The following is part of the back story I developed for the narrator in my short story “Mephibosheth“. Birk Sproxton, who led the creative writing class at the Red Deer College in 2002 (where said story emerged) gave us a character assignment to generate a life for the narrator and to write a story in a voice decidedly not our own.
ReWriting Chat Group 23/09/02
loader_62: Hey guys. I was wondering if anyone out there has ever had an out-of-body experience. Today in philosophy class this chick was going on and on about how she achieved some state of ultra reality. It sounded like a pretty funky dream sequence in a really bad B-movie. Almost like one of those slow motion space sequences in 2001 Space Odyssey. I think it was a drug trip. But we were debating about whether experiences like she described could be proven to be real or not. Any thoughts?
speedlick: Man, I knew I should’ve watched that movie. I hear it was pretty boring. Maybe she never returned to her body and that’s why she sounds a little loopy. Maybe she left some of it behind. Frig, wouldn’t that be nice?
loader_62: No kidding. But she was pretty sure she had this little detour into an alternate universe.
spideyeyes: What was she doing when she had the experience?
speedlick: Yeah, like was she in one of those sensory chambers, or whatever you call them? You know those black tubes that you fill with water and you lie inside all naked for days?!?
loader_62: Well there definitely wasn’t any nudity.
speedlick: That sucks.
loader_62: Yep. But she said she was at her grandma’s funeral and praying really hard. She was praying that her grandma would rise from the dead. But she went on this wacky out-of-body trip instead. Interesting you mentioned the sensory chamber, because she said it felt like she was floating on water and that she felt really warm and at peace. Like it didn’t matter if her grandma stayed dead, because she knew that her grandma wasn’t really dead, but all warm and peaceful and content.
speedlick: Weird. Was she a mormon?
loader_62: I don’t know.
spideyeyes: Couldn’t be. Mormons don’t take philosophy classes. Mormon’s go to BYU. And dead Mormon women don’t achieve peace in the afterlife. They get pregnant over and over again. They’re housewives for eternity.
2dreamer: Hey. loader asked if anyone out there has ever had an out-of-body experience. I have.
speedlick: Well, are you going to tell us or what? What was it like?
2dreamer: Sure. I lived outside my body for twenty-six years with no limits, with no confinement. And then the choice was made for me to return. To inhabit myself. To remain inside the walls of my own flesh. What was it like? I hardly remember. But I can describe the feeling. It was consciousness with no qualifications. It was breath with no why. It was being warm and at peace without even knowing it. That’s how I remember it now. When I was out of my body I wasn’t aware I was outside my body because I didn’t have to be.
spideyeyes: How did you get to that place?
24: 41: 59
2dreamer: I don’t know, spidey, I was just there.
spideyeyes: Wow. How come you don’t go back? I mean, don’t you want to return?
2dreamer: Absolutely. Now everything is an attempt to return.
loader_62: What was the choice? How did you get to the place where you realized you weren’t there anymore – that you weren’t in the space that you didn’t even know you occupied?
2dreamer: Drunk driver. Watching myself lying unconscious in a hospital bed.
speedlick: Sweet! You had a near death experience dreamer?
spideyeyes: I don’t know about sweet, speed.
loader_62: So, that’s it? You haven’t had any other experiences?
2dreamer: No loader, I haven’t had the opportunity of losing any more limbs.
speedlick: so dreamer… mind if I ask what limbs you lost?
spideyeyes: Frick, what do you think, speedy. He’s typing right now isn’t he? Gee, man, I’m sorry.
© 2010 Andrew Kooman. All rights Reserved
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