A Game of Quantammis at the School of the Universes

Your rating: None
2
Average: 2 (2 votes)

For a world-class wizard - he was being surprisingly dense. Either that, I guessed, or he was calling my bluff; just pretending to be confused.

Eventually, speaking very slowly, I said: ‘Look, in footie they’ve got goals, right?’
‘Right,’ he said.
‘And in tennis there are tennis-nets.’
He gave a noncommittal shrug, shoving his specs up his nose.
‘In Quidditch you have a pitch and those ring-things you chuck the whadayacallits into.’
‘Quaffles ,’ said Harry.
‘Whatever,’ I said. ‘But in Quantummis we have a field and a Fuzziness.’
‘Which means,’ he said, ‘there’s no goals, so nobody wins. I suppose it means nobody loses either,’ he mused. ‘But that’s so boring.’
‘Did you think the game we just watched was boring?’ I blurted out.
‘No. It was exciting. But still nobody won. With proper goals,’ he said, ‘There are only two possibilities: yes or no. In or out.’
‘The goal of Quantammis isn’t about winning or losing. It’s deeper.’
‘And like I said: it’s well dodgy,’ said Harry.
‘It’s so not dodgy.’ I was on the point of losing my cool and just gliding away. But I stopped myself, focusing all my energy into a single point. ‘I give you,’ I conceded, ‘a Fuzziness is vague. But it’s based on solid philosophical principles.’
‘Yeah. Like what?’
‘On the axiom that truth and clarity are complementary.’
He looked like he was thinking about this, scuffling the dusty path with the tip of his broomstick in a figure of eight. And then he said: ‘Meaning what precisely?’
‘It’s subtle. You can be one thing and another thing at the same time. And in a different place. A Particle and a Wave. A body and a soul. A wizard and a boy.’

Harry had come to the School of the Universes - after much prodding and waving by me - to watch a game of Quantummis. And it just so happened, this particular game was epic.
To give you a bit of background: my school’s experimental. We’ve got two head teachers. Professor Classical is to be found up in the attic staring out through the window at infinity or tinkering with his mechanical clocks. Professor Quant often disappears, taking long theoretical swims in gravitational waves, but you know she’s always around somewhere.
Quant and Classie let us Particles/Waves do pretty much whatever we want. Which is fortunate since we’re a wild bunch, almost infinite, and don’t like being tamed. But sometimes they don’t agree and there are terrible rows, or, more often, long expectant silences until one of them caves in or they find a way to compromise.
At the School of the Universes, Particles/Waves sometimes flow together to make a Physicist or other kind of Observer. The funny thing is, as soon as they turn into Physicists all they seem to be interested in is finding us free-moving Particles/Waves again and calling us names. We often have a laugh at their expense. We know how to dodge and evade or spin and charm them or sometimes we just split.
And that, of course, is how the game of Quantummis originally began.
It’s either played with Particles/Waves or simply with Theoretical Ideas. It’s played on the Collider Playing Field Area or in the Theoretical Arena which can be anywhere. It can last for eons or hardly any time at all.

The game Harry and I watched just now began with a Physicist called Pauli who wasn’t feeling well. He went to see an Observer called Doctor Jung. Once the Doctor cured him of his immediate symptoms, Pauli challenged him to Quantummis.
Pauli and Jung were wizards in their respective fields and they both thought they could find a common Theoretical something. They called it looking for an Archetype.
Hup - Pauli spun a Theoretical Idea high up into the ether and – bam – Jung tossed it back again. Hup – bam – bam-be-dam – hup. The Ideas bounced all the way from Vienna to Princeton to the outer reaches of space and back to Geneva and their game lasted twenty-six years from 1932 all the way through World War II to 1958.
They reckoned if they could fuse – or smash - their Ideas - together they’d find the One Unifying Idea of Everything.
They volleyed back and forth: Dreaming. Synchronicity. Mandalas. That pesky Archetype. Quaternity.
The Fuzziness, while staying still, kept moving around, true to form, and there were occasions when the players seemed hopelessly entangled or like the whole match would disintegrate into chaos. But there were moments when it all came together and one or other of them played a blinder.
Hup. Bam. Ba-bam thud. Hup, Deuce. Love.
Love. A universal unifying force is what Pauli and Jung were looking for, a force I knew deep in the space between my quarks all wizards and witches of good standing would appreciate.
And knowing this gave me the answer to my current conundrum as to whether or not Harry was presently calling my bluff about understanding the game. The truth was Harry was good ergo Harry knew about love ergo Harry understood Quantummis and the principles of Fuzziness.

‘Aye, Fuzziness,’ said Harry, tapping the side of his nose and giving me a roguish look.
He jumped onto his broomstick and zoomed off into the sky. As I watched him disappear I realised: he had been being dense and equivocal on purpose.

About the Author: 
Visual artist into physics.