The 10 Days of Creation
I don't recall exactly when I wrote this short story - a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away (which puts it in the late 1980's to early 1990's)... It needs one little bit of explanation:
It’s inspired by a theory I read around the time the book A Brief History of Time came out (indeed, it may have been in that very book) that black holes were a cosmic mystery because while a black hole has mass, it has a volume of zero – and when you start plugging zero into physics equations that don’t normally expect zeroes, odd things happen. The theory posited that in a black hole anything was possible. Which got me to thinking: what if all of the matter and the energy in the universe were in one black hole before the beginning – and what if that black hole became self-aware? Hey, anything can happen, right? It’s my little pet theory of where God came from… enjoy!
The 10 Days of Creation
<Fertile minds plumb our absolute beginnings and find only mystery and confusion. If then everything existed as a point without volume, all of the mass and energy and material that is occupying nothing, then this is indeed a most singular occurrence. And if, where all things are equally probable because we have no laws to limit, what if that singularity should become aware of itself?>
I suppose my first memory: I see a red and white '57 Chevy convertible--top down--matching red vinyl interior, a pair of fuzzy dice dancing from the rear view mirror. It started at what I assume was some ridiculously extreme distance, less than a point from my vantage. The best of my memory (which, in those days, wasn't quite what it should have been) the car drove on a basically level course, headed straight for me. The headlamps were lit, although only on low beam.
As I understand it now, after some period of time I realize that the car had started to spiral. It was still some years off, and from what I recollect the spiral was quite slow. I think I grew bored and distracted before it completed one revolution, showing that my attention span needed some work at that point as well. I also figured out that the motor was running. Ten billion light years a gallon was my estimate. I started to calculate the speed of the car, but I realized I had not point of reference. I toyed with the idea that I was actually moving toward it, instead of it toward me. By the time I calculated the thousand other ways to figure speed I was bored with the idea and just didn't bother.
I decided that, as the only apparent event I could perceive, this ranked pretty low on the excitement scale.
The last little bit grew slightly
more interesting, and supplied the basis later for my grand experiment. As the Chevy draws closer, bits and
pieces would detach and accelerate toward me. The first, I believe, was a mirror
on the driver's door. It snaps
off. Really a slow bend, pulling
away like so much soft taffy. The
mirror, when it popped loose, took on quite a spin. I imagined I caught my reflection in one
of its convoluted revolutions, but that's crazy--of course. Finally the mirror
elongates without shattering, turning into a shiny silver spear, and the
remnants are quickly absorbed.
The rest of the car was now flipping end to end as well as spiraling. I figure the engine, while amply fueled, ended overdue for an oil change and threw a rod. The flipping car struck me as poetic, figuratively speaking. First the car bore down head on, then the classic 3/4 view, sans bikinied blonde. Then like twisting the palm of your hand about on your wrist to bring it up to your face, the underside--gleaming chrome, virgin rubber, not a leak. Finally the trunk would swing down, polished emblem and personalized plate (although I can't remember just what it said) 180 upside down, duel pipes just slightly blackened from the rod incident. Another 3/4 or so shot, this one low and upside down. Follow it all with more variations, every angle in its time.
By now more and more parts were breaking off and drifting toward me. The dice slipped off the mirror on one revolution and came up amusing sevens. The trunk lid slipped open in slow motion and the tire iron and spare danced to me. The front bumper, the rear left fender: after that, the car just sort of disintegrated, alloys and polymers into purer metals, into elements, the weightier taking the lead, molecules, atoms, subatomics, and finally just a quick stream of pure white slipping warmly inside. I glanced at the drivers angry frame as it stole into the darkness.
I don't know exactly when the idea of time occurred to me, although the question itself points out the nature of the trouble. I think I started time when I saw the Chevy. Since I knew it was a '57 Chevy, there must be at least 57 somethings, and time seemed to be the logical starting point. This whole concept of dimensions holds some entertaining possibilities. Now that I have time, I really ought to see if I can come up with something to do with it.
I've decided to break this first dimension of mine down into units I'll call days. I've still to decide exactly what it is that I want to measure. In spite of all my thinking on the subject, time is a pretty useless concept without something to take advantage of it--something to fill up my day, as it were.
I spent the whole day looking around. Nothing, really. Literally. Nothing to see. Nothing to be done, as they will say. As far as I can tell, I have pretty much infinite perception. Some qualifier, eh? To rephrase, then: My perception seems to encompass everything that is. Everything that isn't, well, just isn't. I've decided to call this "isn't" darkness.
I was just energy at this point. Lord, how rudimentary we started! I had already grown fond of playing around in the electromagnetic spectrums. When I shot a bolt of light into the darkness, it didn't go anywhere, as far as I could see. It isn't just wasn't, and the light (which is always me) just doesn't seem to mix with the darkness. This strikes me as somewhat rude.
Note to myself: as I will be juggling time, it will become more and more apparent that I will have needed more rooms to have played in. The isn't recoils. All there seems to be is me, and not me. That which is not me is darkness, and it doesn't appreciate having company. The isn't is dark just because. Because it will not have been me.
Today I invented...
