Let me tell you what it feels like:
My head suddenly seems to be filling with water. There’s all this pressure. It’s not exactly painful. It’s more like your skull is threatening to explode.
It started happening to me when I reached that precarious time of life called puberty. Scared the hell out of me at first. I mean it’s bad enough that you’re sprouting hair in places previously void of it, and that your testicles develop this gnawing ache, and that your getting painful and throbbing boners. But to have your head feel like an expanding water balloon? Come on!
Okay, the hair was easy enough to accept. Made me feel a little cocky in fact. And the blue balls and erections—well those were easily relieved by my hidden Playboys and a solid lock on the bathroom door.
But this head thing! It came and went when it damned well pleased!
I finally complained enough about what my parents called ‘HEADACHES’, despite my contradictions to their diagnosis and a mountain of ingested aspirin, that my mother got an appointment with our family GP to see what was going on. There were different physical exams and multiple imagery procedures done like CAT Scans and MRIs. But nothing showed up out of the ordinary.
The GP then decided it had something to do with my emerging puberty. ‘Probably a high testosterone level’ he told my mother. I noticed she blushed when he told her. I could almost hear her inner thoughts—‘Sorry, Doctor, we don’t say the P word out loud in our house.’
But my blood work for hormones came back okydoky as well. The GP shrugged and gave my mother a prescription of Valium for me, along with a higher dosed pill of Ibuprofen. Made me feel a little more relaxed when my head did its thing, but it didn’t cure it.
Eventually, I did figure out the way to relieve it. We were on our family vacation when it happened. That summer we went to my father’s home state of Kentucky. He came from a family of sharecroppers. His parents were still alive and living in the small home my dad had been born in along with his three brothers and two sisters.
Big family. Small house. Not much of a living in sharecropping back when my dad was growing up.
Things had changed though. My Uncles and Aunts had stayed in the area. The Uncles had purchased their own land; the Aunts had married farmers from the vicinity.
The family was close and tight, the homes and farms and dairies modern with the exception of my grandparent’s who never saw the need to change from the humble lifestyle that had suited them for many years. Their home had no running water. The H2O was provided by a well filled with spring water, which was also used to supply a metal bathtub twice a week for baths, the water shared from one bather to the next.
No television – God forbid. ‘Every one of those contraptions should be weighted down and sunk in the ocean’, at least that was my grandparents’ disposition on the subject.
An aged wood burning stove sat peacefully in their kitchen. But, they did have electricity, just not quite like you and I are accustomed to. The lines were covered in cloth and the wattage was low and you turned the lights on with this round mechanism mounted on the wall.
But it was electricity and it did put out enough voltage to allow a small refrigerator to operate—that object being the only thing besides electricity that smacked of the modern world in my grandparent’s home.
You’ll notice I didn’t mention the bathrooms. That’s because there were none. Which brings me to the most horrifying structure I had ever encountered up to that point of my existence: The Outhouse.
Now I had been to Kentucky once before. That was when I was a toddler. At my present, surging, pubescent age of twelve, I held no recollections of ever being there. My mother was always quick to enlighten me about their battle to get me to use the outhouse on that first visit; how I kicked and screamed and would not poop come hell or high water into a stinking hole cut into a stinking, stained wood bench where spiders and other creepy crawlies lived in the corners and shadows.
Not to mention the smell.
Somehow, everyone found this bit of nostalgia terribly amusing. Except for me. And even less so when my father announced we would be staying in his parent’s home for the week and not with his brother who lived less than a mile down the road, had running water, a television, electric service from an age other than the Stone one.
And, most of all, a bathroom. A real bathroom with a tub/shower combo and a porcelain throne fit for visiting royalty, and a door that could be secured for privacy when I wanted to fantasize and take care of the urgent need for emissions.
“This stay will give you some grit,” my dad advised at our first supper with his folks.
I’ll have to admit the roasted ears of corn, the fresh milk, homemade bread, country steak, and a desert of homegrown strawberries baked into a pie were something to savor under the subdued, yellow light. But later that night as I lay on a folding bed and listened to the night sounds of the open country on the screened-in back porch, I knew all those wonderful foods were busy bulking up in my colon after initial digestion. I figured I could go two, maybe three days, until the confrontation.
Boy, was I wrong.
It was either the bread or the pie or both. My grandmother must have put every available fibrous grain in them. By the time noon was approaching the following day, my guts were on the verge of spilling themselves outhouse or not.
I stumbled through the kitchen where my mother and grandmother were putting together a lunch of pinto beans and cornbread. When I saw those items I had to do a double sphincter squeeze and was pretty much making my way to the outhouse with my legs scrunched together. My dad and grandfather were sitting on the back porch. My grandfather was smoking his pipe. I heard him say something as I wobbled toward the shit-shack, but, to be honest, my head was filling up as well at that time and I couldn’t understand a word he said.
