Some Observations Regarding Indoor Human Flight and An Illustrative Anecdote of a Sexual Nature by Paul A. Toth
Certain natural laws form the bulk of what is known about indoor human flight. These environmental conditions (atmospheric anomalies, color and light saturation, etc.) seem to enable the relaxation of the general laws of gravity. However, other unknown factors may be at work, and caution is strongly encouraged even under the best of circumstances.
1. A golden light, nearly copper, such as that found in buildings of an art deco design, and certain hotel lounges, and some nightclubs.
2. A temperature soothingly warm yet humid enough to improve the voice, and always an improvement upon outside conditions. Springlike, seemingly soaked with possibility, filled with all kinds of biologic fuel; that is, erotically supercharged.
3. A slight vibration in the molecules of air, usually caused by music which animates the atmosphere while simultaneously soothing it.
4. A perfection of occupation, in which the room is neither lonely nor crowded; one is neither ignored nor unduly noticed.
5. A smoothness of line, objects neither blurred nor sharp, but integrated betwixt foreground and background and each other, as if each thing were part of the other, without interruption of form.
6. A sympathetic host: the effect of morale is essential. Generally the host takes the form of a bartender. He or she will neither encourage nor discourage conversation with and between customers. Drinks are brought in a timely manner and money changes hands lightly and almost invisibly. In fact, one has the feeling that the drinks are delivered without charge, and that the establishment is an oasis never to be found again.
7. The presence of red lipstick seems to seduce the other conditions into harmony.
8. Proper tone: Humility is essential, as is effortless confidence. Self-consciousness will not do.
Eight rules suggestive of a nice evening out, if nothing else, and so my research has never been a chore. Be certain that if actual flight fails to occur, a certain inward flight remains in the offing. Actually, I have some doubt as to the semantic line between "indoor" and "inward", and cannot with certainty state the difference. Yet I emphatically maintain that when I use the word "flight", I mean flight. My ass leaves the chair. Or yours. No touching of wood and ass, do you understand?
Some quibble about these matters as if I am trying to be duplicitous, when nothing could be further from the truth. There is no trickery of word at work here. I'll leave that for my friends in the English Department. They make up stories; I report the facts. And so here is one set of facts, which I hope will be as convincing for you as it was for me -- the intriguing story of a young man who had never heard of me, or my work, or even the idea of indoor human flight. In short, proof, my friend, proof.
On a wintry day in 1999 (it was especially bright out, yet morbidly cold), a student came into my office exhibiting all of the symptoms of acute mania.
On a wintry day in 1999 (it was especially bright out, yet morbidly cold), a student came into my office exhibiting all of the symptoms of acute mania. However, his flights of word and thought indicated to me something quite different from a disturbed mental state -- his mood was rather that which I knew often follows a "virginal" flight, the breaking of one's atmospheric hymen. I had experienced the very same state myself, a giddy, exhilarated, almost electrified feeling of omnipotence. He had, I was already sure, taken flight. He was a twittering bird. Chairs and furniture were not the everyday objects they had once seemed. Now they were alien, nerve wracking. And so, of course, he was frightened.
Let me let "Q" speak for himself for a moment:
"I went to my favorite bar. I was agitated. I've been drinking a lot lately, sometimes all day, and by now I knew I wasn't going to feel normal until I got a certain amount in me. So I went where I always go, a bar up the street from here, that only seems to attract heavy drinkers -- it's never embarrassing showing up with your hands shaking, the rest. There are even a few other students there, ones like me, who aren't going to be students much longer. I sat down. Just being there calmed me, strengthened my nerves. The light was familiar. I began to forget about myself before finishing a single drink."
May I point out: agitation, followed by an easing of the spirit, in the midst of a familiar and pleasing light, producing an upswell of confidence and strength, though stopping short of an involved and annoying egotism.
"The bartender wore a well-starched shirt and black pants. You didn't feel you had to pay attention to him, make small talk, but if you wanted to, he always knew what to say. Tonight, I was quiet. Each swallow seemed to restore eyesight, hearing, smell to their normal sensitivity. I enjoyed this.
