the Mind's Interior
After the recognition of what I had done settled into my awareness, I was beginning to think I knew what had happened. But I've been wrong many many times. There was genuine interest on my part in what Mac believed. By not just myself, but the entire group. They all had moved their chairs into a close semicircle. Me in the horseshoe. Then when all were expectantly awaiting his words, he turned his back on us. Beginning with a question, we all were stunned. "Dennis, how many wrinkles are on my forehead? And how many age spots as well?"
All the others looked over at me, waiting for me to answer. Shaking my head a bit, I knew the answer, and the direction this was going. "The wrinkles vary depending on your mood. There are twenty-seven darker brown spots on your face."
Mac turned his head a bit and said to me. "Well, I'll have to check again, I thought it was only twenty-six."
"I've been wrong before Mac, many times."
"Actually I think we have a pretty good idea as to the state of your mind. Dennis, do you read books very often?" And now he turned around to face us.
Now I was surprised at that question. "Yeah, sure. Sometimes when I would be with a woman, she'd have books around. I'd read some."
"Okay, think about the last book you read. Think about it, and go to page, oh let's say, one hundred fifteen. Read me the first paragraph."
Closing my eyes, I thought back to that book. I saw it. I felt it. I opened it. Turned to the specified page and looked at it, then began to read it. "Oh god but his manhood felt so wonderful inside me as he entered. I was wet with passion and his giant organ filled me, down deep inside me. It filled not just me, but my soul."
"I think that's quite sufficient Dennis." Mac interrupted.
And then Andre added. "May bee I stand to hear more, no?" And the rest laughed.
"You said the last book. She was working, I was bored. It was some kinda women's sex fantasy romance novel. Sorry."
"Don't be sorry Dennis, you gave me what I asked for." Mac was smiling now. He pulled up a chair and sat down now, in front of us all. "I think that we all know that Dennis here has almost total recall. I think if Happy were here he could fill us in on just how that particular process within the brain works. However as there are several types of this specific functionality, for our purposes, we don't really need to determine much more than that he has the ability of virtually total recall."
Then Stevey asked, "Isn't that called Hyperthemysia?"
Nodding his head again, Mac turned a bit to direct his comments toward the man. "Indeed. Although that is but one form of total recall. There are several others, and they work in differing ways to achieve basically the same thing. And like I said, that is less important than just the fact that he has it. Or has that capability. I think we all know about the role of the amygdala. Happy has done MRI's on all of us. In the past, in discussions just like this, he explained how those normally tiny glands tucked up under our brains are the driving force for humans to process emotions. We know what happens when the amygdala is removed. We know humans can't process emotions without them. There has also been some research on this very thing, that once the amydgala is damaged or removed, then we have virtually no spatial recognition. Those tiny organs seem to do a lot. And in Donny and Mikey's cases, probably have a role in their projection abilities. Happy thinks that’s so anyway."
"When's Happy going to do the MRI's on Dennis here? I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm looking forward to seeing that stuff." Pete finally spoke up and said something.
"I think we all are Pete." Mac said. "I wanted to do a little bit of testing just to see what he's capable of. The door locks, the memory thing. And to top it all off, an empath and a projector. There's a lot going on up there. Happy's probably over in the video lab right now having heart palpitations."
Everyone had a laugh about that. I had a lot to learn about everyone before I could see the humor there. "Well I hate to admit it, but I'm starting to find all this fascinating and want to learn more about myself. This MRI thing, does it hurt at all?"
Andre seemed to always be the quickest wit and fastest to take up needs for answers. "Oh my god Dennis, tat MRI is bad. It be worse most horrible twenty minutes of boredom ever."
Everyone broke out laughing at that. I was at a loss now. "Sorry, what does that mean?"
Mac answered. "Dennis, there is no pain associated with the procedure, but it does require you to lie down and be perfectly still for about twenty or so minutes. It's boring."
"And it helps us learn about these gifts?" I asked.
"Yes Dennis. The knowledge itself is, well, more for the sake of having that knowledge. It doesn't make our lives better or easier. But I think that each of us, and the people that pay for all this stuff, want to know why we're different from the rest of the world. Even though we've proven ourselves in a real life situation, and in simulated attacks; I think that the powers that be are a little scared of us. And envious as well."
"Ya, dat be true." Andre told us all. In what would be considered a subdued voice. At least for him. "Day want us wit dem, but man, they all be scared us. Day want us, and not want us. Dat Denny, be ta hardest part dis job. We must feel da crowd, and all while, we feel da regulars. Day hate us man. An fear us too. An da President and Vice man. Day hate us. Day know we know when day be lyin man. Day hate us."
The now somber group were all nodding their heads, silent at this revelation. To me anyway. They all knew it, lived it. Just that I think no one had ever expressed it verbally.
Mac gave them all a few moments to think about their own roles. And probably his own as well. Then began. "Well, we can feel sorry for ourselves later. Right now let's get back to our newest friend Dennis." Nods all around, I could tell their focus returned just by their expressions. "Dennis here has not just exceptional memory, but he has excellent spatial coordination as well." Mac looked at the blank stares of everyone and started up again. "Let's do a little experiment. Everyone, look at the man next to you. Reach out with one hand and touch the shoulder of your neighbor." He waited a minute. "Now, put your hand in your lap, close your eyes, and reach out and touch the same spot again."
