Sometimes, you say something to your lover and a moment later he’ll ask you for a number between 1 and 100. This is because the thing you said was the thing he was thinking, and so now he needs to test this moment of cosmic connection. Very occasionally you get the number right, but often you are just a few numbers away or the numbers are transposed. Either is a satisfying result and you can both continue with your day. You wonder about this need to test the unseen, the unexplainable. You wonder if the unseen is bothered by your doubt.
The parapsychologist J. B. Rhine invented the term extrasensory perception in the 1930s. He carried out 90,000 experiments in the Parapsychology Laboratory at Duke University in North Carolina, and went on the establish the Foundation for Research on the Nature of Man. Now renamed The Rhine Institute, their current research projects include investigations into psychokinesis, bioenergy, healing and extrasensory perception.
You know someone who can see your thoughts. You have known her for many years and how closely she feels other people’s emotions, sometimes a disorientating overload that she’s had to learn how to manage. But you have only recently discovered she can see things too. You were having a conversation and there was something you refused to tell her but it was too late, it was already in her head and she gave you one word to describe it. You couldn’t speak. This thing that she had no way of knowing had risen up unbidden in her mind.
You once remarked to your lover that this person hadn’t called in a while, and in that moment she called.
Coincidence, fluke, serendipity, happenstance, synchronicity, luck, destiny. These are the words we use to explain the things we cannot see or measure.
When you were young you had a fascination with extrasensory perception. You watched films like The Fury and Village of the Damned, and then later The X-Files. You wanted to move cups and read people’s minds. You feel that children in particular desire this skill to compensate for their lack of power. It is a universal truth commonly known that some adults deserve a cup flying towards their heads.
For most of your life your alignment with others has been a result of deference, so you found yourself swimming in their sea and calling it love, all the while confused by the riptides that pulled you away from yourself. But now you discover a new body of water, a place where you and your lover can swim together, a place where numbers between 1 and 100 drift through the currents of your thoughts, where hope and desire and strange imaginings can mingle together as one.
Think of a number between 1 and 100.
Let it linger in the ether of your mind, and see who finds it there.