“It came to me while I was studying Chaos theory and came across the idea of phase spaces. A phase space is when you combine variables on a graph to depict wider trends in behavior. So you can combine in a single portrait speed, position and time. The pictures come out quite beautiful and that the depiction of a straw circling down a plughole can in certain phase spaces to be seen exactly like a cube. They show another truth of the event, one you wouldn’t otherwise see, but no less valid.
“It occurred to me that there was an ultimate phase space – one in which all events occur and this gave me some comfort relating the musings of science with ultimate reality. At some point they connect. At some point everything connects and it’s nice to know science is not excluded from that.”
Once you start seeing the world as shapes, patterns become evident. I don’t mean the geometrical breakdown of a sunflower or even fractalising it to perfect its infinitely repeated pattern. What I’m interested in is some kind of inner geometry – the soul of the thing. Numbers too. Once you see dates as a swirling combination of shapes patterns, as I say, become evident. The connections between Barack Obama, the date 12/09/09 and an old lady doubled in rags bringing a Mercedes Benz to a screeching halt on your bicycle journey to work become clear if you just looked at the shapes involved. We’re all just flows, frankly. Looking deeper, the shapes are not representations of the thing being witnessed. They are that thing. And sometimes I think a truer expression of what is there than at point blank.”
You’re a little stunned and ask him for an example. You’re grasping at the corners of his possible psychosis, grappling for a foothold as the phrase “the space in which all things occur” ripples through your mind. The profundity and inanity of it equally tortuous your head’s spiralling up so you lay the concern aside. He’s still speaking and you’ve missed most of the last bit so you ask him to illustrate. On a napkin, pocked with traces of grease and salt he draws:
“September 2009 was a powerful month. 09/09 is enough to ring alarm bells if you’re not British and don’t see the ninth day as code for the emergency services. It was a very urgent day the 9th. Urgent in a way that folk were on their way to something. I spoke to a man desperately seeking new employers with a Finance degree. Myself I was calling all the international high schools in town looking for a new job. There was a lot of running, not to get somewhere, just make sure we’re on the right way.”
He draws the shape 1-16.09.09 and somehow it’s obvious. The laser beam, the womb and the projectile. It was a trumpet of a little over a fortnight sending us on our way. “Things had to change in those days” he exclaims “and it’s been like that ever since Pope Gregory said the calender had to be a certain way.
“You see here how 16 brings it all to harmony”.
It’s a relief to hear and you ease into coffee conversations and the mill of politics. The shape of things just done merging into talk of disappointed girlfriends, news of home and the racket the people make in the appartment under you on a Thursday when for another week, the dole cheque did not come through.