Thursday, September 18, 2003
For crying out loud, witchcraft???
Let me back up ,and, again, try to get all the specifics down. A real receptionist or secretary would know shorthand and be transcribing it as it happened, but... Anyway, the phone rings, I pick it up, "BioSoft Inc. How may I help you?"
"So, are you sick of that yet?"
My own voice. I almost didn't recognize it at first, since your voice never sounds the same over the phone or on tape as it does when you hear yourself speak, and even though I've been leaving messages on "Martin's" voice mail for the past two months, neither I nor Michelle ever recorded a custom message.
I gasp Michelle's name, and she tut-tut-tuts me, saying she hopes there was no-one else in the room or I'd have some explaining to do. I look around, and I'm alone for the moment.
"Clever of you to get your boyfriend to call me - I didn't recognize his number on my caller ID. But it can't happen again, understand? I've put up with your constant calls and emails, but it's been two months. It has to stop."
"That's easy for you to say. You know what's going on."
I heard a sigh. "I suppose I owe you that much. What do you know of witchcraft?"
"During her twenty-fifth year, a witch must both learn to see life from a new perspective and surrender control of her own. It helps us stay more in tune with the universal powers of the earth, rather than the limiting perspective of one life and one body. Does that make sense?"
"Good. Now, the good news is, this usually only lasts about five or six months. The bad news is that every day we communicate adds another two to the length of the test, and you've been sending me an email or phone message every day! I try to delete them without reading them, but the mere fact that I'm aware you're sending them may be enough. Are you trying to make this last forever?"
There's something in her/his/my voice there. I'm not sure what. Annoyance and exasperation, sure, but also some sort of contempt, or amusement, or... I'm not sure. Part of it's the way Michelle's speaking. It doesn't sound like me, or like what anyone I've met from New Hampshire sounds like. It reminds me of Lucy Lawless on Xena, actually - remember how the effort to conceal her New Zealand accent just made her sound like she wasn't from anywhere? I mention this to Michelle, after saying I want to be myself again.
"Then we understand each other. Now, just do your job, go out with your boyfriend, and don't worry about me. That way, things will get back to normal all the sooner."
And then she hung up without saying goodbye.
So. Witchcraft. I'd barely considered something supernatural. Even when I got email suggesting it, I dismissed the idea. I was so sure that it was no coincidence Michelle worked around bio-engineering. Even now, I have a hard time thinking of actual magic. I tend to agree with Arthur C. Clarke, that sufficiently advanced science looks like magic, and even confronted with something as inexplicable as my life the past couple of months, I tend to look for a rational explanation.
And I'm not going to stop. It just means I have to dig through even more information that's just as likely to be spurious.
Although I will, I guess, stop calling "me" unless it's an emergency. There is, after all, some chance it does more harm than good.
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