Tessa Schlesinger was born with ink in her genes. She is a teller of stories, an author, a poet, and a writer.
Her left breast was delicately embellished, her right one slung in a Hessian pouch, and the man standing in close proximity to her found it difficult to detract his gaze from her bare essentials.
So did the rest of us.
From where I stood, the view was enchanting. Thick soled tan sneakers, camel cord trousers held up by serviceable belt around the waist. The belt contained an arsenal of gadgets. The rest of her, except the pouch that contained the right breast, was bare.
Her fingers tapped fluently onto the keyboard of the box in front of her. She seemed immersed, totally unaware of the eyes focused on her. She kept tapping, and after a while, those who like things easy, moved to easier targets, and the area around her thinned out.
I was taking time out, watching from the sidelienes while the Boffins and Masters settled a dispute. The Boffins maintained that anybody could use telepathy – and that they had the machinery to prove it. A click of a button and a certain brain pattern came into operation, and then, with some training, telepathy followed with ease. Brain entrainment with a twist!
The Masters, with whom I side, claimed that there had to be an innate ability that may well have been a distant genetic mutation. Research for the ‘missing gene’ was a top priority for them.
I’m an Adept. Have been ever since I had an encounter back in ’15. I say encounter in capital letters because it was the changing point in my life.
He was a little man, small, slight, almost unnoticeable in his nondescript ebony skin. Yet, when we met, I felt his electricity and was entranced by his words. It was down at the Blues Club, downtown, Cape Town, and I hadn’t known him for more than a few hours, but I was convinced he was an angel come to herald the changing of the world.
So there I was, at this same club, a young man amid his peers, when this guy struck up a conversation. One could tell it was engineered, but I didn’t know why. And it was years before I realised anything.
Anyway we got to speaking about some pretty weird stuff and he asked me if I could commit my life to a greater cause. I looked at him, cynically, but he must have read my heart or my head or something, because all he did was touchethe right side of my head with two fingers and then that he left. But not before I realised he had four fingers on each hand.
I had strange dreams that night. And the next day I realized I had lost the need to party – eat, drink and be merry for to-morrow we die. Well, if the nuclear war, a deadly pandemic, or the weather didn't get us, perhaps we wouldn't die.
Overnight, something inside me changed. I packed a bag and went into the Karoo for two years.
Survival was hard in the Karoo. Arid landscapes, sparse vegetation, really mean temperatures - a man had to adapt. Night time was cold and day time was hot. Does strange things to the human mind and the body.
Sometimes I worked on the ostrich farms – other times I just drifted. I don't know how it happened, but, somehow, in those two years, I became a telepath. I picked up thoughts from others, and towards the end, I became aware that I could project my thoughts into the minds of other living forms. Snakes, for instance.
So I became endowed with a deadly powers - the ability to direct the minds of others.
The Council of New Learning recruited me three days after I arrived back in the Mother City and I’ve been with them ever since. Ten long years. I’ve worked with them in Paris, London, New York and even Bagdad.
Yet here I was once more at the Blues Club, Cape Town. It hadn’t changed much. Another encounter I wondered?
I looked at her face now. Same sun kissed colouring as mine. Olive eyes and midnight hair. Her face was longish rather than the eternally classical oval. Her lips were uncoloured by artifice, a deeper blush than her cheeks.
It was then that she turned. And I was aware that she had known about my steady stare for past hour. She looked into my eyes and her smile penetrated into my being and I was lost. I knew a melding – a melding of my soul and spirit, something unlike anything I had ever known before.
My celibacy was lost in a moment, I thought, as I started plotting and planning, the way men the world over do.
At the other end of the Blues Club, Nadia - star of the night – Nazara, contemplated her handiwork. For the past few hours she had been busily writing to those who had not known her whereabouts for the past five years.
Five years and a day, she thought. She had barely come out of training then, and was happily celebrating with her classmates her acceptance as a fully-fledged member of the Council of New Learning when the instruction had come – three days before Christmas.
Disappointment had mingled with excitement. There had been no time for questions or delay. For this she had been trained. For this she had taken her vows and for this her days were not her own.
The training had been long and arduous. Many of her previous ideas had been washed away in a baptism of contrasting information. She had learnt much. She had disputed much as well, but, as in all schools of thought, there were things best kept to oneself.
Nadia had been bowled over by some of what she had learnt. It had taken her some time to accept telepathy and the projection of her own thoughts into the minds of others.
So the ndertaking to reshape the future of mankind by projecting new ideas into many minds had taken her time to become accustomed to. Only the certain knowledge that mankind was progressing towards a bad end allowed her to be comfortable with projecting thoughts into the minds of others.
The journey to the mountains had been long, for transport had only been provided to the city. In the city, she had met with others and together they had taken their meagre provisions and walked the 500 miles.
They had travelled through the barren landscapes as those around them travelled -by foot. The land was stony, rocky and the air was thin. The sparse vegetation allowed for little animal life and the yaks they saw were outlined by their bones.
They had come to the Brahmaputra after four days journey and rested. Then they moved on. For the cold was coming and it would be well for them if they set up their abode and began their work: that of changing the thoughts of mankind, of taking captive mindsets of war and influencing them to become thoughts of peace. The ultimate renewal of the ‘collective conscious’.
The foot of the mountain had been a welcome sight and there were cheers of jubilation. Still they walked, climbed and struggled on, for the monastery they sought lay high on the slopes of the Himalayas. The Tashi Lama was expecting them.
They arrived, light-headed from thin air, serious exercise and a destination reached in record time.
So it was that Nadia began the task allocated to her. From the heights of the earth she projected new thoughts into the minds of men. For she was an Adept – one trained in the power of things, in the projection and manifestation of thought forms. Those who worked with her added to the purpose of changing the hearts and minds of mankind, and the Tashi Lama strengthened their resolve by adding the power of the monks.
