Twenty-Two Short Stories About Deep Mind-Dark Wood.
By DJ Pynchon
Some of these stories happened as I described them.
Some of these stories are exaggerated.
Some of them are complete fabrications.
It would be unfair to say that I had never cooked before. It would be perfectly fair, however, to say that I had never cooked so much so quickly for so many people. My plane was a few minutes late, and I was thrust out into the pleasant New England night. For Lee and Jim, it was 11 pm. For me, it was still relatively early, being from a time zone significantly west of here. The trip to Lee’s house was short, and windy. There was precious little time for pleasantries. But I was cooking, and stressing about it.
Then I remembered that I was at a hypnotist’s house. I stood there in front of the stove and listened to Lee and Jim talk, and decided to push myself into a little trance.
Then Lee said something to me and I looked at the time. It was 1 am. All the chicken had been cooked and put away.
I had wondered flying across the country if I’d be ready for this weekend.
I was trying to figure out what I was.
Not who I was. That I had pretty much well in hand: nice enough, good looking enough for those I cared enough of to dwell on whether they thought I was attractive; smart, clever, polite, diplomatic. Those are all words that describe who I was. Or who I am.
But what was I?
Hopping into the hypno-scene as I had, I found myself drawn mostly to dominants. It made sense; all my fantasies prior to that had involved some kind of female hypnotist slowly taking over my will and giving me intense pleasure, inducing some level of amnesia and taking advantage of me without choice. You know, typical Catholic stuff.
And yet. And yet. Consider that a fair portion of the actual play I had concocted and put in motion involved me as the “top.” It involved me as the mover, the hypnotist, the one holding the whip (or, in my case, the sonic screwdriver).
Maybe… maybe I’m not, strictly speaking, a bottom after all.
And would that make a difference?
These were the questions going through my head in the lead up to Deep Mind Dark Wood. I thought it’d be a chance to explore aspects of myself that I hadn’t really had the chance to… at any point in my life, really.
And so I prepared myself to have the courage of my convictions. Wait. No, that’s not quite right. Because I wasn’t sure of my convictions. Not yet. Rather, I was going to gird myself to try on a new me. To one extent or another, I was hoping to break through and find out what I was. What I am.
And although I was trying to prepare myself, what preparation can one do right before you take that leap?
3. The Scene
The prevailing color is green. Not the newborn Springtime green of the urgent growth, but the last gasp green of late summer, when Autumn has barely thought about licking the leaves of the trees in the valley.
Helter-skelter in the middle of the woods are scattered clearings and chock-a-block buildings. One such building rises towards the middle of the camp– a massive modest mansion. It has multiple personalities: come at it from any new angle, and you’d think you were approaching a new structure. It also has multiple stories: one in one part; two in another; and three or even four, depending on which staircase one ascends (or descends… or ascends, then descends, then ascends).
The interior of the dormitory is a maze of rooms and hallways. One imagines Escher would get dizzy navigating its entrails.
There is one large gathering and dining room, a well-appointed kitchen, and all the bedrooms one would want.
There are private cabins here and there and several fields for lazing about.
Across a path and hidden from sight is a disused religious maze, and if one weren’t careful, one could even get lost between the maze of the house and the maze of the maze, such is the disorienting effect of the place.
This weekend, though, the lasting memory will, no doubt, be the hazy sticky heat that lay about the place and made every movement seem like swimming through a dream.
In short, for all one’s hypnotic needs, the place was perfect.
People from many different corners of the world gathered together to invoke whatever good spirits (or bad, I suppose) to lift them to whatever goals they felt confident enough to inflict upon this weekend.
We held hands. ZanyM led us through the ceremony.
One by one we sipped water from a bowl and spoke of our hopes and dreams for the weekend.
The cadence of voices from other climes and other countries.
The whisper of what might be.
The far off sound of thunder.
Ray Bradbury may have been tempted to call it “delicate.”
Far off I swore I heard a raven call, symbol of change and the oaths you’re glad were broken.
And then another rumble.
And then the words of us, one by one, detailing the signs and symbols we’d adopted.
Ripples in the air spreading out in all directions.
