High Strangeness on Fifth Avenue


“Why are you here?” asked the hypnotherapist, notepad in her lap, pen in her fingers, “what were you thinking I could help you with?” They’d already been through the intake process and standard habits and medications interview and were now getting down to the purpose of the visit.

This was a woman of considerable intelligence, means and abilities, all dark red hair, trim, wearing a smart gray business suit, and she needed above all discretion. As an executive of a large pharmaceutical company, nobody could know she was here, in this office, seeing a hypnotherapist for reasons she had yet to discover. With her guarded body attitude, it was clear by her eyes she was still debating the wisdom of opening up this can of worms. Maybe some things are best left unknown, she had thought many times in the past couple of weeks.

Finally, fiddling with her fingernails, she said, “A couple of weeks ago I had an experience while walking along Fifth Avenue on my way to a meeting. It’s not easy to explain. But I’ll try. I had this feeling that I was separate from myself and some way or another I was watching myself go through the motions of walking this sidewalk. But I couldn’t actually see myself doing that. It was more a feeling. There was a bus bench and I had to sit on it. I was a little dizzy. Everything became more vivid, alarmingly, and I could smell things I’d never been able to smell, like emotions, like the smell of a guys’ emotional state that was standing on the corner. The heightened sense stuff dissipated, but some of the weirdness of the feelings has stayed. I just sometimes don’t feel fully present in my body a lot of times, and I sense I’m being watched? But not in any ghostly sense. I mean, yes, it could be a ghost or something, which I totally don’t believe in…in fact, I’m a totally show-me alpha female. I don’t cry at weddings, I don’t tear up when a friend is crying – I’m pure logic and all business, and if I can’t see it or touch it, it doesn’t exist. And I prefer it that way. I like myself the way I am. It suits me and what I do.”

“I imagine that has served you very well,” the hypnotherapist said quietly.

“Maybe so. Anyway, I have a kind of friend…that’s what they are…they’re all kinda friends, who’s into all that out there energy and meditation bullshit that seems everywhere these days. I thought maybe he’d be someone I could talk to about it. I mean I thought I was sick. I went to the Doctor for God’s sake, got run through a battery of tests and blood panels and it all came up with I’m as healthy and normal as I can be.”

“What else has happened?”

“Oh…it’s maybe not so much what has happened but what continues to happen. I wake up in the middle of the night with my whole body vibrating with chills…” (she was not comfortable sharing the fact that she’d had a body-wracking orgasm from the experience just four nights ago) “…and it feels really good and everything, but it like some of the other…uh…stuff happening all leads back to that day in the street, at least as far as I can sort of track it.”

“I think it’s a very good thing that you’re so self-reflective about it. Many people would try to ignore it all, but you’re looking for causes. Have I got that right?”

“Pretty much.”

“So, if I…”

“Well that’s what my friend was about. I thought he might have something insightful to say about it or something. He’s a cute guy too, so I guess I have to admit I wanted to…um…start a conversation with him.”

The therapist smiled, unaccustomed to people telling the truth. “Go on.”

“He suggested a good place to start was with hypnotism. He told me I could be regressed to that day to see if there was information there about the…uh…event from a subconscious perspective that might shed light on it all?”

“It’s possible. Do you understand hypnotism?”

“I Googled it. Looked into it. I’m not afraid. I get how it works. And I don’t have trust issues. I do trust my instincts – that’s always been solid for me – and so I did a search that found you and several others. You stood out to me. And here I am.”

“Well,” chuckled the therapist, “then most of our work is already done. Now there’s just the doing.”

“Could you explain a bit more what you mean?”

“Recognition is at least 70% of any problem or issue or anything else calling to be dealt with. The desire to get to the bottom of it, to figure it out, has its own sort of power and impetus to propel you in the direction you need to go. Many people that walk in that door right there are truly terrified, and few able to be honest enough to admit it. That fear is a truly insurmountable barrier between the perception of the problem and the clear recognition and realization of the solution. And their refusal to acknowledge that they’re fearful adds another layer to that barrier. And so I could spend weeks, in successive sessions, just getting people past the fear and the refusal to acknowledge it. But once that’s done, then the real work can start.”

“How do you get people past the fear?”

“At its most basic it starts with showing them that they are in control of hypnosis, not me. This creates an environment of comfort. Then it’s really just showing them that fear is a phantom. Fear’s an interesting thing in that it truly is the only thing to fear, because whatever it is that is feared is only feared because that is how any given person responds to a particular stimuli, situation or circumstance. What’s important to know is that what is feared is often a falsely conceived symbol for the root of a fear, because a certain part of our minds will bust a move on us and cover a root cause over with a disguise so that it can go on with its addiction to the thrill of fear.”

“Wait a sec. Thrill?”

“It’s not easy to explain with demonstrable objectivity, but it goes a bit like this. Let’s say that you are able to understand your subconscious as a truly discrete awareness, with its own perceptions, preferences, limitations and so on…”

“I took psychology at Brown, so I’m a little clued in. It was part of my curricula vitae for my business administration degree. I was groomed by some pretty powerful people.”

