by Tantra Bensko

The hypnotherapist adjusted his hernia belt and bent toward me in his orange leather chair, looking into my eyes, hesitantly. “What do you see now?” His grey hair looked tired. I was staring at him, momentarily out of my trance, amazed at the scenes that my subconscious had been revealed to me. I closed my eyes again, and readjusted my curves into the couch.

“I want to ask the giant octopus thing that created humans a question......Why? Why did you create us? What it some mishap, or were useful as slaves, or what? Wasn't it obvious we'd screw things up and destroy the planet?”

It looked at me, wise and multi-tentacled. I hadn't expected an octopus at all. It seemed neither male or female. “Because....humans had to exist. It was inevitable. They fill in the note between C and E, you could say. There would have been a blank space in the system of frequencies of notes that make up reality without people.” All of this was said without words at all, or anything linear. It all came at once. And made total sense.

I reviewed my hypnosis session, the dashing captain of the spaceship, the grey aliens with clipboards that I helped efficiently to put people in hanging cages, the vats of human secretions the aliens stuck their hands in to drink by osmosis. All done while under mind control by the aliens, so my normal mind had no idea. Until the hypnosis.

I took the N-Judah train home in the cold to my apartment by the beach, with all its flimsy veils hung all through the hallway. It was Oct. 31. The veils were always there, though. I put my costume on.

My ride, my good friend Morning was due any minute, but of course, he/she was always late. My costume was a dog. I was stuck to another dog, in the act of passion. A stuffed one. A basset hound. I said my name was Lightning.

I liked the idea of being stuck to something, belonging, being part of a pair. I had never dated anyone, had always felt alone. Alone with ideas of non-linearity, research into what happens to people at night on the other frequencies, alone with the sense of what it means to be a woman. I sometimes thought I'd have joined the Nazi party if they'd asked, just to be part of something. Not just me, alone with my secrets even from myself, with a gaping hole of self, wanting to be partnered with something. Anything. A dog.

A knock at the door. There was a giant octopus. No. Way.

It was Morning, I could tell by the particular shape of his/her gut and curly red hair strands sticking out from around the octopus face. Legs were everywhere. Sewn together tubes. I had no idea.

He/she took me to the Halloween party in Sonoma amongst statues and benches in grottos. I wanted to sit on the benches.

It was crowded, an in crowd I wasn't very privy to, though they seemed nice, fluid, imaginative, gentle. There were other Others there besides Morning, and I felt somehow that they were unstuck enough in roles to free themselves to play out roles the Universe asked them to play. I always thought of people who identified as Others as being good at acting in the divine play. They seemed to know each other so well, though, it was hard to break into conversations.

I looked so unsexy in my costume, not many people talked to me. The ones who did happened to be dressed as

a spaceship captain,

an alien with a clipboard,

and an alien with fake hands stuck in a vat.

No. Way.

That told me my memory was likely true. Or, that Jungian synchronicity didn't require truth. Or both.

The guy dressed as an alien with the clipboard was eerie. I couldn't believe I had helped fellows like that on the ship, while in some altered self at night, taken on some level, astral most likely. I could hardly look at the man at the party. I couldn't explain to him what was going on without sounding ridiculous. The world talked to me through events. I held down a job as a manager of a story. I wasn't crazy. I was just..... I started to cry.

“I can't take it,” I said. “I think I've sided with the enemy. Aliens. Like your costume, sorry. Ruined people's lives.” Sniff.

“Would you like a stuffed avocado half?”

“No.... How did you decide on your alien costume?”

“I felt something was telling me to. Something from the near future. I felt it had to happen. It was inevitable. There was no choice. Hemp seed spread on cracker?” I wondered if the guy dressed as the captain was an Other. He was certainly graceful. His voice was somewhat high. He was tuned in.

“No.” I sat down on my stuffed dog stuck to my butt, dejected. The party proved it. I had done it. I had helped aliens abduct people. The dog came unstuck. The act was over.