Kathy has been up for an hour. She drank three cups of herbal tea, watched a video alerting her to the dangers of lectins, and is at the keyboard, singing at top volume, rehashing show tunes from her time in musical theater.
I’m in bed, the covers pulled to my chin. With “Two Midnights Gone” in the background, I come to a realization: I need to undergo a change before my final act moves to resolution. A big change. Soon.
On the practical end, improvement of my financial condition would be welcome, since I’m a bum. I skim enough off the top of my paltry Social Security payment to purchase a super-size bottle of my best friend Tito’s homemade vodka, and several four-packs of Fever Tree Tonic. Other than that, I’m broke.
I am a shiftless sadsack, at an age where, two generations ago, I would be regarded as a village elder, perhaps somewhat wise. Today, I’m more the village idiot — a hapless bozo, staggering about in pajama pants and a torn sweatshirt, wondering what kind of part-time work I’ll find if I don’t sell more of what I write and paint.
My prospects in Siberia With a View are not glittery.
I could work at the supermarket, collecting carts from the parking lot and sacking groceries.
There’s a Wal Mart in town, but a couple of greedy fellow oldsters nabbed the greeter slots, and the decrepit assholes refuse to die.
If I could secure a job in either situation, I’d be issued a snappy vest, people would call out my name (I’d wear a name tag), I’d be cheerful (with practice), and I’d spend some of my minimum-wage earnings on cocoa and a stale sandwich from the store deli after I completed a wet cleanup on Aisle 11.
While a step up, this would not do the trick. I’d have a bit more money, and a fairly secure supply of cocoa, vodka and weed, but I need a change more meaningful than this. One at the higher end of things.
I require transformation.
How to get it?
I refuse to secure the services of a psychiatrist — a disinterested note taker skilled in the art of provoking dialogue with grunts, nods, and the occasional “how does that make you feel.” I was sent to one of these geeks when I was an unruly teen and all the guy did was write scripts for Ritalin. I sold the pills to fellow unruly teens in order to earn the cash needed to purchase marijuana.
There is a herd of counselors here in Siberia With a View: some are practitioners of “Christian counseling” — rubes who can’t quite muster the hubris and smarm required of a preacher — and others of a secular bent who hang diplomas from Bob’s College of Mental Stuff on their office walls, and labor to infect clients with the psycho-bias du jour acquired in an online “Caring Professionals” chat group.
I need more than these clowns offer.
Since I spend most of my time in a basement, a search for providers of a transformational experience involves a trip to the Digiverse — but not to social media sites.
I learned the hard way to avoid the quicksand found on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. I still visit sites, but I rarely post comments or make attempts to interact. I must admit, though, I’ve found brief comfort on social media sites: photos of babies; pets wearing hats and earmuffs; a witty meme or two; an announcement of someone’s 100th birthday; recipes, and videos of a friend firing a DA503D A3barrel .50 cal (mounted in the sunroof opening of a GMC SUV), destroying vans and trucks abandoned in the Arizona desert.
For the most part, however, social media material serves to remind me that we humans are a silly and ignorant lot, and that we’ve been so since a distant ancestor left the tree and dragged knuckles on the ground for the first time. I do not seek worthy mentors and enlightenment on Facebook or Twitter.
In my search for transformative experience, I direct attention to a superior digisource: my e-mail spam folder. This is where the treasures are stashed.
I check my folder and, now and then, something comes to me that is worthy of note, radiating through my G-mail channel from heights inhabited by extraordinary beings, from a bright supernal realm where elegant souls absorb ideas and exercise talents unknown and unavailable to ordinary folks. Or something like that.
To start each day, I tote a cup of coffee to the “office,” sit before the screen, and scroll through a fresh batch of spam — most of no value, nearly all offering food for the feckless, nutrition for the needy, notions for nitwits. Some of the dispatches express concern about erectile dysfunction and tout remedies, others proffer splendid loan opportunities or deals for cruise packages on ships guaranteed to be “thoroughly sanitized since the last unfortunate outbreak of Legionnaires Disease.”
