I am still alive [or at least believe so]

Thank you for your emails, and for your patience as I stumble to find myself at the ripe age of 27. With changing high heels and careers, practicing for law school and the imposter that is disappointment, paying credit card invoices and my dues, and waking up over a pile of manuscripts on the couch wondering whether I dreamt of self-playing violins that sound like nihilism because I happened to have been asleep on top of that particular page or because of broodier implications, the only time I’ve had left has been expended in casual conversation with coworkers.

On one occasion, I recounted to a coworker asking an astronomy instructor what was at the center of the universe, a question he insisted was demonstrative of a misunderstanding which he could not identify. He asserted instead that the universe is both a sphere and has no center.

“I’m sure it’s possible to have some weird center-less geometry,” said my coworker in an attempt to resolve the issue. “Maybe that guy was a bad explainer though.”

“He was bad because he said pointedly that the universe is spherical.”

“Yeah it seems like spheres have centers. Is there nothingness inside the sphere?”

“That would still mean it had a center, unless there is a kind of nothing that is nothing. I mean, if the logical opposite of nothing is not nothing, and something surrounded nothing in a spherical form, then the nothing would still be at the center (as opposed to elsewhere in the spherical something), but if there is no center at all, then it is a different kind of nothing than nothing.” I paused. “It is non-existent.”

How many kinds of nothing are there? Or, I suppose, how many kind of nothing aren’t there? (Or is this a double negative?)

Most pressingly, what kind of nothing am I (not)?


What are dimensions really? It was in the middle of reviewing a legal brief at work when I suddenly had the thought, and I texted my coworker who lives in Singapore. “Becky how do I know that I am three-dimensional?”

“Oh boy we are wading into deep philosophical waters,” she replied.

“Wiki says this,” I flipped to the page. “‘Calendar entries for example are usually 4D locations, such as a meeting at time t at the intersection of two streets (x and y) on some building floor (z).’ Does this mean we interact with 4-dimensionality all the time? Becky are we 4 dimensional?”

“We are constantly traveling through the fourth dimension,” she granted.

“Time is a dimension that qualifies us as who we are though,” I was so provoked I was reading everything she sent a second too late, “on top of height width and depth… Doesn’t that make us 4D? Becky how come I’m not 4D. Becky am I a human tesseract.”

“Your past, present, and future would have to be as much the same thing as your heel and toe.”

“Why hasn’t anyone told me I am so amazed I will cry,” I pined. “Becky my whole life I believed I was 3D.”

“You might still be.”

“Becky are we 19-dimensional? Are we any number of dimensions we list?” I paused. “CEO just walked by my office door and I had the weirdest look on my face and he stopped for a minute but then kept walking because I did not blurt out HOW DO I KNOW I AM 3D.”

“Lol! A+ very professional.”

“Becky when I see you again we are meeting in the 4th dimension.”

“Well it would be very difficult to meet outside of the 4th dimension.”

It occurred to me shortly after that, that 2- 3- 4D etc. could be any combination of all the dimensions that exist (e.x. one two-dimensional universe may have only width and length, but another could have only height and time) so that means each universe could have different combinations of what it means to be two- or three- or four- etc. dimensional in an infinite number of combinations. Imagine! Encountering a 3-dimensional creatures whose dimensions are different from yours.

Dear reader. Can you breathe? I have surely ceased to exist. I have dissolved into the universe(s), vanished into a serenade of nothingness. I have merged into every revolving planetary body.

Muslim aliens

Dear readers! An intriguing and urgent question has been dropped into my inbox!

Would Muslims on Venus only have to pray 5 times every 243 Earth days? Since Venus rotates backwards, would they say the prayers in reverse order? What does this mean for Muslims on Uranus (no anal joke). THE FUTURE OF SPACE EXPLORATION AWAITS YOUR ANSWER WITH BAITED BREATH!

Famed scholars of our planet, how does a Muslim Earthling save xirself the embarrassment of engaging a Muslim Venusian in congregational prayer insensitively timed? Is it appropriate to adapt the Venusian prayer calendar? Upon my scheduled visit to Uranus, should I determine the arrival of Ramadan by the phases of Titania or Cordelia? Is eating Martians halaal?

related: mermaids, giants