I Am Quantum

by Matt Kang


% whoami

> Error fetching handle.

section break

Dane was my friend. At least, that's what he told me. He looked up at me from over the back of his laptop screen. I was still furiously typing. I clicked the “Compile” button. When I clicked it, I felt like the internal pulse of the computer stopped for a second. Like a sneeze. Some green lines of text materialized out of the vast blackness of the screen.

% gcc auth.h

> Compile successful with 0 warnings.

I was thankful there were no errors. Errors in code are like a misspelled word. A dangling participle. But an error-free program doesn't mean your program does what you want it to; it's like a paper that is grammatically correct but ultimately doesn't accomplish what the paper sets out to accomplish. You need to test the code in every which way, going from the edge cases in, until either you're satisfied or your brain shuts down. I should have been doing that for this program, but I didn't care at this point. I submitted the file to my teacher and started packing up. I said to Dane that the project works. He nodded, and then smiled, tucking his hands into pockets casually. “Don't forget to put my name in the comments.”

I was bundling up his power cord when he asked me what I was doing tonight.

I said I didn't know. He said come to a party at ten. I frowned slightly, then covered up with a smile and said okay.

I didn't know Dane very well. A friend said he always came to Macro twenty minutes late and left an hour early. Aside from that, all I knew was his outer shell. He was Asian, probably Chinese (my “A-Dar” was pointing that way, at least). He had a mop-top haircut, a slinking gait, and a pretty severe five-o-clock going. He had a lean build, except, remarkably, his midsection was perfectly barrel-like. As if he kept an alien lifeform in his belly, cultivated by years of Pabst and Yuengling transfusions.


If someone were to ask me what my life is like, I would show them this:

int i=0;

while (true) {

printf(“%i”, i);



This is code for an infinite loop. It tells a program to iterate forever and ever. It never stops. It would execute the code inside of the brackets, then do it again, and again, nanoseconds of computation time flying off of your processor like a sequoia tree in a wood-chipper. When you run the program, your output looks this:


And on and on. You need to kill the program to stop the rush; it's like an overflowing river of numbers stressing the borders of your computer screen. It only stops when the process stops.

Don't worry about what a process is.