I get offers for bargain OTC drugs and invites to visit skranky porn sites, most more poignant than stimulating. I know they’re poignant, since I visit the sites, fired by a scholar’s passion.
I also continue to find classic messages pushed to me through the digitube by the gerbils (I’m fairly sure this is how e-mail works), my favorites being the clumsily composed come-ons from alleged sons, daughters, ex-wives of deposed African/South American/Asian/Bosnian government officials, from their solicitors, etc., that trumpet my opportunity to profit if I assist in the move of millions of dollars from hidden accounts. All I need to do is forward my bank account number to the luckless heir or their legal representative and a hefty percentage of the fortune will be mine to keep.
Though this strategy has existed since the Internet bloomed, and has been known for as long to be a scam, it’s reported that people still fall for it.
It’s not what I need.
I examine other, similar classics, for example a notice indicating I have won a stupendous sum in a Canadian provincial lottery (I am a big fan of Saskatchewan, but I’m fond of Manitoba as well). All I need to do is forward a paltry thousand dollars to pay for the necessary government paperwork — it is Canada, after all — and millions will be mine in return. At least one word in every sentence in the notice is misspelled.
People continue to fall for crap like this. I appreciate interesting cons, but I move on. I require significant repair.
As a result, e-mails from folks involved in “alternative” spiritual and “healing” practices offer the remedies I seek … if I’m willing to cut the tether to testable fact.
Small sacrifice, eh? A lot of people I know have abandoned fact and reason. Look who was elected as our president.
So, why not me?
I make the leap and a series of choice “alternative” missives reveal oases on my otherwise barren soulscape. I am old, a cancer-infused lout, with little income from my lifelong obsessions with painting and writing. I spend most of my time in the basement, intoxicated. I need fresh options, meaningful work, a new beginning. I need to better myself.
I discover some tantalizing options in my folder and online.
Key word in many of the promising pitches: “Modalities.”
When you deal with modalities, a pragmatic approach involving hypothesis-test-analysis is of no value; there’s little work involved with modalities, only faith. Faith requires minimum effort: you get on the bus, you take the trip, you don’t question the driver. It’s either that or you remain on a bench at the squalid station, ticketless and wallowing in the dreary murk of your confused, mundane existence. Or something like that.
“Different modality” also shows up regularly in these e-mails, and a cynic stunted by standard education and hobbled with an ill-developed consciousness might interpret this as a snappy way of saying: “We will take your cash while you convince yourself you are getting better — physically, spiritually, emotionally. Until, of course, you run out of money, or you die. Whichever comes first. We don’t give a fuck, so long as you cough up the cash.”
Oh, ye of little faith.
Bottom line, online: If you shop at Modality Mart (and pay the price) you will be “transformed.”
That’s for me! I remember how it feels to be transformed. I was transformed six times in a four-hour span in 1972. The process involved a transvestite friend, a German dwarf hitchhiker wearing only a sequined thong with an ample sack, a tank of nitrous oxide, balloons, and psylocibin mushroom burritos. Details are best left for another time.
To the greater point: it’s never too late for another transformation.
I need it, now!
I fish solid leads from the spam folder, offers that rend the heavens, promise a paradigm shift, a transformation of the most sophisticated kind.
A message from Candi.
Her e-mail comes to me via a link I established years ago with an organization in Sedona, Arizona — New Age capitol of the universe (this universe and an infinite number of others). I was first contacted by the group when I worked as a newspaper editor and, for entertainment’s sake, I retained the site in my contacts when I left the news biz.
I receive a monthly newsletter from Sedona listing providers, workshops and other events dedicated to the development of a variety of powers unavailable to plebes. There are no plebes in Sedona.
Candi plucks my name and address from the organization’s e-mail directory and directs me to her website.
If I enroll at her “institute,” says Candi, I’ll undergo psychic intuitive training, learn intergalactic data streaming and Ashtar Command transmission, be introduced to Pleiadian sexual alchemy, and be readied for a career as a Federation Ambassador.
