Mindbender

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Home Or Something Like It

You’re probably wondering what happened to my cat, the magnificent persian known only as Sir Jitters. It was a week before anyone got to him, when the nosy neighbor lady contacted animal control about the cat yowling in my window. I own a townhouse, which means that even though I own it, it’s part of a community, and there are rules that I have to follow.

It also means that there’s someone else out there with keys to my house.

The association got involved, unlocked the door, wrote me up for several cleanliness violations while they were in there, and removed the cat. I felt bad, as I honestly had not given much thought to Sir Jitters. By the time I was conscious, I figured either he’d starved to death and I’d find him in a sad position inside my house with claw marks on the door, or else someone would find him and rescue him. Either way, after several weeks, I realized there was nothing I could do about it.

I did feel guilty about it, but I realized that even though I’d miss the little furball, he was probably better off where he was. The doctors had warned me that I might have attacks, or relapses into seizures, and a person with an uncertain medical future like mine was probably not going to be the best pet owner.

I unlocked the door to the house, and the thermostat had been set as low as possible, just enough to keep the pipes from freezing. I was shivering and shuffling my way over to it, rubbing my hands together, while I adjusted the heat up to a blasting seventy-six degrees fahrenheit.

I took a steaming hot shower that I was standing in for far too long to be environmentally responsible, but it warmed me up and refreshed me in a way that nothing else had. I grabbed my robe and wrapped myself in it, and then rushed across the cold floor to put on a very warm pair of socks.

Then I opened the closet, and started tossing everything I owned out into a big pile on the floor. I fished out a couple pairs of underwear, socks, a couple of t-shirts and a rolled up pair of jeans in the dresser, and I threw them in my backpack, along with my toiletries, razor, chargers for my electronic devices, and my little medicine cabinet of prescription drugs. I turned to the second half of the closet to continue to my cleaning spree and then a wave of exhaustion overtook me. My head was pounding, so I went to my prescription painkillers, knocked two back and chased it with water from the bathroom sink.

Then I fell into my bed, and slept for hours, and if I dreamed of anything, I don’t remember it.


When I finally woke up, it was dark and the house was nice and warm. A bit too warm for old Lance, but new Lance had almost nothing but skin to cover his muscles at this point. I got dressed, and added my robe to the pile of stuff in the floor, before I got lazy and went over to my laptop and did a local search for auction houses. It was after hours on a Friday, so I found a contact email address and sent them a message that read:

Dear Minnehomes Auction Services,

I am about to sell my house, and I would like to sell everything in it as well. Could you please contact me with a quote?

Then I gave them my address, and a few other details about the house dimensions, and considered that part of my task done.

So in the hospital, I guess you might be realizing, I’d decided to sell my house, and everything in it. There was nothing about old Lance I wanted to retain. I was all about the new me now, and the new me traveled everywhere in a limousine. Had that really happened? Since it happened before I slept I wondered if I’d hallucinated it.

Next I contacted the home association and a realtor, telling them that I wanted to sell the house as soon as possible, and that once all of my things were out of the house, I wouldn’t be back.

Then I turned on the TV, and tried to relax.


Turning on the TV reminded me of months of doing nothing in a hospital. My mind kept wandering, distracted by other thoughts, feeling distant from the world and all that was in it without a mind other than my own to keep me company.

There was a reporter on the TV, young and pert, you know the type. Daisy Daily was her name, a name definitely made for television.

“So,” Daisy Daily, intrepid reporter, said, “How long have you known you had the power to fly?”

I spit out what I was drinking, and turned up the volume, suddenly perfectly capable of focusing.

“Well,” said the guy, which the crawl revealed as Walker Sturgeon, farmhand. “I was just working on my barn, and there was this really high spot that I couldn’t reach, so I remembered thinking how much I wish I didn’t have to go get my ladder and I swear, Daisy, it was like my feet just…wouldn’t hold the ground no more.”

“Fascinating,” Daisy said. “Do you think you could demonstrate that for us?”

And sure as shit, Walker Sturgeon on national TV did indeed demonstrate, before the eyes of anyone watching, and later for the eyes of anyone who watched it posted on YouTube, what he was able to do.

“It’s kind of hard to get started sometimes,” he apologized, and looked at the camera nervously. Then I watched as his feet began to rise from the ground, could even hear the crew in the studio crying out and losing their professional cool.

Once he was three feet off of the ground, Daisy the reporter moved into the shot standing next to him, and started moving her arms under his feet to show there were no wires, and all around him. The cameramen got up and started moving around him in a circle, zooming in closely.

“Is that hard?” Daisy asked.

“Not really,” he said. “It’s pretty easy. I’ve gotten used to it.”

“How high can you fly?”

“Well…I’ve only gone about as high as my barn.”

“Why?” she asked.

“Because I’m afraid of heights.”

I laughed until my nose ran with snot. How appropriate. Aliens gifted the guy with a fear of heights with the power to fly.

In their defense, they probably didn’t realize just how fucked up and backwards the human mind really was.

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