String theory is not an intuitive notion by any means, save for those men and women whose brains are already tied in knots. With the right professor however there are ways to make this concept clear, ways to illustrate the eleven dimensions of this odd universe, at least enough to pass an exam. I suppose yesterday’s trouble can be attributed to the fact that we had the wrong professor for such a task.

Dr. K. Cera was a pioneer in M Theory, a man thoroughly convinced that strings would bring relativity and quantum mechanics together in one immaculate TOE. His peers rallied behind his theorems but balked at his manners, and eventually fled from his conclusions. Dr. Cera believed that the universe had a shape, neither a donut nor a saddle nor a plane, but a steadily contracting fist. Five fingers, knuckles, fingertips, all bending inward. The mass of folds in our universe would, one day, recombine into a gargantuan gordian knot.

All of our physics courses had been leading towards this moment, Dr. Cera’s final reveal, staged as if we were apostles at the rolling back of the stone. Emile Hooper, a student in the first row, raised his hand.

“Yes?” said Dr. Cera.

Emile took a moment to clear his throat, and proceeded cautiously. “Professor, you’re saying that the entire universe is shaped like a fist?”

“Yes,” said Dr. Cera.

“How can you be sure?”

Dr. Cera stared at Emile for a blank, mellow moment, his arms crossed over his hand knit sweater in solemn anticipation. Then he said, “Mr. Hooper, please stand up.”

Emile stood up and then approached Dr. Cera when the man bid him come closer. The Doctor addressed the class: “This is an excellent question and why every fact begins as theory. I will prove it today as I have proved it time and again in the halls of colleges from here to Sweden.”

Dr. Cera raised his hand and curled it into a fist. “This shall be my adminicle. Now, Mr. Hooper, pay close attention to the universe.”

Dr. Cera reeled back and punched Emile full in the face. Emile crashed against the desk and rolled off of it, out cold, his nose leaking blood like a busted spigot. The girls in the first row shrieked and the rest of the hall rose in sympathetic panic. I continued to sit (rooted in fact) as Dr. Cera kneeled over Emile and demanded, loudly: “Argue with the universe now!”

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