My Life As A Green Balloon, short story by Richard Allen at

My Life As A Green Balloon

The grass was beginning to thrust its way past the dead, almost white grass of the previous year. The rain, the sun were causing it to burst into new life, where the cold had brought it to die six months before. Life – the predictable, yet not wholly predictable, interaction of infinitesimally small particles – was returning, whence it had departed, by the same mechanism. This would happen to me eventually, but in a different manner and more slowly. I realised that I had been created out of several artificial substances and in an artificial way. It was possible that I might end up the same way. Evidently, many people feared or preferred to ignore this natural pattern. Many appeared to believe that part of their brains would survive in a different form after their deaths – or even that part of their consciousness would be transferred to another person just about to be born. Many believed there was somewhere this consciousness would go for eternity: I assumed in some plane or dimension which was undetectable. Though I accepted that this could equate to Pi or the basis of numbers in 1 or zero, whichever you prefer – that there could be a starting point from where infinity flowed, it assumed that this consciousness was separable from the defunct brain. And the idea of an undetectable plane or dimension was both compelling, but not necessarily credible. But all that fell aside as I grew smaller and the air inside me became more concentrated. Finally I realised what I was and my place in this universe of universes. The place I had found myself was in a world which was in a solar system in a universe. This universe was one small element in an eternal process, whereby one universe spawned another through the device known as ‘black holes’ from which our universe had been created and to which it continued. At first, I was terrified by the thought that this had been going on for ever and would go on for ever. But two convulsions of consciousness gave me understanding. If I was at some point in eternity, why should it matter? Whenever I lived, I would be at a similar point. Since eternity would have no meaning for me during my conscious state, it would be meaningless when I was defunct. However, I also comprehended another possibility: the universe of universes was circular. Infinite, but connected.
And that led to the most sublime thought. The nature of universes forming involved an immense contraction of part of a previous universe as it entered a black hole. Then the new universe expanded as a ‘big bang’ and a phenomenal rate, eventually becoming a universe as I now perceived it. But in that concentration and expansion were elements of that and every other universe. So, even though I was an artificial construct, I, like everything else, was comprised of elements from perhaps a billion universes and I would go on to become a part of a billion more. In that way, I was composed of the dust, if I could put it in comprehensible terms, of a billion universes. I wasn’t merely an ephemeral green balloon. I was a continuation of the infinity of universes in an ephemeral form – as was everything else, everywhere, and at any and all time. Indeed, in that context, what was time? And what was I, but……? The last highly-concentrated cloud of air flowed away.

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