The Journal of a Middle-Aged, Middle-Management, Sub-Atomic Particle

It’s been a rough couple billion years. I don’t know why, I just haven’t been feeling the same way as I did in the billions of years after the Big Bang. Back then, being a quark meant something – it had weight you know? Muons and leptons took you seriously, electrons wanted to get together with you and build a little chemistry.

I just … popped after the Big Bang. I had charge.

But the last couple billion years, I don’t know, I’ve just felt a little down. I feel jumbled, disordered. Maybe it’s entropy, maybe I just need a hobby.

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So I split up with my nucleus. Being part of a proton as kid was exciting, we were colliding with everything in our path and ready to take on the galaxy. But the galaxy is mostly empty space and, when you get right down to it, so is the atom. Lately it’s been like, what’s the point? It was amicable. We said we’d keep in touch – we won’t – joint custody of the ions – I’ll be lucky to get weekends. I was sad to see the fourth valence electron go, she was a mercurial as hell but a good listener. Ah well. Onward.

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Life has become a slog. I guess I’ll never be one of those top quarks you see in the magazines. I’m doing some part time work in a tomography lab but I just don’t get much from weak interactions. Everything around me these days just feels like decay. I’m guess I’m just having trouble feeling positive.

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Things have gotten worse. I can’t tell anymore if I’m spinning or everyone else is. I’m pretty down.

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Didn’t get up this morning. I just spent the day in bed watching Quantum Leap reruns and wondering why Al couldn’t fix his stupid hypercolor iPhone. Pretty much bottom. Rock bottom.

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Wow. I just had the most amazing revelation. I bumped into an up quark that I used to interact with after the Bang and he turned me on to this motivational speaker that helped him when he was spinning out of control. So, I went. It was called “Be The Particle You Actually Are.” And wow! What blast! The speaker was strange. Charmed even. He said only I can recharge my life. Totally rethinking things now. Stay tuned!

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Been thinking about BTPYAA a lot lately. I want to do something. Something big. I’m ready! I feel like I want to explode or collide or, I don’t know. Maybe I should try some ayahuasca. Everyone is all about ayahuasca these days. Or get a shaman or something. Is there a website for that?

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Read a bunch of Deepak Chopra. I don’t know why I always made fun of this guy, he’s really got a lot of cool things to say. Reading Tony Robbins too. He just gets me. No one can change my flavor but me!

And cosmic rays. Those too.

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I can’t take it anymore! I NEED TO CHANGE!

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WOOOHOO!

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I can’t believe it, I actually did it. I quit my job, quit my life, sold all my stuff and became a negative particle! I’m officially anti-matter! Except not anti-matter, that sounds so negative. I’m not against matter, I’m just pro-different matter, you know? Live and let live! Unless you touch me and then we both get annihilated. But man, I should have done this years ago. It’s just such a massive release of energy! Wheeee!

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This was the best thing I ever did. I feel a billion years younger, I really do. I just feel this surge of energy – I think I’m still just glowing after my conversion. I’m working off my paunch and I’ve taken up knife-throwing. I’m also learning Portuguese and Japanese watercolor. I’m a little sad that I’ve lost touch with all my old friends. They were just going in a different direction, that’s all. Their path through the fabric of space/time was just not mine. It’s cool. You have to be open to what the universe has to offer. BTPYAA, baby!

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Whew! Did a few laps around a synchrotron and I am feeling great! And I look two billion years younger!

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Started dating an anti-proton. She’s great! We both love singing in the shower hate the Pauli exclusion principle. She’s perfect! Nothing long-term, obviously. She’s hoping to join a cosmic ray someday. I just need that positivity in my life.

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Okay, now this is getting really weird. I’m still feeling younger but not in that post-Tony-Robbins-I-can-do-anything kind of way. I just feel, like, dumber. For a while I was back in my prime but now I’m feeling more like my pre-prime. Like the time after college when I was too dumb to know how dumb I was.  

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So I’ve been turned down by the last ten positrons I met. It’s pretty lonely, actually. I seem to remember being a lot better at this the last time around. I spun hard back in the old days, right? I remember going to parties and having all kinds of fun being a rebel. I had chemistry. Or, at least I thought I did. Jeez, what if I didn’t?

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Okay, definitely regressing. I just hit my shut-in video game phase again. I forgot how many hours I spent playing these stupid things. Plus, the graphics are way worse than I remember. On the plus side, I ate two pizzas yesterday and drank a liter of Coke. Third time this month, but my abs still look great.

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I’ve stopped shaving. Huh. I just don’t … need to. It’s weird. My stubble became those stringy little nubbins and then just went away. On the plus side, well, I guess that’s one less thing, right? On the minus side, I saw my first zit.

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Just hit prepubescence. I remember being so much more confident and aware of myself after the Big Bang. And man, I forgot how hot the early universe was. Or how dumb my parents are. God, everything is so lame!

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I’m a baby now. Reeeeally into pudding. Everything else is kind of a letdown. On the plus side, it will be the Big Bang pretty soon. Big reunion! Maybe I’ll see the old gang again. I wonder how that fourth valence electron looks these days.

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