Self Discovery

A Partial Chapter


A Next Iteration

One of several impending books by Doug Renselle


Orpha Lynn Oman is in a taxi headed for a Ponder Flight concert at Wolf Trap. Earth's bountiful sun smiles a broad, low, golden grin. It provides warmth on days like now when brisk, dry air prefers glimmers of autumn.

She is impatient with her driver who keeps staring at her in his rearview mirror. Orpha has become accustomed to people staring at her, but she wishes her driver would pay more attention to time and her preferred route to Wolf Trap. His last two turns cost two miles and at least five minutes.

Orpha's taxi driver simply hasn't seen a woman before whose purple eyes sparkle with gold mist. This inept chauffeur trances, swamped in her eyes' depth. Hers are all knowing eyes, all loving eyes, and entrapping-unifying eyes that pull you inside whether you want inside or not. Orpha's eyes make seer and seen whole in only a quantal glance.

Orpha's peach dusk patine mezzanines her fathomless eyes profoundly on a palette of both onyx and sable hair. This rare creature captivates her driver, a troglodyte lackey.

Finally, Orpha says, "Driver, I have to be at Wolf Trap to meet my friends in 15 minutes. If you do not concentrate on your driving, I will be late and you will not get a good tip."

Reluctantly, he bends his rearview mirror so he cannot see her and focuses on his immediate task.

Orpha intuits an apparency: to her, other people are usually in some kind of drunken stupor. It's as if they are continually bombed on some drug. This driver has drunken, love-sick eyes ordained only by over-indulgence in potions alcoholic and narcotic. Unlike her driver, and unlike others, somehow she isn't environmentally affected. In a biochemical manner unknown to her she is apparently immune to Earth-atmosphere's nitrogen-high narcotic affects. Her immunity helps her to think more clearly, and as a result get better grades in school and perform better at work. Others seem relatively slow and inebriated to her.

Her wheel-turning Neandertal finally arrives at Wolf Trap's parking area. She directs him to a gate where she told her friends they could meet. She pays and tips him well, this troglodyte who works for food.

She eases her supple, 5'10", 135 lb. frame from her cab cage, with panther lithe, into afternoon's solid contrast, skin-hungry sunlight. Her purple and gold eyes show even more potent glints of momentary sun coherence playing among indigo blue highlights immanent her dense black hair. Orpha is stunning!

Her friends are there, waiting, as planned. They move through a gate into Wolf Trap grounds.

Wolf Trap consumes a huge place on sloping green grass. Its slope tumbles inexorable attention to a central stage where Ponder Flight will blare tonight.

Ponder Flight is a phenomenon. There are four group members: drummer, guitarist, bass guitarist, and synthesist/vocalist. Ponder Flight is unique in its spectrum of output. World-wide and hyper-fantastic influences permeate nearly all their music. Their music combined with incredible talents of individual group members and their aggregate creativity, emerses now-new sounds and rhythms. Their drummer's fecund multitonic rhythms surpass even those of John Henry himself. In aggregate, that is what draws Orpha to Ponder Flight concerts. She seeks new, animate, spirit-entangling harmonic dynamism. Other rock groups are just monotonous pounders and pluckers compared to Ponder Flight. Only Ponder Flight can strum her Id.

Sitting with her friends and anticipating new musical experiences this evening, Orpha's active mind slides back to morning events.

She never went to an ophthalmologist before. She thought her eyes were normal until last evening. Orpha's main squeeze, her first and only so far, took her to dinner last night.

After dinner, they go to his apartment to watch a video, but sit too close and touch too much. Events progress too quickly, and suddenly, they are in his bedroom taking each other's clothing off. It is pitch black and her lover is panting with desire, lusting for rut, when Orpha describes how he looks to her. Though it is dark, she can see him. She can see when his eyes are open and when he smiles, and she tells him. Suddenly her lover realizes that she can see him, but he can't see her. He is so bewildered and shocked that he loses his fire.

'Till wee hours they sit in his living room discussing her unique ability. He thinks she needs to see an eye doctor. She needs to get her problem fixed!

"Doctor, I was with my boyfriend last evening, and we were in a dark room. We discovered I could see things in darkness that he could not see. I did not realize I could do this. I did not know other people might not be able to do it."

"Well Orpha, let's see what happens. I am going to turn out some lights and then pull some unusual items from this cabinet, one at a time. You tell me what they are, OK? Are you ready?"

Orpha says, "OK, I am ready."

Her doctor extinguishes all room lighting. She fumbles for some items in her cabinet. Orpha can see every move her doctor makes. But to her doctor their room is pitch black.

Her doctor pulls out a small, stone bust. It is about ten inches high, sculpted in heavy marble.

"What is this Orpha?"

"A bust of a female. It might be Venus, but I do not know Roman and Greek mythology very well."

Clumsily Orpha's doctor opens her cabinet again. This time she extracts a container similar in size to a cigar box, but elongated about half again. Upon opening it she tilts it toward Orpha's voice.

"Tell me what you see Orpha."

"A set of dueling pistols, one with ivory handles — another with ebony handles. They are resting in red velvet."

"Orpha, do you realize you can see these items and I can't?"

"No doctor, I did not know you could not see them."

Her doctor re-lights their space, and says, "I am sure there is no way you could know in advance, and I have many items in my cabinet. I could have chosen from at least ten unusual and unique items. It appears Orpha, you have a capability new to our human species. I want to find out more about how and why you can do this. Are you willing to work with me?"

"Of course doctor, but I must be going now, I have many things to do today."

"Orpha, I will have my nurse call you and schedule you for more testing within next month."

"OK. Good-bye doctor."

"Good-bye Orpha."

Orpha realizes this unique ability to see without visible light is just one more link in a series of enigmatic and esoteric things about her: her eye-color, her hair and skin, her intelligence, her freedom from intoxicating effects of Earth's semi-toxic atmosphere, her ability to do much more than other humans, light green lines just beneath her epidermis behind each of her ears, and now a unique ability to see, but unlike others, absent visible light.

Her mind is making new nexuses. It is beginning to race. She sensed it for a long time, but couldn't believe it. Is she different? Is she just a special human being, or is she different?

It is dark now, Ponder Flight's audience abuzz with anticipation of new sounds. Ponder Flight makes its stage entrance. Wolf Trap's huge audience roars. Ponder Flight roars back with musioclasms previously unheard in our multiverse. Orpha experiences musical and rhythmic rapture. She is one with her fecund source — fluxing flux. Ponder Flight's music mixes many multiversal, local and nonlocal, sensual but non-preferential modes and nodes, and Orpha feels, briefly, content.


©Doug Renselle & ©Quantonics, Inc., 1993-2007 — Rev. 24Aug99  PDR — Created 19Jan93  PDR