November 21, 2003 - 9:39 am
Good lord. My roommate left some especially pungent smelling fabric softener sitting on the kitchen counter. It smells like grandma in there.
Like many other comic reading little boys, I was fascinated with super powers. Growing up the fat little chub that I did, I was different from other kids. Of course, I wanted to be different for something other than getting really sweaty while waiting my turn in kickball, and I liked using my imagination, so it was only natural that I entertained the idea that I could fly away, or shoot laser beams at people who teased me.
When it became apparent that God wasn't going to look down and say "OK...you," and make me the one special kid in the world with laser eye beams, I started working on getting funny, because if I was making kids laugh, they seemed less likely to notice my boy-boobs.
But this isn't an 'ugly duckling makes good' entry.
Super powers and psychic powers. I've always had a soft spot for them. It might run in the family, because I discovered early on that my dad had a whole bunch of musty books on the subject up in the attic, and I read as much as I could on the pseudo-science of telekinesis and clairvoyance and astral projection and all that stuff.
Near my childhood home in Chicago, there was a strip of Lincoln avenue that had a few interesting businesses, from dive bars to a coop where live chickens were sold. One of them was a "psychic shop," with a neon sign in the window that said "ESP, TAROT." I had always wanted to go in, but I never had a good reason. I was also probably a bit scared of it.
I finally got my chance in eighth grade, when I had a little job walking around asking stores to put posters up in their windows for an upcoming neighborhood carnival. I went in, arms full of posters, and went right up to the guy behind the counter. He had the haughty, defensive attitude of someone that spends their adult life playing far too much Dungeons & Dragons. He asked me if he could help me, and I replied "Well, I suppose you know why I'm here..."
He wasn't amused. I'm guessing he had heard that one before.
I don't know whether psychic abilities really exist. I could buy the idea that, statistically, one out of every billion people or so has a differently enough formed brain so that they would have some abilities the rest of us average shmoes don't have, whether it's Uri Gellar bending spoons with his mind, or Stephen Hawking with an IQ in the several hundreds.
The one strange psychic thing that I personally experienced happened when I was 18. I was living in the DePaul dorms, and had just come back up to my room with some lunch. I flipped on the TV, and Oprah was on while I dug into my food. I probably would have changed the channel, but her guest was a psychic.
The psychic was explaining that we all had a field of energy around our bodies, and that we had the ability to manipulate this energy. It was just a matter of working up the will to do so. He launched into a demonstration.
He told the audience to take their right hands, and hold them a few inches away from their left arms. We were then to start passing our hand back and forth, up and down the length of our forearms. If we concentrated, we would be able to feel the transfer of energy taking place between our hands and our arms.
I was game. As an acting major, I was being told to do fruity exercises like "explore the space," and "walk around as if I were the color red," so waving my hand around seemed like no big deal.
In less than a minute after I started, I had results. As I moved my right hand over my left arm, I could have sworn I felt a continuous flow of energy. Even today, I remember exactly what it felt like. It was like taking a rolling pin and running it up and down my arm. All this emanating from the tips of my fingers.
I didn't think much of it. I figured that I had wanted to feel something happening so much, that I had actually tricked my brain into believing it had experienced the feeling of "energy." After playing with it for a few minutes, I stopped, finished my lunch, and put it out of my mind.
The next day, I woke up to my arm covered in little red splotches, from my elbow to my wrist.
Something had happened, I just didn't know what. The splotches went away the next day. I haven't been able to do that again since.
Yesterday, at work, the last hour or so of the day: I was fried from a busy few hours of hunting down footage. I let my fancy turn to thoughts of psychics, and found this page. After some quick reading, I realized I had to test my psychic powers.
As she was leaving, my co-worker Jessica remarked upon how deeply I seemed to be concentrating last night. If only she knew...
Go ahead and try the clock test. I had that thing spinning clockwise. Then I tried it again, and, uh...didn't.
I was a pretty powerful psychic for a minute there, though.
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