Free Writing

Psychokinesis

In my dreams, I could move things even if my fingers don’t touch them. In the waking world, this is called “psychokinesis” or, more commonly, “telekinesis.” And as is usually the case with things that sound superb in the waking world, psychokinesis is a huge steaming pile of bullshit.

In the dream world, if I concentrate just a tiny bit, my brow furrowed into a little knot, the thing I’m looking at starts to move as I please. I think one time I was able to play a prank on someone by moving their bag away from them so as to hide it, and another time I might have even been able to stop a robbery by deflecting bullets or stripping away some flabbergasted robbers’ handguns. I seem to remember once I also did something perverted to a poor lady with this wonderful ability of mine–how could I not? I can’t recall clearly. With dreams, one couldn’t be sure, so delicious are their details that the devil devours them as soon as one opens their eyes.

If you haven’t had one of these dreams, I feel it’s my duty to tell you that using this ability feels so amazing–exhilarating–that after having dreamt such a dream, one couldn’t really deny themselves foolish attempts in the real world. Hey, despite the insanity and impossibility of it, what if it somehow works? Many a time I’ve found myself sitting in a toilet, the drip, drip, drip of water echoing in the four corners of the bathroom, and me doing my darndest to turn the goddamn faucet with my mind.

Oh, I try.

I’ve tried since I was a young boy.

I’ve tried to move heavy stuff like TV sets and light ones like dried leaves on the ground, unsurprisingly, to complete and utter failure (which, frankly, hasn’t fazed me). I remember there was one fine day in my youth (a day so fine that the sun seemed to take forever to set) that I spent maybe an hour or two, or three, sitting on a curb, trying to move fallen dried leaves of a santol tree; pushing, lip-biting, perspiring, willing those brown, crumpled leaves to move even just an inch, even just to wiggle under the tremendous force of my brain. Not even the wind consoled me with the illusion of success.

Some tired days, maybe when grey skies whisper strange mysteries through the thinnest drizzle, I test the reality of it all by flushing the contents of the toilet bowl with my thoughts. If my piss flushes down through a mere wish, I’ll know I’m dreaming. I realize this sounds crazy but if a third of our lives is spent sleeping, then at any point in time, there’s one out of three chances that you are actually dreaming. One could never be sure, so it helps to check.

Of course, all this would be unforgivably foolish if not greater minds have also seen the vast potential of influencing objects physically from afar. And I’m not talking about magicians and street performers in India though those minds are remarkable in their own way, too. In 1984, no less than the United States National Academy of Sciences itself, at the behest of the US Army Institute, formed a scientific panel to see if there’s sufficient, solid evidence for psychokinesis. Learned men fussing over lunacy. As usual, since the US government was involved in some capacity, this was, in reality, not about any metaphysical truths the proving of psychokinesis might open up for discussion, but about missiles and things that hurt other people efficiently. One cited purpose was to assess if psychokinesis could be used to remotely jam enemy weaponry. Maybe choke communist generals at their tables during supper, too, who knows?

This whole odd business was serious enough that it took three years before conclusions could be published. I guess they didn’t want to leave the slightest trace of doubt for pathologically creative folks to fashion into another magnificently dumb conspiracy theory.

And yet despite their negative findings, scientists, philosophers, and other combative blokes by profession have since then continuously tried to reiterate what we’ve known all along–that psychokinesis simply cannot exist. A fellow by the name of Mario Bunge (who’s both a physicist and a philosopher and is therefore doubly combative) wrote that “psychokinesis… violates the principle that mind cannot act directly on matter. (If it did, no experimenter could trust his readings of measuring instruments.) It also violates the principles of conservation of energy and momentum. The claim that quantum mechanics allows for the possibility of mental power influencing randomizers… is ludicrous since that theory respects the said conservation principles, and it deals exclusively with physical things.”

While the supreme vehemence by which Mario brought down that scientific and philosophical hammer is appreciated, I would like to make it clear now that the subject doesn’t even require this much preoccupation. Not that telekinesis is obviously, unequivocally stupid (it is); but because, after thinking this through, I’ve decided it won’t have any significant practical use for the common man were it real.

