a – Hey, how are you?

b – Good, good thank you. You?

a – Yeah, I’m doing well, thanks. (pause) So how’s work?

b – Work? (pause) Yeah, it’s ok. No. No, it’s better than that –look, that’s why I asked you to come here. I’ve got something to talk to you about.

a – Shit, what happened this time? (smiling)

b – Nothing. Nothing, man. (looks down at the table, coils the drinking straw wrapper around his finger then unwinds it) Well, actually, something … something pretty big.

a – (casually) You in trouble?

b – No, it’s not like that. It’s not like anything I’ve done before.

a – So, fill me in. (smirking) Is it a new tech that looks really good in white?

b – (smiling, quickly returning to a serious gaze) No, more important than that.

a – More im–

b – Look, give me a second. Sorry. This is not easy to explain.

a – (surprised) Ok, you got it. I’m listening. (playing with the straw in his cola)

b – Follow me for a few moments and I will try to explain. This isn’t easy.

a – (nods)

b – This is a progression of my work on objective spacial orientation.

a – Of course. Your fascinati-, no obsession. What else? (rolling eyes)

b – (ignoring sarcastic comment, frustrated, raises voice mementarily) LOOK! JUST LIS- (pauses, lowers voice), Just listen to me. (looks around) Let’s go back to the basics. Ok?

a – (understanding the gravity of the situation, nods)

b – For any macro, meaning not subatomic nor fundamental object to move from point A to point B, it must travel through the physical space.

a – Of course. A basic set of calc equations can describe this motion.

b – Right. So, that motion from point A to point B takes the particle through a described distance and of equal importance, this motion requires a particular period of time depending upon its velocity.

a – Also well understood and describable.

b – Right. (impatient, nervous) Here me out.

a – Sorry.

b – It’s ok, I just have not yet tried to speak of this new, this new … I have not described it yet so it is not coming out real smooth like.

(takes a breath, looks at the table and back to

[a], then continues)

During the motion of the object, it may interact with any number of other objects in its path, affecting them in one way or another –but always affecting them in such a way that the path of the object, in theory, could be traced by its path of affects, like following the tracks of an animal on a sandy beach.

a – Right. But what if the object is moving through a vacuum?

b – Of course. Then it has an initial velocity, meaning direction and speed, and a terminus as defined by what it hits when it stops. And during its travel, its course of motion is always defined by its relation to its starting point, ending point, or any number of points between.

a – Correct. So —

b – So, the object’s place in its universe is object-centric. Where it is, where it is going, and how fast it is moving to get there are all described according to the other objects around it.

a – Right. But what do you mean by “object-centric”?

b – That we are describing the object’s properties according to those around it.

a – Well, how else would you describe it?

b – So that’s the crux, that’s why I am here talking to you.

a – (leands forward, arms resting on table) I’m listening.

b – What if the objects around the object d-e-f-i-n-e it, that is, what if they determine what and where that object is through a (pause), a sort of … mutual concensus.

a – Huh?

b – What if they “agree” to the properties of the object?

a – I was following you for a while. Basic macro physics. But you lost me.

b – I know, it still evades me. It’s really hard to describe. I can f-e-e-l it more so than describe it. Give me a moment (pauses, plays with drinking straw wrapper again). I think I –I know I discovered something pretty amazing. But it will sound crazy.

a – I would expect nothing less of you (smiling).

b – My research has shown that the position and definition of an object, macro or sub-atomic is not quite as rigid as we have assumed.

a – Rigid?

b – Yeah, rigid. Defined. Solid. Objects can migrate from point A to point C without passing through point B. In fact, without moving at all.

a – I don’t get it.

b – Take the motion we agree to, that which defines all objects in motion according to the basics of Newtonian mechanics and call it analog migration. Then consider the potential for an object to be at point A one moment and the very next moment, without passage of time, at point C.

a – Are you talking about the breakdown of Newtonian mechanics and subatomic particle creation?

b – No.

a – You lost me again.

b – Listen. I think I have discovered something really important. It seems that the objects around a particular object define its position through an agreement of sorts, a mapping of space and time. And if they all agree that the object is no longer at point A but instead at point C, the object can instantly be in the new location.

a – Objects agreeing?

b- (frustrated) Listen –no, look. Just watch. Watch the straw wrapper.

(And in that instant, the wrapper jumped two inches to the left of its original position without sliding nor moving nor through any assistance by [b] at all.)

a – (stunned, jumps back into his chair, holding the table at a distance) Jesus Chrst! (looking at [b], the table, the wrapper, and back to [b] again) Shit. What just– what did you jus– How the hell did you do that? What did you do?

b – I didn’t really _do_ anything. I just ‘suggested’ that the wrapper _be_ somewhere else. There were no objections. No one disagreed. And then it just transmigrated.

a – Who agreed? Transmi-whatrated? Who agreed?

b – Not “who”, but “what”. And yes, it t-r-a-n-s-migrated.

a – You’re scaring me (pause, laughs uncomfortably) Can you do that again?

