by Tantra Bensko

“Let me show you my special place,” said Tommy, bending his slender, dark clad body down a little with a flip up towards the path. It made the bottom flare of his fitted jacket flip up too. I'd only just met him that day, and going to his house in the country, made out of copper that caught the sunset beautifully, was as much as I thought I could take in already. I was in overwhelm, and any new images and concepts dropped into the surreal levels of my self.

The green of the moss in the woods was scintillatingly intense, and the rain was so plentiful, the water in the creek we walked along reflected the greens from not too far away. The green stopped abruptly, with a big black hole in the ground ahead. A crater, he said, a small one. We scurried into it, though it was somewhat rough terrain, required close attention to the ground underfoot. The ground was very black. My skin tightened with the cooler temperatures. I nearly tripped over a pipe just along the surface, looked up towards where it was going, and stopped immediately.

White mist contrasted with the black ground, coming out of the center of the crater, at the bottom of the round blackness. Some of it wafted against my shoulders, and it surprised me with its frostiness.

“I use some technology to pull this off, but to me, it's art,” he was saying, as the mist cleared enough as I approached for me to see something giant and glinting white in the center. Ice. Complexity. It looked like some very convoluted frozen drippiness in ice, the size of a very large room. In fact, it seemed to be something akin to a very large room. Made of ice. With layers of icicles hanging down, in rows, one of top of the other, and one behind the other.

“See, the water runs down over the copper structure, and over the all the layers of edges, and freezes solid. Put on this coat.” He opened up a horizontal door I hadn't seen that went underground. He reached down, and pulled out two white fluffy coats. “We can go in it over here.”

We ducked slightly, under a row of layers of icicles, making me feel like we were going into a kid's fort. Inside, everything was pure white, lit by white silk covered lamps around the edges, softly, glowing. And cold. Undeniably.

I felt changed. I wasn't sure why. “I'm a meditator, you know that. I'm used to going into my higher levels of my self, the multiple layers, feeling the energy flowing. But it's like this place meditates me. I feel lit up!”

He reached out gracefully and touched my face. He looked in my eyes, and didn't say anything. “I'm so glad you feel that,” he said. “You're sensitive. There's a reason for that. When I built this place, when I started the water running, and freezing, I had my group come over. There are about a dozen of us. We sat in here and chanted, meditated, sent energy out in intention to the water. We affected the water, for sure, and when it froze, it kept that energy in the crystals. It's like there are a dozen people in here still drumming, and visualizing, and loving the water, and all of our souls merging together and humming, buzzing. When I come in here, I always feel lit up too. But there's more. You'll start to notice. We had a certain intention for it, and we did that for days. They all come here, too, to visit, like this, whenever they want to. But they stick to the rules, which is not to talk inside it. Generally. But go ahead....”

“What do you call this place?” I didn't really want to talk much in there. For some reason, talking felt too—linear. The words seemed to have a kind of reverberation into associations that seemed somewhat meaningless at the time.”

“We call it The Anti-Story.”

I puzzled over that. Hmm. Puzzling over it was becoming harder, though, as the strange feeling became stronger. I felt quiet, empty and full at the same time. I just looked in his eyes, and he looked in mine. It seemed like time became irrelevant, and I was caught up in the beauty of his face. But, I for the first time, didn't worry if something were going to come of it. I didn't worry how he felt about me, or if this was a good choice to be starting to get close to this young man. I didn't imagine the different future joys or lack of joy if this ended up being the last time we saw each other, or the problems that could happen if we kept it up.

“This place has special properties,” he said. I watched his lips move, the curves so artistic. His eyes were a deep brown that seemed soft, the pupils large and dark. It was hard to look away. But somehow, the urgency, the intense desire for something wasn't present. I was content. I was a little confused, because while that should tell me I wasn't interested in him, I was. Very much. He was breath, and I was too. Breath was shining everywhere. We felt big. Transparent. Overlapped.

“Try thinking about the stories that normally obsess you. We all have'em, I know. No need to pretend otherwise.” He grinned. I watched his cheeks and nose getting redder from the cold.

That was an odd remark, but I gave it a go. I thought about the running argument I had with my aunt, whom I lived with, and was thinking of moving away from. Our relationship was so meaningful to me, but annoying as all get-out. She'd become like another mother to me when mine died. But we had the kinds of minds that can never totally communicate with each other and be understood. It seemed to me she just willfully misinterpreted what I'd say time and again, and remember what her insecurities made her hear, and yell at me later if I remembered instead what was actually said.

So, in my mind, there was a constant rerunning of our conversations, so I didn't forget what really was said, what I was going to say next, how I felt about what she'd said last time, and so on. It rarely let me be at peace for long. But, I couldn't get to that part of me. It was gone. The running story in my mine was erased. It was the Anti-Auntie.

“It's the Anti-Story Effect. Amazing, isn't it?” I nodded, my lips sort of sideways.

Normally, I was aware of my expanded levels of my aura, which was so much larger than the one that thought about my aunt, worried about men, went through my daily life full of “challenges,” we liked to call them, so we didn't sound complaining. That expanded part was like another layer over the the dramatic plots of my life. It looked at the world from a different perspective, and seemed to feel pretty blissful all the time.

But in the Anti-Story, I felt that part of my self was not held at a distance by the stories in my head. That part was just right there. Easy. No sweat. Not up there, but where I was. It was as if a membrane, made of stories, had become clear, permeable.

“Where do we go from here?” I didn't know what else to say. There seemed to be nothing to say, but I felt I should be saying something.

“Nowhere. We are where we're going. Nothing has to happen. At all.”

I pulled my fluffy white coat around me. I felt as if I were in a white hole. I had been wondering what the wormhole of my life would carry me to. I had been getting in touch with all the soul white holes I could come out into in the future, asking the best one to pull me towards it. I decided this was maybe it. Nothing. No story at all. It sparkled. It was clean. It was good. The ground was becoming solid and stable underneath me. I breathed more deeply into my lungs. They breathed more deeply into me. The world breathed me. In, and out. And out, out out. White, and crystalline. And free.