Sure, it might be a tad convenient to start preparing a cup of coffee while I’m still in bed in the morning, but actually, that would ruin another otherwise sweet “five minutes” going back to sleep. Tripping random people on the street whose mug doesn’t strike me well could also be entertaining but I bet the novelty fades after a while or as soon as somebody gets seriously injured. Breaking into a bank, robbing stores, and lifting ladies’ skirts all seem at first exciting, but honestly, my fragile conscience wouldn’t let me. I am as hopelessly trapped by my decent upbringing as I am by the laws of this universe.

Psychokinesis wouldn’t help me finish my reports earlier and make them seem less useless to me or make me unaware that a whole troop of suits grows infinitesimally richer than me doing nothing as I’m telekinetically processing these reports. It wouldn’t make the commute to the office less stressful. Wouldn’t make my relationship stronger, allow me to avoid unhealthy habits like eating unholy amounts of a fried pig’s face, give me more days off, make me more confident in front of women, cure my virulent insecurity and fatal pride, protect me from the accursed flu cycles, or make me feel as loved and wanted as I insanely need to be.

In truth, it’s a pointless ability. One’s probably better off having the power to fly or turn invisible if one’s to profit from freakish talents. And this is also, I think, the reason why my mind is obsessed with dreams of magically pushing and pulling objects–because it knows deep inside that psychokinesis only has real value in the realm of pure thought; here where external things do have unseen but unbreakable strings tied to the one perceiving; and one need only to focus in order to tug at those strings to force the world to bend to one’s will. What this also suggests to me is that this is a longing of the mind to reach this perfect state, an ideal state where the mind and the world are not two sides of a coin that will never meet. Psychokinesis only has currency here and only truly desirable in this world.

Outside, matter rules over matter. The mind is nothing but a word used to ascribe the illusion of power to a person no different to a feather blown hither and thither by ruthless winds. No force is strong enough to stop attracted atoms from bonding together or two tarnished lovers from leaving each other. There’s no power greater than the brute strength of time whose very purpose is to exhaust our energy, pulverize our bones to dust, and disintegrate all our silly paranormal and scientific notions alike as if to cleanse the earth of our offensive nonsense. And gravity will keep on pulling things to the ground–apples, leaves, the stars, absurd fantasies and dreams.

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Brain Dead Serious

A Man Who Doesn’t Have Enough Space in His House for All His Existential Shit

DON: Ladies and gentlemen, good evening. This is Don Fernandez, your host for yet another edition of The Human Condition, bringing you the most striking interviews of common people you wouldn’t normally think about if you had something better to do. Tonight–Mr. Theodore Gonzalez–a man who doesn’t have enough space in his home for all his existential shit.

Mr. Theodore Gonzalez–can I call you Ted?

TED: Yeah. You can call me Ted.

DON: Ok Ted. You called us for this interview bec–

TED: You can call me whatever you want. I could be Ted or Theodore or Mike or Richard. In the end, who am I?

DON: Uh-huh… Yes, I see that this is part of the personal problem you’d like to discuss with our audiences today?

TED: Audiences? Oh, you mean those presumed subjects watching me through their TV sets? I wish I could be sure there were really existences behind those eyes fixed on the screen because frankly I highly doubt it.

DON: Oh… kay…

TED: Yeah, I mean, I’m not even sure you’re here. Are you here?

DON: Well, I think I’m definitely here. You’re looking at me, Ted.

TED: Am I? Or are you just part of a simulation run by highly advanced beings in the 31st century and I’m nothing but a character in their sick version of a video game?

DON: Ok, ok. Wait a minute. Let’s stop for a second here, Ted. We’re already getting ahead of ourselves. Can you please give our audiences a proper introduction to your issue? You said there’s not enough room in your house for all your existential shit.

TED: Yes, there’s none.

DON: Obviously.

TED: Yesterday, I tried to fit all my existential shit in a box but it wouldn’t fit.

DON: How so?

TED: Well, I was about to put all my existential shit into the box, which I found under my bed, but then while I was doing it, I realized… I couldn’t find the box.

DON: So… so the box disappeared?

