J: Diary of a Physicist


I slept restlessly. There was a party of Chinamen staying down the hall, and at 3am one of them showed up drunk and hollering outside his friend’s door, taunting him in very loud slurred Chinese until he emerged, making angry sounds, and they left at last so I could finally go back to sleep.

It was still torrential rain outside in the morning, to the point where I actually bought an umbrella just to cross the road to eat breakfast. I could have gone to the café near the hotel, for which they offered a 10% discount, but I asked myself: why would I eat crappy food, just to save money for a person who had expressly said to me `I have too much money, I don’t know what to do with it all’, who, in fact, had offered to pay a taxi to take me from Uni to my hotel the previous day lest I should get wet (the thought!) which I nevertheless declined, being partial to a little light rain – no, I would not eat crappy food to save money for such a person, thank you M.

So I went to a hip little café whose name escapes me, where I ate some pretentious vegan toast (of tofu and spinach) and feeling like a holy twat, pranced on to the Uni with my new blue umbrella at the bright hour of eight in the morning, tutting to myself about how late of an hour it was to be getting up.

Of course, nobody else was at Uni at that hour so I was locked out of my temporary office. Somewhat deflated, I pranced on humbly to the library where I tried to act like I belonged there while reading comics on the internet.

The day progressed with speed, as M seemed to be continuously arriving and then departing again to get yet more coffee and food and then coffee again, dragging me in his wake to talk about esoteric things, only to have to go back and write about them on the whiteboard before going out again for a snack.  This went on well into the night, when we eventually had to leave Uni, so retired to Newtown for some cheap pub food. I washed down two schooners while we were there, because they were cheap, and I needed to soothe the cramps in my stomach that I attributed to some rather fishy Japanese food I’d had for lunch.

I hope that you will forgive my descriptions of these gustatory escapades, but they took up an important part of the day (which was otherwise unremarkable) and it was either that or talk about my research, which is going to be hard enough to do tomorrow to a group of physicists without me having to water it down for you lot. Suffice to say that I am a genius, I have it all figured out, and it’s just a matter of time before they realize this and award me the Nobel prize. Then I will be rich, and doing physics only for fun and not for profit. I will even donate physics to poor people, generous soul that I am, except I doubt they’ll appreciate it.

I’m tired and I’m going to bed again. “It really bugs me,” I said to M over hot chocolate today, “how the time just disappears.” This situation is so bad that I am already becoming a bore to my friends for going on about it so often. If only they realized that it was the persistence of my fascination with time that was itself fascinating (persisting, as it does, through time), they would appreciate my point.


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