The wave of vibrations hitting the ears and then to the minds.
The oscillator could chart the slide up and down as those words flitted around the gathering.
Already the minds receding and acceding.
I could feel the comfort of trance just from following the bowl from person to person, round and round.
Each word and hope feeding my sense of anticipation.
And the hinted, unspoken promise of any opening circle, that there will be a closing circle. That who you are right there, in that moment, will be deposited at the close, unchanged in any appreciable way. However far one strays from the origin, the circle promises the return, and therefore returns a perfect promise.
Morgan closed the loop with the last drops from the cup and bid us all strap in for the bumpy ride of the weekend to come.
And with that, the circle broke.
5. Hypno-scenes from a hat.
They had put their nametags in a hat. DJ sat nervously. He wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from the weekend. Frankly the promotional materials were rather circumspect on the question of what everyone would be doing to fill their time. But Mr. Dream, together with LeeAllure, as ringleaders of the event, had gathered everyone onto the side porch. Dream took the name-tags from everyone and threw them into a hat. He and Lee began by trading trances.
They described how, for the duration of the weekend, any filters that were preventing us from achieving our goals would be lifted, but only in such a way as to keep us safe and secure. But that, again, for the duration of the weekend, those filters would be placed somewhere else so that we would be open to the new experiences and to the experiences that we wanted. They spoke these words to each other.
Then, they picked names out of a hat, and each took that person to the side, and performed a hypnotic induction on them.
DJ was still a little nervous. He had met most of these people before, but he really only knew Lee. And, with some minor exceptions here and there, he had only worked with Lee.
One man with a slight accent picked DJ’s name. They wandered to the side.
They chatted nervously a little, in a way not entirely unlike a first date. The accented man asked for permission and began.
DJ dropped like a brick through water.
His mind had been ready, and he opened like a flower greeting the first rain of spring after the frost had faded away. As filters began being removed, DJ found himself nodding to the friendly suggestions.
DJ enjoyed the drifting.
Too soon, the accented voice woke him up.
DJ looked around, seeing various people in various states of trance.
The colors and lights looked brighter and, yet, gauzier.
He thanked the accented man.
Then DJ took a name out of the hat, and continued.
6. Where the weather goes.
I have often thought that climate makes the culture. New Englanders are hardy folk, because they bear the brunt of fierce Nor-easters then harsh and humid horrid summers.
Southerners are lazily lackadaisical because, perhaps, their progress is forever slowed by half-backed molasses in the air.
Northwesterners are quirky and fond of the weird- months in the rain leads to inventing new ways to entertain and distract.
I hail from near the Pacific, where dry desert sun kisses the skin every day and no air or weather is anything other than a friend. The Western sun loves us so much it will not let a drop of water fall, nor fill the air, lest water distract from the sun’s love of us.
So when I walk outside into the New England summer I wonder what sins I have committed to earn so great a betrayal of what I rely on. In New England late summers, the sun is not your friend. It and its humid allies seek to stifle the very sense of thought. In many ways the slow burn squeeze of thought and brain power is perfect for an enclave such as this.
John Adams’ children from the area open their arms and tell me it’s beautiful. Polite and suggestible, I tell them it is. They look at me insistently, for I have not the fervor of an acolyte.
“It IS beautiful here!” they say again. And look! So it is!
Thus does culture make the climate.
7. Air Superiority
The remit was simple and from the Wiccan-inspired people in our group: divide ourselves according to the ancient four elements of “Water, Fire, Earth and Air” and develop (within those groups) a group trance related to that element.
I found myself in the “Air” group. We tied some ropes onto a ring and each of us began to dance with each other through the ring, like a giant Ouija fetish, only with the ring holding air… as much as air can be held.
The other “elements” were doing it wrong, clearly.
Fire went down to the fire-pit and talked about themselves among the ashes, before flaming out with little trance accomplished.
Earth lay down sedentarily, contemplating the grass. In my field of vision, they never moved.
Water took forever to decide what state they were in- halfway through our dance, I don’t think they had even figured out a way to begin, or where that beginning would be. Finally Water decided that they wanted more of itself, and begged the sky for rain.
