Holographic Nursery Rhymes

4 min
Image of Short Story
Humpty Dumpty was described by his peers as a well-rounded, anthropomorphic sphere of worldly proportions. Over the years he had let himself go, sagged and gotten a little ellipsoidal—a bit eggy as he settled, but still, he remained globular for an old chap. His neighbors were convinced he occupied a respectable three-dimensional space, circumscribed himself within a proper taut equator, entered an orbit in a traditional counter clockwise spin and captured wayward satellites within his gravitational well. For the most part, Calculus approximated his volume as 4/3 π r^3 and stretched his area of 4π r^2. Of the errors in their judgement and within his math, they were unaware...
Dumps was not, at all, a 3-dimensional being. The volume beneath his curves was an illusion of holographic proportions. At his most inflated, Humps was quite 2-dimensional, having no depth at all in the z plane. He maintained his false geometry by restricting the angles from which others could view him.
Dumps placed himself at the center of our galaxy, no different in some respects than the rest of us. Our egos the singularity of a consuming black hole, a hole which psychologically still needs to radiate our warmth and shine like the sun we once were. Within Dumps’ ego, his massive self-importance distorted space-time to the point that not even his reflection escaped his event horizon, asking, “Mirror mirror...” forever giving him the same egotistical response.
Those of us close to Dumps knew he was prone to put on airs—within his diffraction grating as well as his inflated social standing. Of course, reality is relative to the observer, we all have our own version. This observer viewed Dumps as extremely shallow, emotionally and graphically. His pretentious nature was due to his deep insecurities brought on by the false face he put forth of being something he was incapable of becoming—a character of depth. We all have our lies we plant within our psyches, small kernels which grow to consume us. Perhaps we all are nothing more than a two-dimensional projection of a three-dimensional analogy, an analogy which never quite becomes us.
Appearance was everything with Dumps, “A person of social worth simply looks the part.” He engaged anyone who should stroll past his perch upon the wall, in notorious gossip, twisting any positive attribute one may possess towards a character assassination. In this sense he was indeed a massive black hole from which not a ray of hope could escape. Such was the fluff of his worth.
Dumps was a disciple of the belief, “One needs only to lower others’ self-esteem to increase his own.” Not once, did he consider the consequences and emotional damage of his behavior. His ego preached the gospel of his Trinity—I me mine, he punctuated each derogatory comment with an exclamation point of, “I’m just being honest, ole chap. Perhaps you shouldn’t be so sensitive to the truth.” Like most of us, he would have been much wiser to listen more and speak less. He considered his ego his most trusted adviser. Still, I considered Dumps a dear friend till the very end.
His manic-depressive oscillations were reliable and predicted as the graph of his sine function. Still, as he grew older his periods grew longer and his frequency decreased. As a result, his wife studied vibrating strings and caressed the negative curvature as wide flowing saddles punctuated with the rigid, invasive nature of positively curved saddle horns. She found the multiverse of her dimensions to be right up her alley. Don’t get me wrong, she still viewed the pixelated world to arouse her creative needs within an ever-expanding flat universe, but, as the adage goes, “Once a lady sits upon a bulbous sphere, she never squats again for a flat circle.”
The closer Dumps spiraled towards his event horizon the more desperate he came to hurt others. He teetered his ellipsoidal ego upon the garden wall, daring all who passed to confront him in a contest of semantics and pragmatics.
At times, Hump would get the better of me, I accepted his challenges, trading tit for tat in a contest of egos. Yes, I too have an ego. Mine inflates me with compliments of my forgiving, understanding nature. Perhaps Dumps and I are simply spin-up, spin-down of the same egg.
No one with a conscience enjoys hurting a friend, regardless of his demeaning nature. The things we say can never be taken back, each remembering reopens the wound. Hump cringed when I pricked his ego, reminding him his circumference was nothing more than the product of a non-repeating number which depended upon his diameter. In effect he was an approximated girth of no pleasurable volume. The area he occupied with his pompous, circumvented ego was likewise a mere ratio of an estimated value multiplied by the square of his radius. He inhaled deeply to make his radius a bit more than what it was. He attempted to project himself outwards, it was of no use.
He was rumored to have had a great fall when he failed in his linguistics challenges. In doing so, “Four-score men and four-score more, could not make Humpty Dumpty what he was before.”
Throughout his existence he had attempted to become more than his sum—to climb the social dimensions of the garden. In doing so he found himself plotted, crucified upon a 2-dimensional plane which saw him totally disappear should the wind spin his weathervane. The dimensional aristocracy was always upon the watch for flaws and cracks in his dimensional pedigree. Consequently, he continually shifted and morphed his x, y planes to deceive their z searching inquiries.
Perhaps I was wrong in making him aware; I simply wanted Dumps to be himself. He was a complete ass to me and everyone upon his circumference, and yet, I understood why and wanted the best.
His demise was inconsequential, certainly not one of which heroes are sung. I penned him a simple nursery rhyme which “went viral” upon the social media of the times, Alice Through the Looking Glass. In truth, a stiff breeze of a summer squaring function lofted his flatness towards the heavens. Aloft and adrift upon the whims of societal mores, he eventually was attacked by the 4 and 20 black birds. They probed and approximated his worth with tangent lines to expose the finite differences of his boundary values. Their calculations found him worthy of being a napkin as they shredded him towards very narrow rectangles with which to floss their stained beaks upon singing for the king.
It was up to me, his best chum, to give him a proper send off, to script his well-versed epitaph of a martyr’s shattering upon a great social fall. His stone, a hand wrought plaque upon a cracked garden wall, “To find comfort within our geometry, we must learn to poke and prod ourselves to laughter.” Put another way, even the most flat-chested of us need a well-rounded projection, albeit our D-cups should be stuffed with mere fluff.

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