I can’t exaggerate how ardently I’ve yearned to be a Federation Ambassador and issue Ashtar commands, and a dose of Pleiadian sexual alchemy could produce some welcome, smooth turns in what has long been a straight and deeply rutted road.
Candi sets the hook: the website includes her photo. She is impressive, her “blond” hair styled in the manner of Farrah Fawcett, 1972. In the largest photo on the site’s “About me” page, her hair flies back, like the mane on a galloping Dartmoor pony. I show the photo to a friend, and she tells me it is a “glamour shot,” the result of a turbo fan technique employed by a shopping mall portrait photographer. I, on the other hand, suspect that Candi’s hair is blown back by an irresistible force — quantum in nature, issuing from another dimension.
My friend and I agree to disagree.
I read on, and Candi offers me the chance to work as her apprentice.
If I do so, I can discover and perfect my intuitive gifts, something Candi has obviously mastered since she intuits the fact I will be the perfect apprentice and, thus, sends me the offer. Some things are too clear to be denied, aren’t they?
Candi says an apprentice (me) becomes well versed in matters such as omens, signs and manifestations. The apprentice (me) learns how to remove blocks, cords, and curses — something I needed to know a long time ago — engages in futuring, visioning, and healing techniques created by chakra-based science and, through easy access to universal forces, moves in dimensions and zones unexplored by less developed entities.
Not bad, eh?
Plus, an apprentice can advance to the Adept level, with certificate, by completing Candi’s DVD instructional program once they return to their home base!
Does Karl buy into this, you ask?
Check out Candi’s credentials, and the answer is obvious.
According to her site, Candi has spent more than 100,000 hours on research and “the practice of healing modalities.” Modalities, mind you! (See above.)
She has thousands of hours of experience as a speaker and teacher, has written hundreds of articles, and provided one-on-one service to a legion of clients for twenty-five years.
OK, if that’s not enough, figure this into the equation and you will get an idea what kind of juice this gal produces: Candi is possessed of superhuman powers.
How do I know this? Unless Candi is less than honest (and who has cause to doubt her?) the photos she puts on the website show her to be about 50 years old, although she looks a few years younger in the one where her hair is being blasted back. Quantum forces will do that.
If you take 100,000 hours and divide it by 24, you get 4,166 days. Divide 4,166 by 365 and you get 11.4 years. So, if Candi worked 24 hours per day, seven days a week on her research, it took her 11.4 years.
Astounding as Candi is, it is unlikely she worked round the clock for 11.4 years (or is it?).
So, let’s assume Candi spends at least 60 hours per week on her research and study. There are 52 weeks in a year, therefore, with 60 hours per week of work, Candi spends a minimum 3,120 hours per year on research. Divide 100,000 by 3,120 and we find Candi devoted 32 years of her life to nothing but study.
If we figure Candi is 50 years old, she’s spent her entire working life — and a jam-packed working life it is, at 60 hours per week — learning her extraordinary trade.
Candi delivered thousands of speeches and taught a stunning number of classes. Figure in the time given to these engagements, to preparation and delivery, as well as travel time, and you have thousands, if not tens of thousands of additional hours loaded on to Candi’s obviously strong shoulders. If she was a guy, she’d be that steroid enhanced fellow who plays Aqua Man in the movies.
Candi wrote hundreds of articles. Well-written articles, as no doubt Candi’s are, require considerable time and energy.
This is a dynamic person. I know this, because her website notes she is a “dynamic person.”
Candi spent 25 years delivering one-on-one client services. It is safe to assume someone of Candi’s character gives as much time and energy to a client as is needed. Think of the hours.
Have I said enough?
Who can fail to realize that Candi is either 1) a huckster, 2) tragically deluded, or 3) the most remarkable person on the face of the planet, clearly elevated far above the rabble, and in touch with powers kept secret from nearly all humans who have existed or who will exist in the future.
Since I possess the mental capacity of the average American, and operate on the premise that if I see something on TV or the Internet, and I understand it, what I see must be true… my choice is unavoidable.