But we- we let the wind move us into whatever many positions we/it desired. Spinning ourselves around the ring. Tying us up in bunches. And when the wind was done with us, and we were done with the wind, the trance and the dance, we stopped.
8. Clean hands, clean heart, clean dishes, clean mind.
I stumbled out of the kitchen, blinking.
My hands were wet and the entire front of my clothes was damp.
I blinked some more and checked the time.
An hour had gone. I leaned back into the kitchen and saw a pile of clean dishes.
I think I had done them.
I fuzzy memory came back to me.
An hour ago, Lee had led me to the kitchen. “It’s your turn in the kitchen to clean. As you clean each dish, you will find yourself falling deeper and deeper into a trance. Each dish you wash will make you happier and more open. Each dish you wash will clean your mind and make you more open. The cleaner the dishes are, the cleaner your mind will be.”
The image came back in a flood.
My mind was clean.
Looking back now, I realize…. I was in that kitchen a lot.
9. Molecular Trance.
We are given a length of rope. Well… not really a rope. More like those thick sturdy lengths used to tie furniture. Everyone gets a choice of a color. Mine is blue.
We start with one volunteer in the middle. She stands there, with us surrounding her in a circle, in anticipation.
Three of us approach her, each placing our “rope” around her. Together we can stop her from falling over.
Together, however, we seek to induce her into trance.
We take her off balance, yet still connected to the ground.
I find myself whispering trancey words. The three of us with the fourth in the middle guide her into a glide into hypnosis.
In many ways this is a trust exercise; she trusts us to hold her to the ground. We trust her to fall and drift.
After a few minutes I feel the ropes around me. The same thing happens to the other two. Now we are floating on the ground, as people tug and shape us off balance. I feel like I am floating as I hold and guide the woman in the center. I can barely keep track of what I am saying, though I’m sure my whispers mean something.
I feel like I am floating up into the air and looking down, as ropes interlace between and among us spreading out in all directions. We are a molecule of 24, 25 people spreading hypnosis out from the center and then having it reverberate back in.
I feel it course around and through me. I feel like I am catalyzed and a catalyst. I feel full of words, ponderous and pretentious. Maybe that is who I am. And for once, I do not care.
We are a unit, and a molecule, and every molecule contains atoms, each of which contains positive and negative charge. Whatever charge I have in this molecule is important, and contributes to the sway. For what I am is who I am. Down the road Walt Whitman said that every part of you as sure’s a part of me.
For once, I understand what he meant (and all without benefit of drugs).
A breeze picks up, and, when we are done, we separate into our constituent parts.
10. What the Butler Became
Towards the beginning of the weekend we were randomly assigned groups and asked to come up with suggestions for “classes” or experiences we’d like to have. Someone suggested we experiment with “transformation” play. Transformation play involves a hypnotic suggestion that the subject have all the characteristics of….someone or something else.
A traditional motif in “mcstories” is when the subject is transformed into a doll or a robot. For the subject, being in a “doll space” means taking a break from thought and responsibility. For the hypnotist, having someone you can order around and who will obey without thought or delay can be quite the fantasy come true.
There are other types of transformation play, however. Some people will enjoy having their intelligence taken away, and this can be done through “bimbo” or “himbo” play. Others may like to experience being an animal, or a specific pet. For others it’s as simple as changing or augmenting a specific personality trait.
So a lot of people wanted to experience different aspects of it at DMDW. As a group, we discussed different aspects of it, and those with experience discussed how best to elicit it from the unconscious.
For the hypnotist, it can be quite a charge to see someone you’re working with adopt a whole new persona, to your specifications and commands.
We then split off into volunteers and hypnotists to run through some possible transformations.
Jim was really interested in exploring service, so had a hypnotist instill a “butler” trigger on him. The butler had his own personality, both supercilious and punctilious. We came to call him “Sebastian.”
Cynthia wanted to experience animal play, and so was hypnotized into believing she was a cat… well, that is to say, a kitten. She crawled around on all fours.
Roger was an effervescent sort. He had kind of a bubbly personality and a certain joie de vivre. He wanted to experience having his intelligence drained away a little.