At first, the isolation was disconcerting for there was no measure that their task was succeeding, but then the isolation began to offer its own rewards.
For five years they projected new thoughts into the minds of men. From the minds of men in faraway places, they picked up new notions, and knew their work was not in vain.
Slowly at first, there were changes. The Arabs talked to the Israelis and the Israelis responded. There was peace of a kind for a while and the cornerstones were laid. The military complex shut down, and corporations voluntarily surrendered their profit mongering ways and started using their excess to grow trees and clean up polution. Politicians, unfit for leadership, changed their minds as suddenly as the wind whipped round corners, and nobody knew why. Korea evolved peacefully. Civil wars and the fight for increasing status faded into the pages of history, and in the places where poverty had been, a new creativity sprung up and the taking and grabbing of a consumer society became unpopular.
As the days became years, the monastery became a place to be seen and those that came, went away, newly enlightened, newly skilled, newly aware. They went back again to the places they had come from and they too, in turn brought new thoughts to those around them. For thought is catching.
So the world changed. For man simply began to think in new ways. Telepathy was catching, and those with much saw the agony of those with little. Equality came as the rich became aware of their misunderstandings.
So it was that one year morphed into five years, the powers that be declared the effort a huge success, and it was time for Nadia to go home.
She walked the way to Llasa alone this time, lost in contemplation and savouring the barren land which she had learnt to love. When she arrived at Lhasa, she walked to the place where the airships were, their huge mass so different fromt he Boeings of the past. She entered the airship and was shown to her seat. Before long she was in the sky, on a leisurely flight to Cape Town, the mother city of her country and the a mecca for a myriad cultures.
Perhaps, that was why the Council of New Learning started there. A culture accustomed to much variety does not reject new ideas so easily, There was also the long tradition of the Sangomas. It was a place where the ideas of the first world found relevance in the practices of the third world, where the truth of dying superstitions gained life in new applications.
That was yesterday.
She had slept, and tonight she sat at the Blues Club. The Council would make contact with her when they were ready to send her on her next assignment. For she knew that release from her last task was only for a period. Soon there would be more training. Such is the nature of mankind – to push each new discovery to its limits. She did not know what lay ahead. She just knew she wanted to be part of it.
Now she focused on the man behind her. She had felt his eyes early on and she had blocked him, as she had slowly defocused those around her to other areas of intrigue. She had become highly skilled in these areas. The cacophony of thoughts had been disturbing at first; then as she learnt to live with it, exhilaration had fed her. She knew now a glorious melding with humanity as thoughts and energy fields interlinked. There was so much power.
Here and there she picked up those who, too, melded minds and knew the thoughts of others. In time, all on earth would know the thoughts of others.
Still the thoughts of the one behind her reached her for they were of a different sort - her sort, that of an Adept. Eventually she turned to look and locked her eyes with his.
So it was, she arose from her seat, and in gliding movement made her way to his table and said, ‘I’m Nadia.’
"I know, he said,"I'm Avi Tron."
He felt no need for words, for their minds linked, one to another, and they knew each other in a way that that bonded them forever.
She sat down without invitation. He said nothing for he had nothing to say. He just focused on her: feeling her, knowing her, aware that he had always known her.
After a time of looking at him, examining him, she said, ‘So?' And she smiled. He smiled back.
His thoughts touched her and his body craved. He thought of his years of celibacy, gone with the wind. It was time to act on that impulse, to become a man again, and his plotting said to her, ‘My place or yours?’
She wasn’t shy. ‘Your place,’ she said.
He liked her directness. He took her hand, moved it towards his lips, and in ancient ritual paid homage to her, his kiss a soft whisper on her skin.
They spoke for a while, sharing their past lives, touching on this, touching on that. Their minds, honed by years of sensitivity training, linked and connected in a way that had not yet become common to mankind, but, in time, would.
Then, as one, they rose from the table, and turned towards the door. As the air of the night touched them, each knew this would be a new beginning, a relationship that would take them past the conventional ties of old, past the role playing and the game playing, to a new honesty, a new century, a new world. And a new love: a love that would transform the world.
© 2019 Tessa Schlesinger
Tessa Schlesinger (author) on April 03, 2019:
Thanks for your comment. Absolutely. :)
Fawad ul Hassan from Islamabad,Pakistan on March 31, 2019:
I have to say that I agree with the core idea of this piece.
The whole reason behind the resentment, anger, and ferocity of a modern day human is the fundamental assumption that other people are not aware of the sheer suffering and gigantic struggles that one is being subjected to at a given time.
This drives a person to feel lonely, disconnected and detached to the outside world. Ultimately, this is bound to lead to unkind, nastiness
and even violence towards others.
I think it might be the case that we as human are losing trust in our ability to communicate and connect to another fellow human being. We are unwilling to listen to others, thus, we assume that others, too, are unwilling to listen to us.
Yes, we are destined to suffer and be melancholic on very deep levels. But I believe that, somewhere deep down, within the very fundamentals of our existence, we crave to suffer alongside someone we deeply love.
One might argue that we, human beings, should attempt to strike a balancing act between two independently accurate theologies. Although, we must acknowledge that it is true that every nostalgic feeling or a complex human emotion cannot be possibly communicated in a way that completely retains its essence and true spirit. But while doing so, we must not forget that there are people in our lives, our partners, our loved ones , the ones that care about us, and the ones that we deeply care about, these people are human too. We should make meaningful attempts to allow these people to take a look into the fascinating world that exists inside our infinitely imaginative and carefree minds. Only then we can hope that someday we can initiate the healing of what's damaged and in the words of Francis Weller, only then ,"We can dare to love once more".