Chesteron K is back! "Shave and a Fractal." The Fractal Universe. "A good shave can solve many problems. Especially a close one!"
"Shave and a Fractal."
The Fractal Universe.
Fractals are these really cool mathematical formulas that have been converted to astounding, sometimes even breath taking strings of matter and light that appear to be more like another world, or even galaxy or universe than just a string of number ones and zeros. Binary code. You see I'm a scientist. Not a rocket one. More intimate than that. Perhaps a bit crazier too, considering some of the things I've done, places I've been, and sights I've seen.
Anyone lucky enough to have seen one of the awesome fractals has a life that will never be the same again afterwards. The tiny buggers...on our computer monitors, or perhaps classroom screens...are actually not what they seem, but everything we can't imagine. Vast spreads of shining orbs of light strung behind each other in perilous patterns of color that may as easily resemble a chocolate shake as a distant and far off galaxy of stars and Oort clouds.
I could go on and on about how incredible they are, and you still would only be peeking from the outside into a vast universe of variation that the Infinite Creator, or whatever you want to call the Force behind Creation. It's sort of like peeking into love by watching two attractive people lock lips and exchange glancing blows across their faces...we call them caresses and kisses, but they call them love knocking at the door. Whatever we call fractals they remain mysterious and unattainable to most, even as love is. True love. True fractals.
It's as easy to find the true world of fractals as it is to get a shave and a fractal...in other words, pretty much impossible. This is why I compared it to love. Look around you and you'll find examples of love, sometimes even pure love...course those sorts usually get strung up on a cross, tortured, or killed in some other vicious and low mannered way...but even those close in love, close in the spirit of love are few, though enough of such exist to keep our world from exploding like that ancient world Maldek that is now a series of asteroids past Mars. The Asteroid Belt.
Yeah. Planets explode. With a little help from our friends...anger, jealousy, hatred, self hatred, greed, lust and so on and on...but let us not get lost in philosophy. A little Nuke will do ya, and a lot of Nukes will do the planet. But let's not linger on what idiots those people were, we've got enough here to deal with.
It's all about fractals. Or it should be.
I feel that God created them because we needed a place of redemption, a solitary and remote place, and yet an attainable goal where we could rest our weary hearts and souls and replenish ourselves on the pure beauty of Creation before diving back into the thick man soup of confusion and dismay that life on earth has become with the rise of corporate consciousness and the lessening of human value in the greater scheme of things.
My name is Chesterton K and I'm a science teacher. At least that's what the people in the know say. The ones who gave me grades, a slab of wood with a paper on it stamped, "You're Done!" And then a boot out into the world of reality where I struggled a few moments, before deciding I couldn't take it any longer and found a better path. Teaching the young not to follow my footsteps. At least the ones that led to destruction of spirit and the holding back of self love and pride.
I teach science because I can still share the wonder of a universe that is mostly unexplored with young minds still in awe of their own bodies, and also quite ignorant of the abuse they are already putting them to with their over chemicalized food, super saturation of constant sexual titillation and overly zealous attraction to chemicals that alter the mind and body in pursuit of pleasure.
Enlightenment is a bitch. Really. I doubt that any master of the past...Galileo, DaVinci, Moses, Buddha, Jesus...you name them...had an easy path in life. The more you get it...life that is...the more painful it is at times to be in it, and yet with that revelation comes a kind of remote and peaceful impersonality that you learn to not only deal with it, but to love it back in ways that that reality...kicking and snarling...doesn't think it deserves.
Yeah. I'm a teacher. A damned good one. I stand a tad over six foot. My hair is black when I'm not starching it with blue, ruby or mint sparkles. I have intense eyes, mainly because I see so much and my humor is cosmic. That is, I laugh at pretty much anything, because it's hard to take serious a world where people are just the blind leading the blind for the most part.
I remember reading an H.G. Wells story, The World of the Blind, I think it was, where everyone was blind, but when a one eyed man entered the kingdom he became king. Except it doesn't work that way in our world. In our world the one eyed man will get his eye poked out. The blind are very jealous of their darkness.