And me. Well, Lee and I had been discussing how I needed some experience being “not nice.” I’ve always been a little leery about opening up the dark side of my personality to others’ gaze. Lee, for some reason, thought it’d be fun to do. So she turned to me and started whispering in my ear.
“In your mind is a control panel. And on that control panel is a section marked ‘filters.’ And on one of those filters is a dial marked ‘Snarkiness.’ It’s probably set to about a ‘6’ right now. For the next hour, I want to change it, just a little, to ‘8.’ Nod your head if this is ok.”
I, of course, nodded my head.
“Good. Now wake up! <snap!>”
I opened my eyes and I felt, frankly, lighter than I had before. I also felt slightly more predatory. For a while I saw most of the people there as some kind of prey.
I remember going up to “Sebastian,” and engaging him in conversation about how awful butlers were- that they are backstabbing, gossiping two-faced creatures—just to see how polite he could stand to be as I was crapping all over his chosen profession.
I noted with wry amusement how flustered he was becoming. I stopped just before he was about to blow his top. As I left I noted how his shoelaces were not equally well tied. Which flustered the poor bastard even more.
We interacted like this for a while as the group broke up into social discussions. I found my way next to Lee and whispered some of my observations into her ear. I was mimicking this person, or making fun of the ostentatious way one of them was conducting a trance.
At some point I was told that Roger was brought out of his “Himbo” trance, and I immediately responded, “How can anyone tell the difference?”
Before we went inside, Lee reset the dial; dinner was approaching, and I still had three full days with everyone.
11. Bang a Gong
I’m not sure why the gong was there.
It was large and looked like it came straight from the set of some Asian movie where monks at a Buddhist temple gather. It was slung from a stand at the side of the room.
Brigit and Sonia were there. Sonia was underneath the gong, lying still but looking around furtively as if something were sure to happen. I walked up and Brigit greeted me.
“Sonia’s a gong.”
“I said, Sonia’s a gong. Watch!”
And with that, Brigit took the gong’s mallet and drummed it on the gong. The effect on Sonia was immediate. Her whole body shook with each reverberation of the gong. As the sounds quieted down, Sonia’s own palpitations and shivers declined. Just as Sonia came to a rest, Brigit hit the gong again, sending Sonia into more and even greater convulsions.
“Oh, no. She’s completely mindless right now. All she is is a gong. Gong, gong, gong. She’s gone gong….” Brigit hit the gong in time with every time she said “gong” or “gone.”
She handed me the mallet.
“Are you sure?”
“Yes. She said you could earlier.”
I slowly rapped the mallet against the gong, marveling at how responsive Sonia was.
After a while, I couldn’t help myself. I choked the mallet up and swung it hard and strong at the gong, sending a crashing, booming sound through the room unmatched by anything save for the shriek of ecstasy as Sonia spasmed underneath.
I was about to laugh, when I looked down the room and saw some people look at me sharply, as though I was disturbing something they were doing. Which we probably were.
I held my hand out to silence the gong, and Sonia stopped her thrashing immediately.
Brigit and I looked at each other for a moment
“Do you think…” I started.
“Yes?” she asked.
“What would happen if we hit her with the mallet?”
Brigit and I held each other’s eyes for a moment.
“Let’s find out” she said, eagerly.
Brigit took the mallet from me and started bouncing it off of Sonia’s prone body. Sonia re-started her convulsions. Like the gong, the quivers and quavers kept going even after each mallet’s strike was over.
Sonia looked like a woman in the throes of unseen passion as we took turns hitting her with various degrees of force.
At some point, I saw someone I had to talk to, so I left Brigit to continue poking and prodding.
As I hit the other side of the room, I heard another shriek as Brigit doubtless smacked Sonia as hard as she could. The same people who had been disturbed before glared at me again.
I looked at them and showed my bare, empty hands.
“Not my orchestra this time.”
They grimaced, and went back to their scene.
12. Mosquitos, a haiku.
Trance is hard enough
Blood sucking insects all ‘round
13. Rapport, Part 1: The Staring Contest
Breakfast at Camp Mindfuck is dangerous.
