Omniverse, multiverse, universe. Nobody really likes sticking to one theory, do they? I was fully content thinking there was one vast and ever-expanding universe to worry about, but that may just be the beginning. Atomik Aztex presents two fragmented realities operating in opposing universes, and my first thought was, “What would Neil deGrasse Tyson say?” Something I wouldn’t fully understand and not on topic for this book, most like. The most important thing a reader of this book can do for themselves is forget everything they think they know.
The narrator tells us as much: “The Wurlitzer of the Universe is packed with 78 rpm realities side by side. Get ready to drop your dime” (5). In my reality it’s 2017 and the only working jukeboxes can be found in themed restaurants and nostalgic basements, so I needed a little help to realize what a Wurlitzer is.
The excerpt above calls to an important question: are these realities parallel and equal? Does Zenzontli experience what he thinks are visions of life in a meatpacking plant or are we as readers supposed to identify that alternate space as an equally valid universe? The Wurlitzer line further complicates this by potentially offering up a third perspective on the story, even if just for a couple sentences.
Zenzontli serves as the reader’s eyes for all things Aztek, while Zenzón does the same in Los Angeles. So which narrator made the comment on dropping into different realities? Perhaps a third incarnation of reality is capable of observing the two that we are following in the narrative. After all, infinite realities mean that eventually there will be one reality equipped to fully explore all others. This could be more than two sides of a coin, it could be the whole bank.
Foster, Sesshu. Atomik Aztex. City Lights, 2005.