There were a few 'Ows' and 'Hey mans' as hands went to faces and poked eyes or ears. Mac looked at us all and that smile was back, huge. "See, it isn't just the fact that a person can remember something. Or visualize a particular setting or place. But memory, like dreams, is all two dimensional. We don't, or can't put our memories into a three dimensional reproduction of the actual event of the memory. It's a reproduction of that event. However, it’s a single two dimensional image in our minds. Navigation of that vision is something that is very nearly impossible in real time, and using only that mental image. That, is the remarkable part of what Dennis has done. His spatial coordination is just phenomenally greater than normal people, and probably all of us as well."
“Our memories aren’t in three dimensions?” Asked Donny.
“Think about for a moment. Memory is a picture in your mind of a place, a setting. But although we see with two separate eyes that allow us to see in three dimensions, we only have one image in memory. It can only be two dimensions. Remember where the barrels were the last time. Think about their placement. Now think about where they were placed from a spot different from where you were standing. Can you visualize where they all are?”
Pete came back in again. "I think I understand Mac. I mean when we were in the garage. I could have stared at those drums for an hour or more and memorized where they were. But had I put on the blindfold, knowing where they were as a picture in my mind would be different than actually walking, or as Dennis did, running through them and avoiding them. He seems to have the ability to not just recognize where the drums were, but to also place himself into a three dimensional mental picture that changed as he moved. Just thinking about it makes my head hurt. You're right, I know I couldn't do it. Shit, with my eyes closed I couldn't even touch Andre's shoulder two feet from me and both of us sitting still."
As he was vigorously nodding his head, Mac came back with this. "Yes, yes. And let's try to remember that he didn't stare at the drums for an hour, it was a quick one or two second peek at their alignment. That was it. A second or two. He then had to fix his direction correctly, then move around the drums, and all the while determining the speed at which he believed he was moving so as to properly align himself with the remaining drums in his way. That two dimensional image, that memory, the vision of the obstacles that he formed in just a second, had to alter and change to a new perspective; a moving three dimensional representation of a flash memory. With every single step that he took. That my young friends, is the amazing part of what we just saw."
"No, I tink not Mac." Andre spoke. "Dat amazing part is dat Denny say he not know how he done dat. He tinks it jus be normal for him, for us. He not unnerstan dat he be only man maybe in world dat do dat ting. No, dat be amazin to me man."
Pretty sure my eyes got really really big just then. The others were all staring at me. I was shocked. I was unaware that what I was doing was not possible by anyone that just tried. Well, when Andre fell while trying the obstacle course, I thought he was just clumsy. But this. "Mac, really? He's wrong about that. I can't be the only one in the world."
"Dennis, I don't know how to say it. But, yeah. There's no documentation of this being something that anyone has ever experimented with. So I don't know for sure. But the reality is that what you have done, and granted my explanation is a guess. But a highly logical scientific guess based on other data regarding specific areas of the brain and their known functionality. But it makes sense, it's logical. And yes, I seriously doubt that anyone else could do that."
Standing up, I had no other option I think. I couldn't sit there right now. "Um, Mac. I might be able to walk around in the dark, but I have no idea where the nearest bathroom is."
"There's always the one in your room for more privacy, or one just outside the double doors and to your right. The door is kind of hidden, but you'll see it."
Walking out of the room, I felt lightheaded, strange and really, lost. My own abilities were overwhelming me. I had no idea things would take this path. I understood the need and ability of the protection detail. That itself was pretty cool. But the more we talked, the more we did, the more frightening things were becoming. Mac had talked about superheroes. To me, they were comic book characters. I wasn't one. I wasn't even sure anymore what I could or couldn't do. The reality that was occurring in front of me felt like a play, or TV show. Things that were altering my perception of the reality of my existence were taking place, and I had little to do with them. I couldn't stop the flow of new experiences, new concepts nor new understanding of my past. And I was unsure I wanted to continue. Once in the bathroom, I splashed water on my face. Then I splashed more. Wet, water dripping off my eyebrows and clouding my vision of myself in the mirror, I turned and grabbed towels to dry off. There were none. It was a hot air dryer. Sheesh. I used that. My shirt was splattered with moist spots. I didn't care. That finally broke down the barrier of acceptance. I understood that this is all real. Just like the water spots, my life is changing. The spots appeared because of an action that I took. They exist, and with time, their telltale existence will alter, fade, and my shirt will return to normalcy. As would I. With or without the hot air, all will soon be assimilated and soon would be within the acceptable limits of reality for me.
I was ready now. So I returned to the classroom. Katy sat at the desk, busy with papers, but she smiled at me and waved a bit. I returned the wave, the smile and was pleased. Normalcy was returning. I could feel her heart quicken as she looked up and saw me walking. The curse, really is a gift. There might be a lot of weird stuff going on in the interior of my brain, but one thing was certain, and would never change. I liked pretty young women. And they liked me.