Mark was talking with Lee about plans for later that day.
Mary was over on the other side of the table, discussing some arcane
Mark absent-mindedly asked Mary to pass the water. Neither looked at the
other as Mary reached over to grab the pitcher. Neither really considered their actions as Mark reached across for the pitcher.
But each glanced up to make sure there would be no spill.
They made eye contact.
Each considered how funny it was to make eye contact at a hypnosis event.
Each decided to let the other look away first.
You know, for science.
Each saw the smirk in the other’s face.
Each knew this meant there was a double down.
Each knew that this was dangerous.
The other person’s eyes became the most important thing in the world.
Would they shift away from the other’s?
Would they lose focus first?
Would they trance out or keep focus?
Would they, could they, should they resist?
Each could barely hear the conversation fade away.
Each could barely hear as their hypnotists started whispering in their ears.
Each could barely imagine it, because maybe that wasn’t actually happening.
Each could barely contain themselves as they drifted away from the
breakfast table into a sweet sleepy space.
Each could barely stop themselves from imagining a million different ways to
Each could not contain their drop into that yawning sleepy open space
A shadow passed as someone else asked for some water.
And the spell was broken, and each was returned to the present tense.
Shaky, Mark managed to pour himself some water, and pass the pitcher on.
Each returned to their conversations.
Breakfast at Camp Mindfuck is so much dangerous.
But it is also dangerously fun.
14. Maze (a poem)
I am lost
I am following a person I barely know around a maze
Drawn and charted on a former church floor
I am following them, and then I’m not
I am following the lines on the floor
I am lost
I am drawn to the center like the maze
I am drawn to follow
I am meant to follow between the lines that draw me to the center
I follow between the lines
I chart the lines between trance and meditation
I place myself on one foot after another
I am lost
I am steps in a maze which have retraced themselves
I am lost in a loop in a maze which has turned upon itself
I was following and now I am lost and by myself
The line between trance and meditation is a line I cross
And so I cross myself and my path
I am meant to draw myself to the center, and so
I find myself crossing all kinds of lines
I am no longer drawn to another maze’s center.
Amazingly, I have found myself my own center.
I am found
I am no longer lost.
15. Rapport, Part 2—The Hypno-Egg Contest
He handed the egg to Mary. Mary held it carefully and protectively in her hands. She handed it back to Mark.
Likewise, Mark cradled it in his hands before handing it back.
Mary held it, slightly heavier than last time, before send it the other way.
“I wonder,” Mark said, “which color brings you into trance more? Is it the blue color or is it the red.”
“Wait,” Mary said, “isn’t that cheating?”
“You should answer my question before I answer yours.”
She handed the egg back. “No, seriously—can you do that?”
“Well,” he smirked, “I did help invent the game. So the rules are pretty much what I say they are.”
She smiled. “Well, then, Mark. Would you say that the colors are more effective when you inhale or when you exhale? But don’t answer.”
“W-what?” They continued handing the egg back and forth, but suddenly, Mark’s hands began to waver.
“Because I need you to think about that while you concentrate on handing this Hypno-Egg back and forth so very carefully. And while you worry about that, think about how much you want to win this game and how that desire keeps you going and then think about the feel of the egg in your hand and the weight that you must bear to keep going, and think about all the colors you’re ignoring because the changing rainbow of colors would be captivating if you thought of them too much and then…”
She might have kept talking; Mark wasn’t entirely sure, because he felt himself sinking. But then he realized, she had stopped speaking. She was staring at the egg in his hands.
All he had to do…
All he had to do was shift the egg from his hands to hers and he’d win.
He could feel his thumb twitch as he tried to make that move.
He could feel Mary’s eyes staring.
He could sense her outstretched hands waiting.
And yet, for some reason, he just couldn’t do it.
And so he “lost.”
Mary, of course, remembered it the other way around.
16. The Tough Nut (a haiku)
Repeating “I can’t”
Is its own kind of trance state
A sad, lonely one.
17. Rapport, Part 3 – Mirror Trance
Mark was walking down the hall when he heard Lee talking with Mort.
