to ask questions and that was a start!

We both continued to hang out with the violinist on different levels. Jealousy played no part. Love was a form of communication, a method of learning, a search for meaning, a transcendence of reality. Joey taught me well. I'm glad I met Joey Quantum! His is quite a tale!


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