The Tall Man paced his office, hands clasped behind his back like the fabled Sherlock Holmes as he paces his sitting room floor before the window looking out over Baker Street, intent on the defying mysteries of his most recent case, the inevitable pondering of its meaning, and the huge leaps of logical deductions which inevitably lead to a revelation that impounds a criminal or murderer in jail or a comfy six by three apartment beneath the earth.
"Chesterton, it's getting a bit hot out there."
I nodded, not really interested. I was playing mini chess with two fractal partners who sat across the desk from me. I had borrowed them from their universe precisely because they were incredibly smart when it came to chess; they could survive in my world, and also to annoy the Tall Man, who saw such ventures as a waste of time and stupid.
They're not. Man without the ability to play is a lost soul. One must play as surely as one must work. The two are wed as tightly as a couple who have been married happily for fifty years. They belong together and know it.
"Checkmate!" I told my fractal partners.
They both gave me these lopsided grins. They can't give any other. Their mouths are just dabs of swirling essence and hard matter that resemble a jigsaw puzzle out of synch. I gave them the high sign, smacked their open palms, and then watched them step sidewise back into their own realm, where they would continue playing chess forever and a day.
It had been a lucky break for me when I found that universe. Can you imagine a universe filled with beings whose only reason to exist was to play chess? I could and I found it. Lucky me.
"Never been less." I finally decided to tell the Tall Man, who had turned to face me, waiting patiently for me to finish my dallying and reply.
"I agree. But you must stop reaching for the impossible solutions and find ones that allow us to live at least...partially...in harmony.
I shrugged. "I don't think that Senator Warner would agree with that estimation."
The Tall Man shrank down into a chair, defeated. Senator Warner was a wart that would never stay excised from our skins. He was too thick, too worrisome, and too determined to make our existence miserable. He was also damned lucky.
Last time I had seen him was on top a favorite peak with billions of hungry fractal critters scrambling up the peak's side to help him with dinner. Theirs!
"I just have one question." I said while playing with a fractal sun that I had plucked from its orbit and was now spinning around my right thumb.
"Will you quit that?" The Tall Man ordered in exasperation.
I tucked the sun safely back into its orbit, and then looked him in the eyes. "When do we off him?"
The Tall Man shrank even further if that were possible. "We don't."
"Why not? You've got the President's right earlobe. You're on the inside looking out, shouldn't the Senator be spam by now?"
"In Nixon's world maybe." The Tall Man replied with a touch of sadness in his voice. "Even the Black Ops have people watching over them. People connected. Politics can save anybody's butt these days."
"And probably connected to the same dirt bags as the Senator." I added.
I sighed and got up.
"Where are you going, I haven't told you your assignment yet?"
I turned to look back at him. "When Mother Nature gets fooled, she gets even."
"You're not going to do anything stupid, are you?"
I gave him a blank stare.
He shook his head and gave me a weak smile. "Chesterton, either you really are the smartest man on this planet now, or you're a total idiot out of control."
"I prefer the latter configuration. I like to keep people guessing." I grinned back.
Then I sidestepped from that room somewhere deep beneath the White House and vanished.
Patti and I played MineCraft on my wall to wall Digital Screen silently, while the roars and noise of the game filled in the gaps between our conversations.
Finally, I switched off the game, twisted around to face her.
Her lips were puckered. I kissed them.
She smiled into my eyes.
Damn her! She knows my most deep and darkest secrets I thought.
Then she turned off the guilt spots and I relaxed, alone again with my deepest darkest secrets.
"Chesterton, you're like glass. I can see right through you."
"Shields, Captain. The enemy is upon us!" I cried out in horror.
She clapped a hand over my mouth and hovered closer, ready to strike me dead with the venomous Vulcan death grip.
"You're going to do something stupid, aren't you?"
Exposed. Annihilated. Destroyed in one nanosecond. Shields down. Not holding. I am alone and unwanted in a universe of hurt. Retreat and lick wounds.
She kissed me again, and then pulled back.
I nodded. She had the power of voodoo over me. No fair.
"Look." She said. "I know this Senator Murphy thing is starting to get to you."
"Starting..." I blurted out, before she clapped her hand over my mouth again, stopping me from profaning myself and all that I held dear.
"Honey, you gotta get a grip on yourself."
She let go.
She gripped my mouth again with her palm. "Promise?"