“Oh sure,” she said, “mutual trances are a lot of fun. I did one with Mark over at NEEHU last year.”
Mark’s ears perked up. It was a fantastic memory for him. NEEHU was the first hypnosis event he had ever been to and he recalled how nervous he was getting off the plane, driving to the hotel, and meeting the first few people at the event. He had met Lee at the pool and she had both assuaged his nerves and introduced him to his first live trance. The next day, she had somehow convinced him to do a live demo in front of the unconference. He remembered thinking to himself “zero to 60 in no time at all.”
At some point during the demo, Lee had Mark face Sarah, one of the other volunteers. Lee started whispering at them, telling them that they were going to go into a trance.
“I don’t know which of you is going to go into a trance first, you,” touching him on his shoulder, “or you,” now touching Sarah. “But you find you can’t take your eyes off of each other’s eyes, and, Mark, you’ll find that as you watch Sarah go deep, you’ll go just as deep as she looks, and then a little deeper. And Sarah, you’ll find that as you watch Mark go a little deeper, you’ll go just as deep as he looks, and then go a little deeper. And you’ll see the trance in each other’s eyes, and….”
And that’s where his memories got a little hazy.
Mark shook his head and looked around. He was here, at Deep Mind Dark Wood, and Lee was talking about mutual trances, again. It was just Lee and Mort lounging in the room. He stepped into the sitting room, and looked up to see Mary walk in from the other hallway at the same time. They made eye contact with each other, and stopped.
Lee laughed. “I was going to go get some volunteers, but I think we have some already. Mary… Mark… would you please come here and demonstrate something for Mort for me?”
Mark briefly considered saying “no,” just to be difficult. But he walked over and took up a position just opposite Mary, who, likewise, found herself standing across from Mark.
Lee kept talking to Mort, explaining what was about to happen. “So it’s really about establishing rapport between the two people. And I know this will be a little bit easier than usual because of how they had been working together earlier today. So I’ll just ask them to look at each other.”
At this point, Lee directed her voice at the pair staring at each other in the room.
“Look at each other’s faces and take a deep breath in and let it go.”
Mark and Mary did this in unison.
“Now just begin to breathe normally. And as you do that, just look at each other and see how relaxed and happy the other person is.” Mark nodded, noticed that Mary nodded at the same time, and both grinned.
“And as you see how relaxed the other person is, see if you can get as relaxed as they are. Notice how their eyes soften, even as they stay focused on you. Notice how their breathing slows, even as yours slows.”
Mark was noticing all these things. He noticed how her eyes softened but kept focus. He noticed how his breathing was suddenly matching her breathing. He noticed all these things and less. And less.
He had dim flashes of how beautiful Mary looked as she was obviously slipping into a trance, with Lee’s words sliding by his ears. Lee’s voice, however, was a music he could hear and even follow, but whose melody slipped by him.
And he thought that if Mary looked like that falling into trance, he must look the same. And- just as Lee was saying at that exact moment, though somehow he didn’t exactly hear her- that same thought made them both fall even deeper.
The whole world swallowed them up as consciousness fell around them both.
“And 1…2…3…4… wide awake on 5.”
His eyes blinked into consciousness staring directly at Mary. He watched her blink into wakefulness as well. They both giggled shyly. They stole a glance at each other.
“-and drop right back down twice as deep, Now!” as Lee snapped her fingers.
And the trance swallowed them both again.
There was nothing but darkness for a while, and then….
“And 1…2…3…4, wide awake again on 5.”
This time, waking up was even more of a chore.
They stole a shy glance around the room again, only to find that it had filled up with ten people watching them intensely.
They both looked down, bashfully.
“And that’s how you do it. They’ll feel like they’re in quite the state of rapport for a while-and they are-but it’s really easy, especially if you have such good subjects like this.”
Mary and Mark both sheepishly thanked Lee for the compliment. They were furtively trying not to make eye contact. Eye contact seemed… dangerous.
Lee kept talking to the newly arrived crowd as Mary and Mark pretended to pay attention. They were slowly and imperceptibly (to themselves anyway, though Lee noticed) moving closer to each other.