I must be Candi’s apprentice.
My problem: I don’t have the cash needed to enroll in the apprentice program. I can scare up two hundred bucks — maybe, and only if I skimp on my favorite alcohol and THC products. Even then I will fall far short of the required tuition.
So, I am going to offer to be Candi’s cook and man puppet.
I’ve prepared a proposal that I will forward to Candi. I am not sure if I will send it via e-mail or transmit it via quantum telegraph.
Here it is.
“Most impressive Candi:
“Please send me a bank account number into which I can deposit almost $200 as a down payment to secure entry into your apprentice program. At this point in my life, eager to transform into an advanced being, I realize I must be at your side.
“I propose the remainder of my tuition be tendered in kitchen duty and personal services. I will live in a small, unheated basement room at the institute, if necessary. If there is no full basement, the crawl space will suffice. I am fully aware that meaningful transformation requires a certain amount of suffering. As a big fan of Elsbeth von Oye, I am ready, in fact eager, for whatever torment is in store.
“I am a pretty darned good cook, Candi, and I am certain that my skills will grow sharper and my range wider during my apprenticeship, since you are no doubt an epicure without peer.
“For now, however, I am prepared to indulge your every whim as best I can. Based on data derived from a sophisticated mathematical analysis, I’m certain that you work at least 22 hours a day, seven days a week, and I know you need nourishment in order to continue navigating the demanding course higher powers have chosen for you. Someone like you cannot live on aether and nectar alone. You are doing the most important kind of work, and you need abundant, refined fuel to keep you going. I am the guy to provide it.
“I know my way around vegetables and cheeses, and should you occasionally desire animal flesh, I can deal with any creature, any cut. I understand the karmic debt that comes with consumption of animal proteins and I assure you I am nothing but respectful when it comes to the slaughter, heating, and saucing of defenseless lesser life forms. Plus, should processed flesh be consumed (who can resist a hot dog or some potted meat on a Ritz Cracker now and then?), my lips will be sealed when the apprentices gather to practice newly introduced techniques and, as neophytes invariably do, to gossip about their betters in malicious fashion.
“I eagerly anticipate my service to you and should you need someone on whom to practice your Pleiadian sexual alchemy, trust that I’ll be available and discreet. Call me up from the crawl space at any time, day or night. I am, even at this rudimentary stage, a big fan of oral stimulation.
“Yours with a clear sense of our quantum unity,
How can she refuse?
So, I might soon be on my way from Siberia with a View to the institute. I am putting together my wardrobe (earth-tone, blousy, hemp-fiber clothing) and searching for a billed hat with a neck flap, and a couple pairs of clunky sandals.
If the apprenticeship bid fails, however, my spam folder presents me with equally attractive options.
Lisa, Susun, and Laura.
To set the stage: I’m slothful and chubby and, as a result, I am out of the loop socially, politically, economically.
As one in a cluster of dreary fat folks stumbling at the rear of the pack, I have little value in our celebrity, looks-driven culture. As a fat guy, if I’m not a standup comic or a bit player in films, I will not be rich; I will never be popular. This surely contributes to my slide into the slough of despond, and provokes the need for radical change. Being lazy and pudgy is a sign of deep-seated problems: physical and psychological problems and, more important, serious spiritual shortcomings.
Or, so I’m told.
By Lisa, Susun, and Laura.
Fortunately they know ways to free me from my relentless downward spiral.
They are welcome counters to my wife. Kathy has nagged me for years — OK, for decades — about overdoing things, food being but one of my weaknesses. I have a tendency to go a bit too far in some of my pursuits so, maybe, Kathy has a point. But, my wife delights in offering criticism, not constructive assistance, and her points pale by comparison to what I encounter online. My prospective advisors trump my wife and her regimen of artificial sweeteners, coconut flour, and temperance.
Lisa, Susun, and Laura found me on the same mailing list as did Candi, contacted me via e-mail, and directed me to their site.
The website has The Answers. I know this because “This Site Has The Answers” appears in 24-point type (Papyrus font) at the top of the home page.