I was held in Darth Vader's powerful claw of force death. I couldn't speak. I couldn't breathe. I was no longer to be of this mortal world. I looked into his powerful helmeted face and could only nod.
The grip released and I collapsed back against the sofa, banging my head into the wall in the process. "Ow!" I complained.
She touched the banged spot. "Daddy got a boo boo? Want Momma to make it better?"
"Oh did I!"
It's not polite to peek into other people's love life, so I am omitting what happened next and segueing to a more interesting avenue of thought. How to bring down the Black Corps that Senator Murphy was part of. I called them Black Corps, because nothing else fit better, and besides, it sounded more ominous.
If I'm going to be a Luke Skywalker diving into the death star, I want to know that all the men and women I am about to destroy are as evil as Dark Vader, or else I'm going to be killing the evil Darth along with many, many innocent military personnel, who are only doing their job, and could give a crap's ass about the evil master's true intentions.
War is not pretty and weaves the greatest of fools and the kindest of hearts into its all embracing glove of violence.
I stood on my favorite mile high peak with the milling billions of fractal critters below with huge mouths hungry for my flesh and gathering to take another run up the sides to nab me before I side stepped away. I loved this domain, though God knows why. The critters here are all teeth and hormones, the flowers bite, the trees fall on you and the rivers run with creatures too gruesome and fractal mad to even discuss. Yet I loved it. Maybe it's because I could see the beautiful fractal rainbows that played across the descending fractal sunset here. Not just once a day, but all day.
"What do I do?" I asked the infinite fractal universe spinning, twirling, shining, and illuminating the skies before me. "How do I solve this equation?"
I sat down to ponder the complexity of what I was planning.
I knew the fractal critters were already hurtling themselves up the sides of the peak. Maybe one day they would break it with their weight. I was not the kind of scientist who could determine that, but I had a suspicion that our laws of physics didn't apply here the same way over time, even if in the shorter term they did.
I felt no trembling or shaking of the peak as the tidal wave of hungry critters raced towards where I lay among fractal flowers pondering the meaning of my life and how to displace a certain dishonest Senator who kept reincarnating back from whatever hell he was sent to into a prominent position that allowed him to keep on complicating my life and that of my loved ones.
My greatest fear was that he wouldn't stop at hurting me, Patti and the Tall One, but also my children at school. Granted, they weren't all the kindest most lovable things in the world, but they were in my charge, and despite some of the negatives that these sprouting buds possessed, they were still children and deserved as best a shot at making it to the fully sprouted stage, even as a forest tree should reach its height in the sun.
What to do?
The sound of thundering billions of tiny fractal feet finally reached my ears.
As the first of the bizarre all mouth like creatures spilled over onto my little heaven, I side stepped into fractal space, still unsure what to do next. I wasn't a killer, but I wasn't opposed to protecting those in harm's way. What to do?
What to do?
I sidestepped into my favorite barber shop. Dave's Barber Shop. A Shave and a Fractal was its name. He and I had a lot in common. He was an ex-student of Mandelbrot...the explorer of the Mandelbrot fractals and one mean sonuva bitch. He took crap from no one. He would as soon knock a jerk out as keep talking to them to find common ground if the jerk wouldn't cool their heels. I had watched him deck a customer who began bitching in his face because he hadn't a spot open for him to get his hair done, even though he had been told many times before to get an appointment!
Dave was no man's stupid, or lackey.
As he took his razor to the barbs of hair beneath my chin, causing the soothing peppermint soap suds there to curve away as he slid the blade smoothly across my stubbly skin, I sank into a soothing relaxation of spirit and mind I seldom allowed myself. This once a Sunday excursion into self pleasure was my only allowance of pleasure in a world that was becoming more and more complex, and of late more and more deadly to me and my loved ones.
What to do? I thought to myself, and then as I slipped into a kind of slumber from the gentle touch of Dave upon my face, I came up with an idea.
It was enough to get me to surf above my dream state a moment and be aware that he was no taking the razor to my other ear, and then I dove back beneath the waves of contentment, patient enough to know I...
...Knew what to do!
I smiled inside myself.
Someone was in for a big surprise.
Then I was lost to the pleasures of a simple shave.