Something Peculiar

I’m reading a novel called Wisdom (Blackwattle, 1995) by Rae Desmond Jones – I introduced myself to him last week in the queue at the supermarket and sometime over the weekend (I was away) he was kind enough to put a copy of the book in my letter box. Enjoying it, too. Anyway, the other morning, I was in bed reading a passage during which one of the characters begins to levitate: s/he is with a circus and has just started doing an act as a half man / half woman. (One half is Joan Crawford and the other William Holden, which is pretty good.) Nothing too unusual there but the effect on me was quite peculiar. I had a déjà vu moment in which I remembered (seemed to remember) all those times when I used to do the same thing. Levitate I mean; fly. It was like the recall of the summer house (see previous post), something  intrinsic that I had somehow forgotten about but which now returned. Hasn’t gone away, either. The funny thing about it is that what I particularly recall is the mental effort that levitation took, the kind of concentration required to do it: akin to what you have to do with your eyes to see those 3D pictures in books but of a higher intensity; focussed and unfocussed at the same time. Couple of times over the last few days I’ve even found myself, half unconsciously, wondering if I should try to do it again. But when was it? And how come? Another life? The only time I can truly remember a waking sensation of flying is during the out of body experience I had in the dentist’s chair all those years ago and that wasn’t like this. Of course, like many people, I’ve flown countless times in dreams; but that always seems involuntary, you just find yourself doing it. Whereas this is a matter of will or at least of decision. Most odd. On the question of the half man / half woman phenomenon, I recall in Red Mole, during a 1978 production called Crazy in the Streets, Deb Hunt costuming herself with a dress on one side of her body and a tux on the other and playing such a character. And, much earlier, at the Carterton Show in 1963 or 4, I did pay to go into a tent where there was a half man / half woman to look at. I almost remember what it was like: the tent was dim and shadowy, I felt strangely excited and a bit afraid, there was something – someone – there, reclining on a chaise longue on a podium: who did not look like anyone I had ever seen before. There was black facial hair sprouting through white skin, red lips, green eye-shadow, an impression of sexual danger . . . I was about 12 years old and had just retired my ambition to become a jet pilot when I grew up. After all, who needs an aeroplane, or even wings, when you can fly just by thinking about it?

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One response to “Something Peculiar

  1. I must read Wisdom. Thanks for this very informative post.

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