While Kathy offers me Stevia and attempts to alter my behavior with comments like, “For god’s sake, Karl, too many lectins!,” “More cheese? Are you crazy?,” or “You’re not drinking more of that, are you?” Lisa, Susun, and Laura promise to help me reduce my weight and jack up my quality of life in more sophisticated and precise ways — via an introduction to my Akashic record and adjustments of same; the ingestion of chickweed slurry; and an astral confrontation with my profound shortcomings.
These folks are heavy hitters, and I am eager to be their punching bag.
First up is the lovely Lisa. I know she is lovely because I saw her photo on the website and, as I‘ve noted, it is impossible anything on the Internet is misleading. She could be a regular on Fox News, possibly even Fox and Friends.
Lisa is blond, clearly possessed of high-grade mental and physical health — a paragon of spiritual achievement. In the photo, she sports a pair of creative earrings, and a heavy bauble of Mesoamerican origin is suspended just below her clavicles on a chunky gold chain. You have to be a paragon to sport this kind of shit.
Lisa smiles confidently and, most important, she leans to the left (my left, her right) as if pushed there by a powerful, benevolent force. Perhaps a force similar to the one that rearranges Candi’s hair.
That force, according to Lisa?
Knowledge of the Akashic Record.
Lisa assures me that if I learn to access my Akashic Record and make corrections, I am on the road to a thinner life, and from there to an enhanced existence.
I have no idea what an Akashic Record is, since the only record I’m familiar with is a police record, and I think mine was lost in a timely courthouse fire. But, I am game. I assume I have an Akashic Record and I believe Lisa will help me access and modify it.
According to Lisa, if I accomplish the cleanup, I will be divinely guided every day. I will have access to the energetic library of my soul’s journey, and possess a means to heal my past or present life issues, to discover and refine Illumnati-level gifts. Lisa promises an unconditional love that guides and heals me. What degenerate fat person doesn’t need unconditional love? Or, if not that, conditional love, by the hour.
Lisa says she will deliver a Sacred Prayer that provides me entry to the infinite realm of the Akashic Field, which I imagine is similar to Coors Field, in Denver, but with more seats, and well lit at night.
And, says Lisa, I will be taught three healing prayers and Grace Points that will clear my energy, release my Karma, and align me with my expanding self.
I take it this expanding self is not physical because, via the healing prayers and the repair of both my personal compass and the erasure of hundreds of embarrassing entries in my Akashic Record, I am going to shed fat like a dressed hog carcass rotating above the pit at a rural North Carolina barbecue joint.
Lisa will use various modalities (I prefer green or pthalo blue modalities) to help me heal my past life karma. This is a good thing: I have a wagonload of past life karma that needs a lot of work. And she will help me release “old programming” that no longer serves me. It’ll be like trading in an Apple II on a new, 27-inch iMac with an LED-backlit Retina 5K display, 3.6 GHz 8-core i9 processor and a Turbo Boost up to 5.0GHz. Oh, and a 3TB Fusion Drive.
At last, I will cast off my obsessions with wet suits, gelatin, and Christina Aguilera’s feet.
And I get this for a mere $250 (private consultations extra.) I expect the private consultations involve exposure to that stiff spiritual wind and a special deal on significant jewelry. With luck, a bit of oral stimulation.
Of course, my problem is that I can come up with only (almost) $200. The sum falls short of Lisa’s standard.
I read on to discover that Lisa’s cohort, Susun, operates at a slightly lower cost. Lower, but still more than I can manage.
At first, I wonder if Susun made a typo in her promotional material, then I get it: Su-sun. Sun. Light. The source of energy. The star around which my swollen personal planetoid orbits.
Chickweed is the answer, says Susun. Not jimson weed, mind you. Ask me some time and I’ll tell you about an episode featuring jimson weed and a poorly supervised church youth group from Scottsbluff, Nebraska. I found it amusing. The kids and Pastor Brad did not.