Let's not be modest.
Today I created matter. Quite simple. The funny thing is that, ever since the Chevy incident (which prior to the discovery which I will reveal later--isn't that just like me?--had caused me curiosity in many respects; like, who was driving, and did it pick up any hitchhikers?) I've been kicking the idea but didn't come to any focus until now because all of the work involved didn't seem worth the trouble.
Then I decided that all of the math involved would just be first order arithmetic. Schoolboy sums. My first bit of matter was not very impressive by current standards, but I have to confess I was pleased and just a little proud of myself.
I set out immediately to make another like it. I am realizing how much fun this could all lead to. Already I formulate quite a few little rules for how my two bits should get along.
Two points of difficulty. First, as I read these notes I will write to myself on my earliest days, I am struck by how self-absorbed I seem to have been, and I am afraid that I feel as if I will have to defend myself from myself. The second point of difficulty is my best defense of the first point.
The matter (literally) of the '57 Chevy. Having already planned to come to the conclusion that we are all that exists, except for the darkness, which doesn't count because it isn't, I vaguely must remember having made and launched the car some time previously.
Honestly? I don't remember. I am, again, assuming. I have found it odd, with all of our limitless knowledge, I would be assuming anything instead of simply knowing. But I do know, after all.
For all of our existence outside of the Awakening (as I have come to call his invention of time) we appear to have been in the process of invading the isn't, the darkness, which is where time and space would have wanted to be. The mystery of the automobile becomes quite material.
Before the Awakening we must have been Creator, artifacting and sending forth into the darkness, only to have our daughters return home.
Since I will be all that ever was, the Chevy, part of me, so was drawn to me. Dust to energy, ashes to light.
Outside of time I created, inside of time the matter simply became energy within them again.
So on the sixth day I invented reason. Somehow, I've got a feeling this one's going to cause me trouble.
Today we all created a myriad of matter. I started with simple little silver balls, about an infinity of them--it hardly took up any energy or room at all. Then we amused myself drawing fanciful patterns on the darkness.
The isn't seemed to object to this thing called matter, and kept pushing everything back at me, although that which doesn't exist hasn't much strength. Greater is he that is within me.
I am beginning to see the plan of my mother and of my son. I have grown somewhat bored and tired of the shiny balls, even after I will give them colors and sounds and smells and tastes. I am formulating even more complex ways to use these creations of mine--time, matter, space. I've even got some relationships brewing which can't be described by mathematics. That ought to be good for a laugh or two down the road.
I have already been finding out that the most elemental matter I create has a tendency to want to convert back into pure energy and seek my center, to be one with the creator again, and I find that I have to give each one an extra bit of myself to hold the basics together. Sort of a supranatural glue, you might say.
This idea of giving is formulating a plan that I have to admit is somewhat exciting, even to an old hand like me. To conquer the darkness, to take the isn't by force and make it an is. So this is why she will have made time for me, for the infilling of the void.
I decide to cancel the rest of this day and go directly to the next.
I did it! Today I set the whole grand design into motion, the plan of my daughter and her father. I threw about a fraction of my essence, our energy, into making the matter. Now, by its own excitement of creation it has pushed back the darkness as far as the eye can see, all in a twinkling, less, really. The isn't went quickly and grudgingly, and many bits of it have left odd little gaps in my outpouring, but by and large there isn't any isn't any more.
It somehow saddens him, however, to see that which isn't, that which should seem to be irrelevant, somehow opposed to our plans. The bright ones I allowed outside of the awakening also, some, don't seem to grasp their finality and my infinality. So those who are not, the bright ones who strove outside of time, are not. The darkness, which isn't.
I am amazed as I will be putting these words down how the history unfolds itself, just as we thought before we even started time up. I set out on a grand tour, even though I am already everywhere. It pleases me to see how quickly my spirit can fly from one end to the other of all this endlessness.
The dawn of a glorious day. Figuratively speaking. Her spirit is everywhere at once, looking at all we have created with our explosive outpouring of myself. I let her amuse me with our dancing among the clouds. This is a time for fun. I enjoy the sound of the laughter of all that matters. Listen and you can hear it sing. It's good.
The work is far from done, of course. The work will never have been done, until even time itself is drawn back into my love, until once again we step outside of these amusing limits. Still, there are quite a few things which are beautiful to watch as they spread from one end to the other, from one time to the next. A certain joy fills me, and a certain sadness.
There are drawbacks, believe it or not, to being omniscient. To having created a universe out of one's own being, to have set forth the motion and drawn up the rules, to, in short, know. To know the setting up and see the tearing down in one thought. All in all, however, it is a better life than being a point without time surrounded by isn't.
My spirit happened upon a planet today, a fairly insignificant and humorless place. For some reason I hovered over her sad and unlikely face. I was slightly troubled, complex as I had set her in motion, all of the patterns of the waters making and unfolding, the molecules dancing as I had taught them.
For now the earth was without form, and void—and darkness was upon her face. As usual, an idea dawned. I had a plan. As I set briskly about my work I had faith that I would see it all and see that it was quite good—although I have a feeling I would have to wait awhile to see another '57 Chevy.