The professor awoke the next morning feeling refreshed and exhilarated. He knew he had mastered the slow, deep breathing his new friend, Lem had instructed him in the day before. As he set out to meet Lem he felt clear-headed and centered. It was a remarkable new feeling for the scatterbrained professor!
“NO!” Lem looked down and a great sigh escaped him. He was clearly impressed with my natural learning ability. I just needed to breathe a little slower.
“Alright, alright my good friend. Slower still you say.” I calmed myself, and breathed so slowly I didn’t even know if I was actually breathing or not.
Lem’s head stretched out far from his shell. Was this deplorable human actually going to do it? His eyes got very wide. So close!
“NO!!!! No! No! No! Disgusting! An utter failure! I give up! I never should have started. What a waste of a day.” Lem turned his back and started into the bushes.
“Wait! I can do better! I’ve got it this time. If course. How silly of me. Once more now.” Lem looked back over his shoulder and stopped walking. I could tell he was tense with anticipation.
I centered myself, and slowed my breathing. I took a long slow deep breath in, and HELD it.
“That’s it! Don’t move! I can’t believe it!” Lem scrambled back out to me, his neck stretched so far out of his shell it looked as if he were going to climb right out of it. “Don’t. Move.”
I held my breath as long as I could. I started seeing stars. I had to breathe! Very slowly I exhaled, I tried to go so slow I didn’t notice but I had held my breath for so long I couldn’t help it!
“Wow. I never would have guessed you could actually do it!” Lem was stepping to the right, then back to the left as if he were looking for something. “Well, Alright! Next step! Allowing your mind to develop an image of the place you want to go.”
“Simple.” I said.
“Yes, much easier than the breathing. And then the moment of taking the step. Shall we try it?” Lem looked hopeful. “We’ll just do a small jump at first. Meet me in Elysian park and we’ll practice!” He faded out immediately, and I started walking to the park.
* * *
“Uncle Ben, where are WE going to go once I learn how to do it?” Thomas asked the professor.
“Let’s see now, I know I put the itinerary somewhere here…” He started unzipping and re-zipping and looking in all manner of pockets on his fishing vest and pants. “Ah yes, here we go.” He pulled out a crumpled blue sticky note and smoothed it out.
“First we’re going to a practice spot in southern Arizona. An old abandoned mining town. Lots of great places and old buildings to explore! Then some relaxation at a hot spring in New Mexico. There’s a great place nearby for practicing small jumps called City of Rocks. You’re going to love it!” He searched the messy writing for the next stop. “Oh yes, then Garden of the Gods in Colorado, and last we’re going to visit a friend of mine at N.O.R.A.D. The North American Aerospace Defense Command, at Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station! A city inside a mountain! I am looking forward to that. No one even gets tours these days things are so locked down inside that mountain!” The professor crumpled the note back up and stuffed it into a pocket.
Thomas was amazed at the cool places his uncle was going to take him!
“So how did it feel when you finally did it!?” Thomas was very excited to get back to the story.
“Hmmm… A little tingly, and like a rush of air. As if a huge giant is blowing out a birthday candle, and you are the candle!” Thomas tried to imagine what that would be like. “And then all of a sudden *poof* you’re there!” His uncle finished.
“Did it take long to get it?” Thomas asked.
“Well, not too long.” The professor continued his story…