Susun claims that when I need to dissolve something in my body or cool off brain cells that are too hot, chickweed slurry is the key. This is a revelation; for decades I thought my junior high gym teacher was right when he prescribed a cold shower and clean thoughts, a formula only half of which I’ve been able to satisfy.
The chickweed approach is simple. A miracle, in fact. Miracles and gullible people dovetail smoothly. In miracles, simplicity is the leitmotif; complicated stuff can’t be miraculous. If you analyze a miracle, it loses its edge very quickly.
I’m gullible, and up for a miracle.
Susun tells me to ingest chickweed slurry, shoot for a quart or so a day. Put some honey in it, if necessary. It’s better than the junk you drink before a colonoscopy, and cheaper.
A colonoscopy is a prohibitively expensive way to lose weight. I know this. In 1998 I leaked an enormous amount of money — half of it going to a dodgy gastroenterologist on the hunch that I would drop at least 50 pounds as a result of three colonoscopies in three weeks time. The other half of the stash was lost to comely blackjack dealer at Bellagio, named Felice. She had different colored eyes, like a Malamute. I couldn’t stop myself.
So, instead of a tube up the ass, it’s chickweed.
How does Susun dispense with this advice and still manage to make a living? She sells “lovingly processed chickweed powder, guaranteed peak potency, non-GMO and pesticide free, harvested by hand on the plains of western Nebraska” (probably by those church kids from Scottsbluff, since it’s unlikely they found their way home).
Here’s the bonus: I sit on my couch while I drink this sludge!
I read on to evaluate Laura’s spiel.
Laura affirms the couch theme. That’s where Laura says I’ll be as I shed weight, no suffering required. Had Laura been in the confession booth, and had there been a couch at the convent, Elsbeth von Oye would have had a much easier life.
This is perfect! After all, my couch faces the television, and Cops and Live PD reruns are broadcast around the clock. I’ll lose weight while I recline on the couch and watch a meth addict wearing a sleeveless T-shirt get tazed, gnawed on, and pummeled by members of the Broward County Sheriff’s K-9 Unit. Does life get any better?
According to Laura, with her guidance and the boost of precisely directed Astral energies, I will divest myself of all the frustrations, pain, and suffering associated with previous, failed attempts to lose weight and, via a sharpened sense of godlike intuition, I’ll ascend to a powerful sense of self that will propel me to lasting success. Not just in my drive to shed pounds, acquire great wealth and be popular but, I assume, in my goal of becoming an astronaut.
Laura assures me I will fall passionately in love with myself once I correct my hideous shortcomings with the help of the various enlightened entities she channels during healing sessions (one-on-one in Sedona or via Go To Meeting if I’m unable to travel). At that point, I wave goodbye to excess pounds and say hello to an enduring and nurturing romance (with me).
Laura offers to sell me her book and CD at a “one-time only reduced price” to provide the info I need to sharpen my godlike intuition and turn the big corner in life. In her photo on the cover of the book, Laura’s head is surrounded by an orb of golden light. I close my eyes and imagine me and my golden orb.
What a deal!
If I manage to scrape up the bucks, buy Laura’s book, learn to use Go To Meeting, procure a supply of chickweed, and pony up for Lisa’s sessions, you will have a hard time recognizing me. Hint: I’m the guy at the center of the room at Kourtney Kardashian’s beach house soiree, the one wearing a thong (with ample sack), standing under a bright light, my hairless body slathered in scented oils. Yes, that one — the sleek fellow with the chic Italian sunglasses, the stud toting a beaker of chickweed infusion and vodka on the rocks.
Thanks to Lisa, Susun, and Laura, the future promises spectacular change. I will be spiritually clean, psychologically fit and trim as trim can be.
On my couch.With a bowl of macaroni and cheese on my lap, and a bottle of a pleasant southern Rhone red at my side.
Surely this can be standard fare once my Akashic record is clean. I figure I can eat as much mac and cheese as I want once my record is in order, I am pushed to an angle by a stiff divine wind, and I am overwhelmingly confident and self-indulgent as I intuit shit like a god and snort line after line of blow with Kourtney and her dissolute pals as waves lap on the nearby shore.