"After about a half hour, I felt a kind of surge in my belly, a warmth that must be something like a pregnant woman feels. It was an almost frighteningly pleasant sensation. I had never experienced anything close to it.
"And then, suddenly, God's honest truth, I began to lift off of my barstool. It happened very slowly, imperceptibly, in fact, for some time. I moved upward a sliver at a time. No one noticed, or they pretended not to. After a while, I was a good six inches off of my chair, hovering like a hummingbird. I thought I'd better go to the hospital; I knew it was a sign of hallucination --"
"No! It wasn't that!" I said, trying to comfort him.
"-- or delirium tremens. Still, I understood that those conditions were usually accompanied by panic, and I felt absolutely stilled, like a baby at the breast. I couldn't have moved if I tried."
He explained with a sweetness of tone that made me wish he was my son. How proud I was, and how gratified to hear my very experience duplicated, and explained, nearly word for word.
"As if -- as if that weren't enough, doctor. As if that weren't enough of a story to sustain a man the rest of his life, through eight thousand drunken bragging sessions. But there was more. That wasn't the half of it.
"Because as I rested in the air, a woman came in -- I have a thing for redheads -- she entered, I would say, like an actress, but perfectly natural. I tell you, the air rippled. I bobbed and swayed in her wake. And as I watched her walk toward the bar, I noticed a hair's width of air beneath her feet.
"She sat directly beside me and quickly rose to meet my gaze. She said, 'This goddamned wind -- this goddamned wind always makes me feel -- feel like something is going to happen -- happen. That a crime is going to happen, that I -- I -- that I might do something terrible, something inhuman --'
"Doctor, she was speaking for me. It was half the reason I drank, to escape that feeling. I felt that I had bumped into a lost sister who was in danger. I had the unusual desire to assist her.
"'I can't believe this isn't frightening you,' she said.
"'Actually, it's reassuring, as I came here feeling the same way, certain I'd better not tell a soul any of these thoughts.'
"'That seems impossible.'
"'And still, we're floating mid-air.'
"'Is that unusual?'
"'I'm not sure now. I could ask.'
"'Don't ask. I'd rather not know.'
"That's all right with me.'
"Doctor, do I need to add that the night quickly progressed and --"
"Of course, you made love to her that same evening?"
I grabbed his elbow. "Tell me, what was it like? Did you maintain --"
"Altitude? During, you mean?"
"Of course. It's always been a question of mine."
"And was the -- did you feel differently --"
"We were, for a moment, translucent, like those fish you can see right through."
"You bobbed, like fish, too?"
"Oh, like the ocean spilled upward into the sky and there were starfish and octopus floating through the air."
"And this one moment, or these series of moments, you feel they have transformed you?"
"I feel like an entirely new creature, doctor."
"And what if -- just what if you impregnated her?"
"That would be something. But you don't think --"
"Why not? This is physical. I am sure of it. Perhaps only a few people are capable of it, but happenstances such as this could increase our numbers."
"A new being?"
"Yes, a being filled with magic, seeking nothing more than a purity of line and movement."
"Like musical notes?"
"One step short of bodiless, yes!"
"That's how it felt, exactly how it felt."
We parted exhilarated, and I have remained exhilarated for a month now. I allowed my colleagues, the psychiatrists and psychologists, to test, test, test him to their hearts' content; not a damned thing did they find. Of course, he couldn't duplicate the experience for them -- as I said, unselfconsciousness is essential, so the very act of being studied deems flight impossible. But that was of surprisingly little importance to me. I know that you, my good readers, will suspend judgement long enough to understand the joyous nature of my discovery, and if that is not enough for the scientists, then they will have to live without flight, though I will keep trying.
"Q" (you will know his real name soon enough) continues to see his lady friend. We are not yet sure if she is indeed pregnant, or not, though I have an inkling that if she is pregnant, that status might evade our tests, as what would be growing inside of her surely would display startlingly new characteristics, perhaps different enough from what we call "human" to alter her own physiology. Time will tell.
"Q" though, might as well be a father already, so content is he, and I might as well be a father, too, to "Q," this strange young man who entered my laboratory and convinced me so thoroughly of what I already knew.
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