(the wrapper instantly reappeared back in its original position)

a – (taking a deep breath) Oh god. Holy shit. (slapping his hands on the table) Ok. Ok. Wait. Ok. Shit.

b – (smiling, nervously)

a – Can you show me how to do that?

b – Not certain. I don’t even know how I do it. It just happened.

a – What do you mean it just happened. What just happened. Where you hit by lightening? Did aliens shove something up your ass? Did you discover some amazing drug or something? (grabbing his water glass) Did you drug me?

b – No, it just happened. About six months ago.

a – What just happened? Why did you wait six months to tell me? This is incredible!

b – Remember when we were kids and after seeing Star Wars, we would lie on our bed at night and try over and over and over again to make something on the other side of the room move, our arms outstretched and fingers trying to direct the force?

a – (laughing) Yeah. Wait, are you telling me you can use the force?

b – Sort of. Maybe. (tapping fingers on table) I’m not certain. I just never stopped trying. It’s sort of a meditation for me sometimes when I need to focus my mind. You know, to just focus on one thing and shut everything else out.

a – And it just worked?

b – Not at first. It’s a little strange, that is, to tell you how it happened.

a – It can’t be any more strange than what you have just shown me.

b – Right, ok. (obviously relieved to have made it this far) So I was sitting my bath tub and, well … I was trying to just make the nob on the end of the tub turn because the water was getting cold. But I was trying to do it with my mind.

a – And it worked?

b – I think so. I must have fallen asleep because all I know is that I awoke to the water nearly running over the edges of the tub, the overflow hole doing its best to drain the excess.

a – What if it was just your foot, or maybe you turned the knob in your sleep?

b – Yeah, I thought of that. Except that when I awoke, the knobs for the hot and cold water were reversed. And not just the knobs, but the plumbing too. Hot was cold and cold was hot.

a – What? Are you k-i-d-d-i-n-g? (scared look on his face)

b – No. I wish I was. It scared the shit out of me. I thought I was dreaming but I could not wake up. The bath tub is still like that, switched.

a – Shit.

(silence … both just looked at their hands, the table)

b – And it was only later that day that I realized I had fallen to sleep in the tub while trying to turn the hot water on with my mind … but I had also dreamt about a time when I was a kid, in a hotel room with my parents, and burnt myself because the hot and cold valves were backward. I was just a kid, but that taught me something really important –the rules can be broken.

a – So you’re saying you fell asleep trying to make the hot water turn on with your mind and awoke with the hot and cold valves replumbed?

b – Yeah, something like that.

a – I don’t really know what to do right now. I’m a little scared. I mean, I mean if I hadn’t seen what you just did I would think you were crazy. Actually, I still think you are crazy. But now I am feeling crazy too. This is, this is messed up. It just doesn’t make sense.

b – But it is beginning to.

a – Beginning to make sense?

b – Yeah, I think so. Look, if I didn’t have a strong background in mathematics and physics I would probably think my bathtub was haunted or that god had given me some gift. But that’s not it. I think this is really important.

a – (nodding) But how did you do it again? I mean without falling asleep in your bathtub? When was the next time?

b – It was another three months before it happened again. I was setting the table for dinner with Jennifer. I had just placed the wine glasses on the right side of the plates, the forks and knives and spoons in their respective places. I turned and walked back into the kitchen and was confused, not fully recalling if the wine glasses were suppose to go on the right or left. I decided that when I would return to the table I would switch the wine glasses to the other side.

a – And when you came back, they were already switched, right?

b – Yeah, exactly. I figured I was just tired, confused, or something. But then it started happening more and more often, eventually every day or so until it became something I could do intentionally.

a – Like with the wrapper.

b – Yes.

a – (shaking head)

b – So I took this to the lab and built a series of experiments to determine what exactly was happening. And the results were, well, useless. I can’t prove a thing, except that it just happens and I can do it over and over again except in one case.

a – What’s that?

b – If I don’t “believe” I can cause the object to digitally transmigrate.

a – You are saying this is a about will power?

b – Actually, it’s about acceptance.

a – I don’t get it.

b – If I try too hard, it doesn’t work. Just like when we were kids trying to move objects using the force. We strained, held our breath, used phrases from the movies –everything we could but it never worked. But in the bathtub, it happened after I fell asleep.

a – You think you are the only one?

b – No, this probably happens to a lot of people and the don’t know, or they write it off to forgetting where they put their keys, or they are locked away somewhere. (pausing) The scientific community has always assumed that to move an object from point A to point C requires energy. An object in motion will remain in motion unless acted upon by an outside force. Basic Newtonian mechanics.

a – Back to Newton again?

b – Yeah, back to Newton. So maybe we have all been trying too hard. Sending sub-atomic particles through accelerators at nearlythe speed of light and then colliding them into each other to see what comes from the resultant explosion.

a – What wrong with that?

b – Nothing, it accomplished what it should. But what if there is another way, another way to interact that requires little or nor energy at all? Instead, a simple acceptance of something, an agreement by all parties involved, and then it just is.

a – Who are these parties? You? The table?

b – Yes. Me. The table. Even you. We all expect the world to exist in a particular fashion, and so it does. But if we just expect it to exist in some other fashion, maybe it could. Instantly. There is no difference between that wrapper being there (pointing) or there. It’s the same number of molecules, same number of atoms. I am not asking for a change in anything but position. And it just happens.

a – This doesn’t make any sense. Can you prove it?

b – I think I just did.

a – No, you just proved that you are more closely related to the X-Men than your own mother. (pausing, looking at his hands) I don’t think the scientific community is ready for this. No way. They will lock you up.

b – I know. But I have to tell them. They need to know. This changes everything. Everything we are doing.

a – Oh Jesus, I want to be there when you do.

b – Good. I need support. And a good demonstration. (smiling)

© Kai Staats 2006