Finally, they “accidentally” touched, and made that eye contact…
They fell past the room’s laughter on their way down.
They fell past all sense of propriety, too. (Morgan, who arrived in the room halfway through, would say that the little bit of drool dripping from Mark’s mouth was the sexiest thing she had seen that weekend, to that point.)
At some point they never hit bottom. But they never broke eye contact, either. And at some point, somewhere in there, they knew they needed to come back up, or else they would drift in trancey blackness forever.
And so they led each other back to the waking world and to the applause of their friends.
18. Rapport, Part 4 – That Scene
They would refer to it ever after as that scene.
Periodically, someone would poke their head in to see what was occurring, but only the five people in the room could tell you.
I wouldn’t dare to tell you that I knew what exactly occurred; I was in another part of the complex entirely, staring at the sky and counting shooting stars. But this is what I’ve been able to piece together, after talking to each of them.
Vince had asked Lee and Morgan to do a scene with him. Vince and Morgan had been working on some transformation play involving turning Vince into a butler type named “Bartlesby” earlier in the day. But tonight, he wanted a different kind of vacation. Tonight he wanted some doll play. He wanted to be doll-like servant for Morgan and, by extension, Lee. Vince also wanted to experience what needles felt like, and Lee had brought a batch. Mark had listened to some of the negotiations during dinner and asked if he could watch. Lee, Morgan and Vince all agreed.
Mark ran into Mary on the way to the room where “that scene” was about to occur. The three had already begun, so Mark and Mary sat on a bed in the medium size bedroom. Vince was standing in the middle of the room, already with his shirt off. Lee and Morgan had begun with a dual induction, sending him so very, very, deep.
While down, the two hypnotists constructed a doll persona, filled with nothing but thoughtlessness and obedience. But periodically, one or the other would give the doll an imaginary treat. When the doll ate the treat, the doll would say a new mantra that would both express Vince’s deepest thoughts at that moment, and reinforce the obedience and subservience he was feeling.
As Mark and Mary came in, Morgan had just given Vince a treat. He placed it in his own mouth, and said, “An obedient doll is a happy doll.”
Mark and Mary sat on the bed facing the scene. That line had entirely captured their attention. It was one thing to read that line in a smutty and hot mind control story, but to see it playing out right in front of them? That was something else entirely. This, as they told me later, just didn’t happen.
Morgan and Lee stalked around Vince, like two very sexy sharks taunting their prey. Occasionally smacking his chest or running their nails lightly across his back.
Vince was so far gone into “doll-space” it was hard to tell if any of those feelings even registered in his brain.
Lee placed a treat in his hand. This time, he said, “I am a happy doll.”
Mark and Mary inhaled at the same time. Somehow, they wound up sitting even closer to each other. By the time the next treat was given, “I live to serve,” Mark and Mary found themselves clutching each other. Apparently this whole scene was turning them on. Because of the rapport they had been feeling throughout the whole day, however, this quickly became a closed circuit.
By which I mean, every time Lee or Morgan did something to Vince– the first needle; the second needle; “I live to obey”; “happy dolls obey”; Lee slapping the skin where the needles found themselves impaled in Vince’s skin; the moment Morgan let Vince feel the pleasure coursing through his body for 20 seconds of blissful moans and then silence; when Lee and Morgan took turns with the breath play; “I am yours to command”; etc., etc., etc.—Mark and Mary would find themselves turned on, and turning each other on.
First they were clutching each other’s arms. Then they had their arms around each other. Then they were sitting in each other’s laps. Then they were grabbing each other’s hair and forcing each other to watch. At some point, Mary told me, staring down at the ground, she was pretty sure they were dry humping.
Morgan said she wasn’t sure which was hotter, the scene she and Lee were running, or the heavy petting on the couch.
No one was sure how long the scene lasted. Mark said it felt like 20 minutes. Lee thought it was about two hours. Vince lost all track of time and didn’t even know what day this happened. All I know is that I didn’t see them for at least three hours. I saw that door closed and didn’t bother to poke my head in.
No one was sure how or why it ended. Maybe the sun came up. Maybe there’s only so long a doll can be played with.
