EYE UPON THE DONUT by Gregg Williard

EYE UPON THE DONUT by Gregg Williard

“She could be one of them.”  Matt nodded toward the end of the counter.  A Japanese woman of indeterminate age with fuchsia hair and an aqua hoody sat alone with a donut and coffee. Jake had never seen anyone eat a donut the way she did, from the outside surface moving in, turning it with each nibble until there was nothing but a perfect ring around the center. She placed it on the counter to study between sips of coffee.

Matt whispered, “She’s here every Saturday morning.  Orders coffee and a cake donut, always real careful not to bite the hole.”

Jake said, “Yeah?”

Matt leaned closer, talking low and fast.  “So, let’s say that everybody and everything is a projection of extra-dimensional forces that ‘interpret’ us in three dimensions, OK? And if we’re all electromagnetic metaphors downloaded from quantum data streams compressed to infinity inside the sentient black holes that are ‘dreaming’ us, then some people, just a few people , like that woman there, could be a black hole’s version of a ‘lucid dream’.”


“…which posits the donut batter as ‘objective correlative’ for plasma crushed in a torus of solenoid magnets, pressurized and accelerated until the nuclei fuse, which of course makes her eating the donut a representation of a representation, an avatar of a circular particle accelerator that is, in turn, a lower order, non-sentient expression of their dreaming us into being, you know?”

“Yeah.  But…”

“But what?”

“But don’t black holes eat matter and galaxies and stuff?  Are they dreaming us up just to eat us? Like, you know, a chef imagining a new recipe for poached quail eggs?”

Matt blinked.  “That’s a complete distortion, Jake.”

“I just don’t get what they want.”

“What they want?   Jake!  The question has no meaning. Even if it did we’d be incapable of ever knowing the answer. The consciousness we’re considering is infinitely more complex than ours. I mean, do you even ever know what your own consciousness ‘wants’ , let alone anyone else’s?”  At that moment Jake’s eyes met the woman’s. Neither looked away. Her pensive expression softened. She smiled, and he blushed. And smiled back.

“You know what I mean? Jake?



Gregg Williard's fiction, essays, poetry and visual art have appeared in Diagram, The Collagist, Your Impossible Voice, decomP, All The Sins and Sein und Werden, among others. He teaches ESL to refugees in Madison, Wisconsin and produces the spoken word radio show Fiction Jones/Under the Radar for WORT community radio (wortfm.org). His novel with graphics, The People in Tubes Motif  is forthcoming in 2019.

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