As long as I eat the mac and cheese with a side of chickweed slurry.
But, why not something more than a shift in modality and a basic transformation?
I can do better. I can go all in.
Another e-mail notifies me that Dan will conduct a special Sedona workshop. He promises participants a “dynamic transformation.”
A dynamic transformation is the best kind: it’s like experiencing a multi-temp vibrating butt plug when all you’ve known is an ice-cold, Stalinist-era, stainless steel ass wand.
If I saddle Dan’s modality and ride it to the finish line, following my preparatory work with Candi, Lisa, Susun, Laura, etc., the dynamic transformation will put me over the top, evolution-wise.
Dan can do it for me. Dan is a powerful fellow. I know this because his website mentions it several times.
He will assist me with weight management (once I’ve flushed away my current flab with chickweed, etc.), help me quit smoking (I’ll need to start), find lost valuables as a “clairvoyant medium,” lead me to “future progression” and guide me in “past life regression.”
Need credentials? Rest easy: Dan is “Sedona Arizona’s remarkable sound healer and premiere intuitive scientist.” Thus, he is inarguably qualified to help me “answer the call of the heart” and “be part of the Awakening.”
Dan “received his gifts in a near death experience.”
I’ve long thought that every experience is a near-death experience, so this claim doesn’t bowl me over, but then I read about Dan’s workshop.
It’s for me.
I’m goin’ on a Sperm Journey!
On the journey, I get in touch with the source of all my “unconscious impulses,” and I’ve got a shitload of them. The mysteries of my “emotional life” and my “psychological tendencies” are unraveled, and I’ve got plenty to unravel.
Some who know me might say: “Karl, you were in the rock and roll business when you were young, and you spent decades fumbling around in the art world. Surely, you’ve been on way too many sperm journeys.”
Good point, but this is different. This workshop is led by Dan, an “internationally renowned” savant, in a “supporting and nurturing environment” (hardly the Lower East Side of Manhattan, circa 1967).
I’ll learn about “the actual journey of the amazing sperm cell,” my special sperm cell, the little critter that struggled from a nurturing testicular environment in Dad to the welcoming egg waiting in Mom, for a “predestined union.”
I’m going back to my conception, and I can make corrections to my Akashic record from there.
How is this going to happen, you ask? Easy, explains Dan: via “inherent body movements and precise exercises.”
I love symmetry, and I detect some serious symmetry here: my sperm cell’s journey also resulted from precise and frantic body movements. Dad was downright crazed when he jumped off the troop train in 1945, and Mom was a bit itchy herself following three years of abstinence (or so she claimed). There were a lot of inherent body movements going on all over the U.S. at that time — in my parents’ case, likely taking place in the back seat of a taxi on the drive home from the station. Kablam! … Karl, and the Baby Boom are on the way.
For just $645, Dan provides two days of precise exercises and inherent body movements, plus a single at the Comfort Inn, free WiFi, and two continental breakfasts, and I come out on the other end (as it were) a “fully realized, healed being.”
Again, the money problem. Once I’m transformed, I’ll have enough cash to take a sperm journey every week, if I desire. Now, I’m out of luck, unless I find a source of funds.
The bank recently cancelled the line of credit I was given in 2004 as a result of an accounting error, so I can’t tap that. Kathy, of course, is not a factor, and my other family members also know me too well to lend me money.
If gullible me is going to dive into the deep end of a pool of nonsense, I’ll have to harvest the coin from similarly gullible people.
One option: a woman I’ve known for a few years (and have attempted to avoid for the same length of time) who somehow manages to meet me at the grocery store every couple of weeks. She carries a cloth bag crammed with expensive organic produce and blocks of beige crud from the “health foods” section, and each time she corrals me, she has a new schtick. Our last meeting featured a too-long diatribe about “quantum healing.” I mentioned wave functions. She ignored me.