I stood transfixed momentarily outside the outhouse and tried to will the natural digestive process occurring in my bowels away.
I opened the creaky door and stepped inside the two-holer and pulled the door shut behind me. Between trying to hold my breath to keep the ancient sewer smell out of my nose, puckering up like I was in a prison shower populated by drooling Neanderthals, and trying to find one of the open holes while squinting against the pressure in my head, I damned near passed out. To be honest, I’m not certain I didn’t faint momentarily because one minute I was in the gloom, looking down, and the next I was sitting on the wood bench with my back flat against the inner wall and my ass suspended over the abyss of reeking tenants deposited there long before my arrival.
And for some ghastly reason, I still tried to hold it all in: the pressure building in my head with nowhere to go, and the force pressing against the inside of my intestines knowing exactly where it wanted to exit.
It passed through my mind then just how much crap and piss had been deposited and cleaned away over the ages of my father, his brothers and sisters, his parents, and whoever the hell came before all of them, relations or not.
Glistening turds, swimming diarrhea, and all the creatures that lived and fed in the quagmire came to my swollen mind in a ghastly array of horror.
And then it happened.
My bowels exploded and my head emptied at the same time.
What I thought were swirling dots before my eyes were actually some sort of black, slimy looking bits of energy, energy that was covering the inside walls of the outhouse, energy that had somehow been focused from my brain onto and into the wood.
Then, just as my tortured body was experiencing the most rapturous relief of its twelve years, the roof and the attached walls of the outhouse were lifted away and thrown into my grandfather’s field . . . By me . . . By my mind.
Telekinesis you see.
I had it all along and just didn’t know how to focus it.
Anyway, there I was, with my pants down and the remains of last night’s supper mercifully evacuated, captivating the stunned audience of my family. I recall my mother, her mouth open and eyes saucer-wide, was holding an empty baking pan that she let slip to the porch with an unceremonious clatter that broke the mystified silence of the moment.
My grandfather stared at me for a moment, tapped his pipe on the edge of his chair and said to my father, “Yep, just like your older brother and youngest sister, John.” He refilled his pipe and lit it and puffed a cloud of gray smoke into the afternoon stillness. “Got the power he does.”
After the lunch of beans and cornbread, my grandfather handed me a hammer, some nails, and a saw. “Best pick up them pieces in the field and get to putting things back together, young man. We all gonna’ be needing the facilities come bedtime after the lunch we just put away.”
And that’s how I became enlightened; how I learned about my aptitude: through bloatation at both ends and an aging outhouse wall.
My grandparents told me later how my aunt used her power to cook and clean. “Girl can fix up a mess of supper and run a vacuum without ever leaving her favorite chair.”
And how my uncle ran the most successful dairy in Kentucky. “It took a long while for them Jerseys to get used to invisible hands milking them, but they caught on quick enough with little or no damage inflicted to the milking barn.”
And me, third in line to the ‘Power’.
I set my sights a little higher.
After playing the fool at making sweet young thing’s clothes fall off, I got serious about my future.
Yes sir, the U.S. Government was happy to get their hands on me. I’m certainly not the only telekinetic on the block, but I am one of the more powerful ones.
No torture antics on terrorists for me, no stuffy interrogation rooms or covert ops. Uh unh. I got the best job of all.
You know those political letters you get in the mail around election time? Sure you do: Vote for this one, send money to this one, this one did this, this one didn’t do that, ect.ect.ect.ad nauseum.
Well, it’s like this.
I’ve gone a little further up the aptitude chain. I can go beyond moving solid objects now. All the ink in those political letters has my slimy, energy dots, just like the ones that first tore apart that outhouse back in Kentucky, impregnated in it. It’s to make certain the acceptable, unconscious decisions are made by you—citizen, amigo, comrade . . . . Whichever side of the fence they have me working on that week.
So relax, watch the tube, take it easy, and fuss all you want about the powers that be. It really doesn’t matter. Because I’m in your head, Fred.
And I really have warmed to the benefits, vacation time, and the security of my government job.
Not to mention those long breaks and lunches.
Let me tell you, if this ain’t happiness, friend, it’s damn sure close.
© Copyright 2012 Timothy C. Hobbs
MUSIC BOX SONATA BY TIMOTHY C. HOBBS
At the top of a steep cliff a derelict church serves its congregation of dust, cobwebs and birds roosting in the rafters. One human occupant lives there hidden in the cellar. He is cursed never walk in the tortuous sunlight, but to roam the woods on the cliff at night in the form of a hideous beast struggling with the violent desire to kill while striving to preserve remnants of his own humanity. Purchase on Smashwords