Davis, Jerry – Albert’s Doorway

Albert’s Doorway Š 1998 by Jerry J. Davis When I walked over to Albert’s that fateful day, I noticed something was different. The house looked much bigger than I remembered, especially the part where Albert’s room was. It appeared ballooned out, just that one room. Odd that I’d never noticed it before.

There was a new sports car in the driveway too, a model that both Albert and I had been drooling over in magazines. A red Viper. Man, it was hot. It was also very expensive. I wondered who owned it, because it certainly wasn’t anyone in Albert’s family.

When I rang the bell, it was Albert who answered. It appeared he was the only one home. Like myself, Albert is a kind of scrawny geek-looking teenager, with thick glasses, pimpled face, the works. Albert wasn’t wearing his glasses that day, though, and it looked like his face had cleared up. As a matter of fact, it looked like he’d had a nose job. And his build, the way he stood, he seemed a bit wider, more muscular, like he’d been working out.

Odd, I thought again. I should have noticed the difference when I saw him the day before.

“Hey, Brad! Boy do I have something to show you,” he said.

“Where is everybody?” I asked.

“They’re all on a cruise boat heading toward Hawaii. Come on inside.”


He grabbed me by the arm and dragged me through the door. As he pulled me past the dining room toward the stairs, I saw that there was a huge pile of green twenty-dollar bills stacked on the table. “Take some, if you want,” he said, pausing just for a moment. “But hurry, I’ve got to show you what I’ve been doing.”

Not wanting to be greedy, I only took a few. Then a few more.

Then, well, there was so much a handful wouldn’t be missed. My pocket was bulging as I finally followed Albert up the stairs to his room.

His room, I noticed, had been remodeled. There was no denying it, it was much bigger than it was a few days before. And instead of just one computer sitting on his desk, he had several computers, nice new powerful ones.

“Remember I was showing you how I’d converted my Dad’s satellite dish so that I could use it as a radio telescope?”

Albert asked.

“Yeah. Did your Dad get mad?”

“No.” Albert had a unbelievably huge grin stretched across his face. “It was the best thing I’ve ever done in my life.”


“I was listening to the background radiation of the universe night before last, and it struck me. It sounded an awful lot like a modem carrier wave. Silly me, I went and piped the antenna into my modem. Well, nothing happened of course. The hertz cycle was way off. So then I got out this old 4800 baud piece of junk my dad got from the phone company and I tinkered with it, adjusting here and there, and guess what happened.”


“I connected.”

“With what?”

“The background radiation of the universe. Or at least what everybody thought was the background radiation of the universe.

It’s not, it is a carrier wave. I connected with it. I went on-line.”

“On-line with what?”

“The universe. Reality itself.” He tapped a few times on the keyboard on his old computer. “I can move things around, change their properties, you name it.” He tapped some more. The money I had stuffed in my pocket was suddenly on the desk. He tapped some more. It doubled in amount. He tapped more, and now there was money bulging in every pocket I had. “You see,” he said, “reality is apparently nothing more complicated than a gigantic computer simulation. What we think of as the cosmos is a simulation running on some sort of cosmic mainframe computer. That’s why when these guys in Scientific American look at the building blocks of reality they find nothing at all. Matter is made up of particles that are made of nothing. Why? Because it’s all just information. They’re looking at the building blocks of a program.”

“You’re telling me that we’re nothing but simulations running on a cosmic computer somewhere?”

“Basically, yes. That’s what I believe.”

“So, who’s running the computer?”

“God, I guess.”

“God is the Cosmic Sysop?”

“Yeah, I suppose so.”

“Don’t you think the Cosmic Sysop is going to be upset to find you’ve been playing around with His programming?”

“He hasn’t minded so far.”

“Maybe because He hasn’t noticed yet. If I were you, I’d keep it small and simple.” I looked outside. “That’s your car outside?”

“Yeah, want one?”

It was tempting. “No thanks. You can put a pile of cash under my bed at home, but other than that, I don’t think I want to be part of this.”

Albert had an evil grin. “I can change your mind, you know.”

I frowned. “That would be a bad idea. How would you ever get my genuine opinion if you go and change my mind?”

Albert’s grin faded. “I didn’t think of that.” After a moment his smile brightened again. “Hey, let’s get a bunch of naked high school cheerleaders in here and have a party!”

“Sounds like you’ve done this before.”

“It was one of the first things I did.” He showed me a whole wastepaper basket full of used condoms. While I was gaping at that, the girls arrived.


My resolve to remain uninvolved didn’t last long at all. The next day found me sitting right beside him in the Viper cruising down the Interstate at a steady 170 MPH, beer bottles in hand, large cigars in mouth. I was grinning from ear to ear. Life was good, and I was no longer a virgin. Not only was I no longer a virgin, I was no longer a virgin a dozen times over. The beer, which was not really a taste I was used to, seemed to taste better with every progressive bottle I drained.

Albert didn’t seem to be as content as I was. He was searching for a highway patrol car, but in vain. “If we had tried this last week, we would have been pulled over within minutes,” he said, brooding. “Now look at us. Are they all on vacation or what?”

“Maybe the variable you used was too broad. Maybe no trouble will come our way at all.”

He shook his head. “No, this is just dumb luck.”

Finally we spotted a black and white on the opposite side of the freeway. It had pulled over a big old Lincoln Continental, and the officer was writing out a ticket. Albert skidded to a stop, rumbled the Viper across the dirt meridian, and zoomed right up to the officer. He threw a beer bottle at the man, yelling, “You big dumb fuck! Come and do your job!” He tromped down on the Viper’s throttle and sent it squealing down the lane. The acceleration was unreal, throwing my head back and pressing me deep into the plush leather seat. The cop dashed over to his car, leaped in, and took off in pursuit.

Albert was laughing hysterically. “I can’t believe I did that! Can you believe I did that? I’m so afraid of authority figures!”

I, too, was afraid of authority figures. I wasn’t finding it so hysterically funny.

“You big dumb fuck!” Albert yelled again, laughing. “You big dumb fuck!”

We were chased into town, where Albert slowed. The highway patrol car was right on our tail, separated by mere inches. He looked really mad. “Pull over!” he shouted over his PA speaker.


Albert sent the Viper rumbling down an off ramp and came to a stop right in the middle of an intersection, stopping all the traffic. He was still laughing hysterically.

“Move your car out of the intersection!” the officer’s amplified voice said. “Pull over to the side.”

Albert flipped him off.

The officer opened his car door and came after us with his gun drawn. “Get out of the car, now! You’re under arrest!”

Albert nudged me, and we both pulled out our new cards. The cards had our names and pictures, and had the large, bold letters that read: ABSOLUTE IMMUNITY.

The officer immediately holstered his gun, but he still looked angry as hell. “I’ll have to run these through!” he said, collecting the cards. “Could you please move out of the intersection?”

“No,” Albert said, puffed up and being as arrogant as he could manage.

Shaking his head, the officer returned to his car. The cars around us honked, backed up, honked more, and made their way around us. After a while the officer came back, still angry, and handed us our cards back. “I don’t care if you have total immunity or not, you shouldn’t abuse it like this.”

“Or what?” Albert shouted. “Go back to your car, public servant. You can’t do a damn thing to us!”

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Categories: Davis, Jerry