“Good. Then you’d probably get along with this thought. Fear and excitement are almost exactly the same energy, but depending on the person they are responded to differently. An A Type will go jump off a bridge with a bungee cord around his ankles, and the guy next to him will turn that energy into fear and go cower in his bedroom. As far as the subconscious goes, any fear comes through as excitement, and that…uh…mind, might just turn that into an addiction. Then, when it sees that you’re going about the process of trying to root out what to it is excitement, but to you is fear, it throws up a disguise for it, creating a psychographic maze you could wander around in forever, seeking meaning from false images placed there as useless distractions. Freud and Jung were big into pioneering this particular landscape of study.”

“Wow. That is totally nailed. I’ve seen that about myself. Even though what happened on Fifth Avenue scared me, I mean really scared me, I decided this time I wasn’t going to sweep it under the rug. For the first time in my life I felt like if I were to do that, I was conspiring against my own truth or something like that.”

“Exactly. So, were thinking you might like to get started today?”


A half hour later our heroine was in a semi-somnambulistic state, what would have been the equivalent of high delta, and the therapist was taking her backwards through her life, stopping along the way on important moments. She did know that the event in question was only a couple of weeks earlier, but the more she could immerse her subject into her own subconscious memory, the clearer the uncovering of what might already be a fairly cleverly veiled but important occurrence.

Finally, she brought her to the day in question, and she had notes of the date and time so she could be that specific, knowing that the subconscious mind was also that literal, that specific, and could respond with the correct experience data from its hard-drive of memories.

“Is it daytime or nighttime?”

“Day,” whispered the star of our entertainment for today.

“Alone or with someone?”

“Alone on a crowded sidewalk.”

“What seems to be happening? Move forward in time to the next event deserving of your attention.”

“I…I don’t know. I seem to be floating. Wait…the city’s there but it’s…I don’t know. It’s vague and overlapping…but now it’s fading. I don’t know what’s going on here.”

“Just stay with it. It’ll come.”

Even though she never cries at weddings and all that, our heroine started to cry.

“What’s going on? You can choose to step away from an experience and just be an observer of it.”

“Oh, I so want to experience this. I’m…I’m with some…some people. Or entities or whatever. Oh my gosh I know them as my…my family. Is that possible? It is! Oh how I love them. Oh!”

“Can you ask one of them what you’re doing there?”

“I…I…know what I’m doing here. I’ve done this before. They come do this to help me be clear on what I’m doing here on this planet. And they recharge me. And they remind me how much I’m loved and supported by them, even when that thing down there doesn’t get it.”

“What thing?”

“That body. That woman. That body I agreed to habitate.”

“Oh, I see. So you can perceive where you are but you can see her at the same time?”

“Yes. They’ve created some sort of…of…um…like a viewing orb of energy or something here and I’m looking at that body, that street, that bench, through it or on it or something. Look at it. It’s standing up from that bench and walking down the sidewalk, going about its business. It’s absolutely freakin’ clueless. Disgusting how unconscious those things are. I’m confused how I could be involved in something so damned clueless. It’s crazy. I don’t get it.”

“You don’t remember making the agreement? You don’t remember volunteering? Maybe that’s something that we should explore?”

“No…this…this reunion is over. They’ve done something to this…I don’t know what you call it…I’m almost too mad to be able to think. They’re telling me I’ll recall how precious even that thing…that woman…how precious she is…how precious her experience. Anyway…they’ve done something to this spirit body that they’re telling me will start to awaken…her I guess, sometime soon.

“Oh? Will they answer some questions for us?”

“Oh those bodies are so dense, so sluggish. I don’t know how we do it…I don’t want to go back there.”

“I’m sure if you’re open to it all you might find it a fascinating adventure. Would you like me to leave you with some helpful suggestions for…”


There was a long silence, and then our heroine’s eyes fluttered open and she looked at the therapist, saying sleepily, “I’m cold. Something’s not right. I feel anxious. Wait…” she was looking dreamily into and beyond a ceiling corner in the room.

She was offered a soft blanket, but she abruptly stood up and went to the coat rack to get her blazer.

The therapist asked, “Would you like to hear the recording?”

“No. I have to go. Please destroy the recording and my intake record. Thank you very much for trying to help. It’s not your fault we didn’t get anywhere with this.”

“But we did.”

“No we didn’t. I didn’t. It’s just a stupid…fantasy or whatever it was, what little I can remember of it anyway. Thank you.”

And the door slammed shut behind her.

The therapist shrugged and smiled, having seen this many times. People are so wrapped up in this addictive hologram that when it threatens to come apart on them, they turn away in fear. It’s the big money, the nice clothes, the station in life, the power she has over her minions, her power as a sexually liberated woman. Her solace was that she knew the people who were this woman’s family, from her home world, had done something that would be perfect for her growth.

And once you’ve pried back that curtain, it’s hard to close it again. It becomes a thought burr in the mind, and it will chafe and chafe until you wrench it loose from the tapestry’s threads. She’d had other clients with similar experiences…most not quite that drastic, who find out after the fact they’ve been removed from the body many times, and never aware of it as the robotic consciousness of the body goes about its business as usual, driving, working, watching TV, cooking. She knew for a fact that this particular body disconnection was engineered by many beings to cause her to be aware of it, with the dizziness and strange being-beside-oneself feelings and perceptions, like being watched. That way she would herself try to find out what the deal was with it, and in so doing open the curtain, just a little, to begin the successive recognitions needed to alas see through this hallucination. As always, it was brilliant, but our invisible helpers are in fact brilliant beyond our ability to conceive of it.

That was FUN, she thought, now how about some lunch.

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