No one was sure how Mark and Mary managed not to tear off each other’s clothes, given how much they were apparently pawing at each other.
But really, everyone was certain, that the heat from that room peeled the paint off the walls and seared certain moments into their brains.
As Mark Twain once observed about stars, sometimes, when you least expect it…. Moments just happen.
19. The Voices and the Bodies.
In the field in the afternoon, they gathered. They divided amongst themselves, an equal number of hypnotists and subjects. The subjects lay on the grass, soaking in the warm late summer sun. The hypnotists moved among them and around them. Their voices starting out as whispers.
They cajoled and urged the subjects to let their bodies stay behind in the warm ground and let loose their unconscious selves to dance around the tree.
Their voices collided and roamed the bodies supine before them.
On some unspoken signal, the voices, as one, raised in volume and intent.
This was not just going to be some simple sleepy trance.
As one, the several hypnotists wanted to hear their chorus sing.
Once cajoling voices became commanding voices, controlling voices, demanding voices. Voices that seeped into sleepy minds and pushed through whatever inhibitions still remained after a weekend of fractionation.
Together, the ten or so hypnotists acted as a conductor, pushing their words into the soon writhing bodies in front of them. The hypnotists had started in a circle, clockwise, but now were going every which way.
The bodies in the middle, some began to clutch each other thoughtlessly. Others had their eyes roll up into the backs of their heads as if possessed.
Which, of course, they were.
The words flooded over them like a flood across a desert of rocks, leaving no resistance in their wake. Five minutes, ten minutes, fifteen. The voices were insistent, were they not? The voices only asked for obedience for just as long as they kept talking.
And the obedience was for just one purpose, after all.
And these voices, without their own decision or thought, demanded that pleasure. They wanted to lure it out into the open. To magnify it. To have each body’s pleasure reverberate off the next. To multiply and focus it. Up into the air. And back onto their waiting, quivering, deliciously strewn bodies.
Together, these voices squeezed in on what remained of the bodies’ minds. As every thought squeezed out let more pleasure in.
Together, as one, the throng of bodies on the ground outside under the warm late-summer sun, moaned and shouted and groaned and pleaded and cast their yesses out into the canyon.
And as the echo flowed back upon them….
The voices grew silent.
For they were sated and proud of what they had done.
Each hash-mark is an orgasm.
One that I will forget.
The reverse of Doctor Who’s silence.
There each instance of terror is a mark to remind yourself of what you didn’t
want to see.
Here, each mark is a trigger for an orgasm you don’t want to forget.
Because each time you see it
You remember each time before.
And then you come.
They shared the game this time
And we got revenge on the other
Once we were allowed to remember
What’s this on my arm?
What’s that on yours?
Dozens of hash-marks
Dozens of orgasms
And shared alike
Until it was time to say good-bye.
Rolling up my sleeves
A friendly predatory glint in my eyes
“Give me a hug.”
Whenever you have been among your tribe
And you are returning to the grey, structured wilderness
Take a moment of quiet
To consider the questions unanswered
To reflect on who you are
And what you must take with you when you go.
22. Warping and Wrapping Up
We cleaned the place up, as good tenants do. Every bit of trash was retrieved. Every bit of unused food collected. We had all pitched in, every one. When someone wanted to feel a trance, or go for a walk, or just to talk about what they had experienced, there was always someone there to talk to. Each and every person there had something to share.
And they shared it.
You may well ask what I get out of writing these stories or blogs about my experiences (even when I fictionalize them or render them into tone poems).
It’s only when I reached this last one that I truly realized.
As I’ve said before, I am trying to pay this forward. I am trying to repay those whose stories led me to this point, whose words cast out into the fiery confines of the internet, found my mind and encouraged me to take that first step blinking into the sun and solar systems of the various hypnosis events.
And I hope that I may one day be a good enough writer to lead others to make that same first step.
But I also write because when I took that first step I found myself a home. And so I write to go back to that home, and relive it once again.
We take care of each other and ourselves.
We clean up after each other and ourselves.
It’s what you’re supposed to do, after all.
After all, we are a community.
And this is what communities do.