I Know a Guy
I know this guy, I won’t give his name for the sake of anonymity but suffice to say I know him very well. He has always been a good friend, honest and trustworthy, and lives what appears to be a very normal life. One day we got to talking and for some reason I can’t remember the topic of psychic powers came up. I laughed and dismissed any and all such claims as bogus and assumed my friend would do the same, but he did not. In fact, to my great surprise, he got real still, looked me in the eyes and said, “Dan, I’m a believer, people can and do have psychic abilities, and I happen to be one of them.” Immediately I began to chuckle thinking he was playing some sort of joke on me, but after a few seconds, when he did not join in, I awkwardly coughed, apologized, and asked him to explain. “OK, buddy, I’m intrigued, tell me exactly what this so called psychic power of yours is, and of course I am then going to need to see a demonstration.” He gathered himself for a moment and I could tell he was thinking deeply, trying to determine the best way to explain himself. After a few moments of silence he began.
“The thing is I’m not sure power is the right word for it. It’s not a very powerful thing at all really. Or, maybe it might be if I could figure out how to use it right, but after all these years I never have. It is actually pretty damn lame when you really think about it.” He paused, took a deep breath and continued. “You know how when you are having a conversation with someone and the other person gets like stuck? Like they can’t figure out the right next words to say? Like they are at a loss for words?” I replied, “Sure man, happens all the time to me and I notice it a lot in others when we are talking, particularly if the topic is difficult or technical.” “Well, I can help the person find the right words, or rather I should say I can make them find the right words, put the words in the their mouth and make them say them. It’s not like what you are thinking, I can only make them say what they probably were going to say anyways, eventually. Or what they would like to say, or would have said if they had not gotten stuck. I can’t make them say anything that would go against their actual original intent, or against character, or outrageous or weird. I can’t turn a yes into a no. But I can put exact words into their (minds) and make them say them exactly as I want them to.” At this point he stopped and looked at me . I suppose he wanted me to say something but I was deep in thought trying to puzzle this out in my own head. He was right that it really did not seem all that useful. I mean what could you really do with that except perhaps make a conversation go a little bit faster then it otherwise would have. That said my curiosity was piqued so I asked a few questions.
“Does it work over the phone, over distance?” “Yep, I know for a fact it does as I use it during conference calls with colleagues as far away as Europe all the time.” “Do you need to know the person or does it work with anyone?” I asked. “I believe it will work with anyone though I have to admit I can’t recall ever having used it in a conversation with a total stranger. At least for me, having conversations with strangers is quite rare, and even rarer would I have one in which this sort of situation would come up.” I asked another. “Does it only work in one on one conversations or does it work in group settings too?” “It actually seems to work better in group settings. A great example is a conference call I might have at my job. Often the host of the meeting or someone talking will find themselves getting stuck, at a loss for words, and it is at those times when I can use my gift most easily to help them get unstuck.” I thought that was odd so I probed more deeply “That sure does seem weird, why do you think that is?” “I’ve often wondered about it myself, the nearest I can figure it has something to do with my own discomfort in situations like that. I always feel so bad for the person, I really want to help them. That’s when it just happens.” “What just happens?” I asked. “The words come into my mind, and then they come out of the mouth of the person who is stuck. The conversation continues on and no one is the wiser for it. The person I helped has no idea where the words they spoke came from, and the audience listening certainly has no clue anything unusual has happened.” My skepticism was up and I challenged my friend asking him “How do you know each of these instances wasn’t just a coincidence? Isn’t it possible you are just a really good guesser, have good intuition about people, and situations, and can put together the most likely things any given person would be likely to say in a given situation?” “Of course I can’t know for absolute certain that is not the case, however, given the number of times this has happened and the specificity of the words uttered it seems highly implausible.” “How many times has it happened? and I find it weird that you say it like that, happened, I mean you consciously choose to deploy your gift , don’t you? It doesn’t just happen without your awareness, does it?” “It’s weird but sometimes it does just happen and I am not even aware that I have done anything until a few seconds after it happens. But I know, I do know when it has happened. It’s hard to explain and I know it sounds crazy, but I know. Most of the time though it is a conscious decision. As to how many times I have used it, that is hard to say. I would guess not more than a few times a month at most. In the course of my normal everyday life I just don’t find myself in a situation where it would be applicable or useful very often, if it is even useful at all. As I said at the beginning I don’t really think it is really at all useful. A psychic power, yep, at all helpful or useful, not really. What’s the point of that Dan? What’s the point?” he asked dejectedly, head down looking glum.
I stood quietly for a few moments just looking at this guy, my friend, lost deep in thought, wondering where to go from here, what to ask next, what exactly to say. “I guess there is no point buddy. No point at all.” My friend looked at me and smiled. “You asked for a demonstration didn’t you?”