She’s a definite candidate for a Sedona hustle, and would jump at a chance to take Dan’s workshop, despite the fact she produces no sperm (though she claims she is a hermaphrodite on the quantum level).
My supermarket sage is a trust baby and adores advanced spiritual masters of all kinds. Perhaps she’ll sponsor my quest if I promise to take notes and share them with her.
She is but one of the many people who will do and pay anything to escape the misery of the self they have slapped together. They take any chance to avert their gazes from the frightening and imponderable fact of their mortality, flip to any “modality” necessary, be as dumb as need be in order to experience something that offers a hint of connection to things stable and permanent. Anything that makes them feel more secure, more creative, more accomplished, more intelligent than they actually are.
That leaves plenty of possible saps to tap.
There’s a guy who used to visit my office at the newspaper who might pony up. He wears one of those billed hats with the neck flap, and sandals that look like they were fashioned out of old truck tires by members of the Viet Cong. The guy told me the same story each time he visited the office: about classes with a “master” on Maui who healed his dementia and enhanced his memory with Hawaiian music and dance, and enormous portions of poi thrice daily. The bonus with this twit: if he lends me the cash, he’ll forget to ask me to pay back the loan. If he happens to remember, I’ll mix a batch of mai tais, tune to the Don Ho Spotify channel, feed him some pineapple, and in less than an hour all will be well.
And there are other residents of Siberia With a View who have shown promising vulnerability to bullshit. They might bite.
A number of these goofs recently fell for a superb online con that’s making its rounds through the ranks of proud mommies and daddies. These parents-in-the-know are the ones who attend anti-vaccination seminars and put bumper stickers on their SUVs: “My child is an honor student at Larry, Moe and Curly Junior High School,” and “Vision World Peace.”
They’re the insufferable dipshits who slap a decal in the back window of the mini van featuring a line of cartoon silhouettes of kids, the number of silhouettes indicating how many little assholes are stuffed in the vehicle.
The online pitch swallowed by these clowns is a beauty: an “award-winning educator and expert in child-directed learning” will, for a price of course, show every parent how to bring out their child’s “innate genius.”
Mom, Dad, you were right after all: Devon is 14 years old, doesn’t know his last name, dresses like a circus clown, shits his pants nearly every day, and can’t drink from a cup without spilling, but he is possessed of “innate genius.”
Jimmy is 16, stays in his room 18 hours a day, flips from one Internet porn site to another and masturbates to GILF videos but, despite the fact his shoes fasten with Velcro because he hasn’t mastered the art of tying a bow knot, what you’ve suspected all along is true: Jimmy’s fucking brilliant!
Baby Brenda is 17, has a botched homemade bunny tattoo on her tummy, can’t make correct change at her job at the fast food joint, picks her nose and eats whatever she finds but, you guessed it: innate Ms. Einstein.
These parents buy this crap; surely they’ll pay to secure a place in Dan’s workshop for me. I’ll grease them with the promise of effusive praise for their marginal spawn on my website and “in all future publications of my work, hard cover and paperback.” I’ll throw in the option of accompanying the praise with photos of the kids, and the dollars should follow.
Money in hand, I’m going to shed weight, cleanse my Akashic record, flush my pipes with chickweed, intuit shit left and right, send telepathic signals and take a Sperm Journey in Sedona. Who knows, I might even indulge in a bit of sound healing, some hot crystal therapy, and a bit of past life regression. I was Isadora Duncan and Robin Hood, right after I was Ramses II.
In the years to come, I’ll attend apprentice reunions at the Institute and trade wisdom quips and oral attention with Candi. I’ll visit the small office that Lisa, Susun, and Laura share in a space in a Sedona shopette, next to a Pho restaurant operated by a couple of dreadlocked hipsters from Portland. We’ll sip chickweed cocktails and compare things we’ve intuited.
I’m ready for the journey of a lifetime. Or lifetimes, depending on your perspective.
To Sedona…and beyond!
If your hair is suddenly and inexplicably blown back, say hello. I’m just passing through.
Do you think I’ll need sunscreen when I’m at Kourtney’s beach house?