TED: That’s the funny thing. When I thought about it… it dawned on me that the box wasn’t even there in the first place.

DON:

TED: You see, I placed the box on the floor. And when I did that, the box was clearly on our wooden tiled floor. But when I opened the box and gestured to dump all my existential shit in it… it… “Poof!”

DON: Poof?

TED: Poof!

DON: C-could you please clarify? It’s a little vague what you’re trying to say…

TED: The box melded into the floor. The floor melded into the box. I couldn’t see where the floor ended and the box started. See–what do you call a box, anyway, and what do you call a floor? You’re going to tell me a box has eight corners. It’s a three-dimensional object made up of two-dimensional squares. And the floor is something you step on and it’s sometimes wooden, sometimes ceramic, sometimes plastic. But what if I don’t agree with you? What if I told you the thing you call a floor is a rooster and the thing you call a box is a pig?

DON: What??

TED: They’re a rooster and a pig. I couldn’t fit all my existential shit in a pig.

DON: I am… I am completely lost.

TED: People have agreed on calling a floor a floor and a box a box but what if I don’t agree with them? I mean, there’s no real universal rule that limits me to that strict definition. If I wanted to call your floor a rooster and your box a pig, what would you do?

DON: I-I guess nothing?

TED: You are a really good actor, you know, for a simulation.

DON: I’m sorry? Like I told you, Ted, I am NOT a simulation. I am not fake. I am here. I am interviewing you about your existential shit that you can’t find room for in your home.

TED: Yes… Because my home is overrun with roosters and pigs.

DON: Ok… Let’s run with this… Maybe we could get somewhere here… If you really believe that your floor and your box is a rooster and a pig, then why not just scare them away to make room for all your existential shit?

TED: Because they didn’t share my language.

DON: You don’t need language to scare away a bunch of animals, Ted. Just wave your hands and make scary noises and they’ll go away.

TED: No, these roosters and pigs are speaking a fourth-dimensional language that my three-dimensional ears couldn’t possibly hear. These things-in-themselves are forever out of my grasp, clucking and oinking behind a veil of reality that I couldn’t pierce… There’s a whole farm of there out there, Don. An invisible farm.

DON: Please… please stop.

TED: It’s not for lack of trying on my part, too. This morning I tried to store all my existential shit in a spare room in the basement. It’s pretty expansive. Even my old motorcycle is in there, so…

DON: So that must be enough space for your obviously huge existential shit, right?

TED: Nah.

DON: Dare I ask why?

TED: Because my motorcycle has turned into a blue whale.

DON: Goddammit.

TED: I couldn’t even step into the freakin’ room. This monstrous blue whale was squirming and spewing water all over the floor–I mean this floor made of pigs–and all the boxes–I mean roosters holding all my other junk–were really wet.

So in the end, it wouldn’t fit even there. Nasty business. I actually just sold the house this morning.

DON: Please don’t tell me why.

TED: Because when I tried to just leave all my existential shit there on the living room pig-floor, the walls became a troop of baboons, the carpet turned into Albert Einstein’s poop, and the sofa revealed itself to be none other than Michael Jackson.

DON: *Breathes heavily*

TED: So as much as I loved that property, having spent so many lovely days there with my ex-wife, I just had to sell that shit to the first man I met on the street. For chump change, mind you. I mean, shit, what would he do with all that racket at night? Pigs, roosters, baboons, and Michael Jackson trying to wake up the neighbors. Not to mention he’ll definitely step on Albert Einstein’s poop the next morning, slip, and maybe even injure himself. Hah. Poor guy.

DON:

TED: And to your audiences, I say screw you, you pieces of 31st century codes and pixels! You ain’t fooling me! Can you hear me out there in the real world, you 31st century alien bastards?! Screw you and your mothers or wherever the hell Big Bang conspiracy bullshit you came from! I never bought into this spacetime propaganda you’ve been trying to drill in my head! Science ain’t true knowledge! Wormholes and strings and multiverse my ass, you sons of big bang bitches! I think therefore, I am!

DON: I’m afraid we have to cut our program short again for tonight. ‘Til next time. This is Don Fernandez, host of The Human Condition, saying goodnight and good luck.

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