Adventures With Lem – Vol 4 “Destination Unknown”

…When I arrived at place Lem suggested in Elysian Park (34.080476″N, -118.233806″W) * I found him easily as he was near the footpath fading in and out from the side of the path to the center of the path.

“Hello! I simply cannot wait for you to show me this technique. Walking all over this city is giving me blisters!” The professor walked to where Lem was now waiting on the side of the footpath. “Let’s get to it! All I have to learn now is how to imagine the place I want to be right?”

“Yes, you must be very specific, so you don’t fade in someplace you don’t want to be. You will want to pick a place that is hidden from potential passers-by, so as not to shock other humans in the area.” Lem explained.

“Alright then. Someplace close by…” The professor looked around decided on a tree a few yards away. “So, I ‘slow’ my breath, imagine the place, and step through… is that it?”

“Yes. Remember to be specific, and don’t think of anything else.” Lem said.

“Okay then, here I go.” The professor held his breath, imagined the tree, started one foot forward very slowly and… he remembered that he forgot to brush his teeth this morning… put his foot down in… his bathroom!

“Oh snail tails! This is what Lem meant by not thinking of anything else.” The professor picked up his toothbrush and began brushing.

*   *   *

Lem blinked and teleported to the tree he thought the professor was trying for. The professor was gone. Just gone!

He must have thought of someplace else at the last moment! You’ve got to be kidding me! Thought Lem, Now what!? I don’t even know if he was remotely successful! He could have teleported off planet or to the bottom of the sea for all I know! Lem walked around the tree a few times just to make sure the professor really wasn’t there.

Lem tried not to think about the professor teleporting to someplace harmful, or worse yet, full of people. The council had rules about this sort of thing! Lem was definitely bending a few when it came to teaching this to a full-blooded human. He should have at least asked for permission first. He honestly didn’t think it would work. But it had! Now what would he do…

Lem would have to try to search for him somehow…

*   *   *

With nice clean teeth the professor tried again. He tried imagining the tree he was trying for in Elysian Park with as much detail as possible. He held the image in his mind and shut out all other thoughts. He held his breath, slowly moved his foot forward to take a step, began putting it down as the wind blew by him, and remembered he had to go to the lab in a few hours to finish reading a book that was due to the library the next day, and stepped right into the Silver Lake library!

He was completely disoriented.

I thought about my lab. How did I end up here? OOooohh… the book is from the library. Of course.

Luckily he was in the physics section, and no one was around.

He ran his fingers through his messy gray hair. He tried to calm his mind. I must focus! Just when he said that every horrible place he could imagine ran through his mind. The cave of spiders he encountered exploring in Costa Rica last year, The wood bridge he didn’t think he would get across high in the Swiss Alps, the hot sticky swamp where he was convinced he would be eaten by an alligator or bitten by a huge amazon snake. NO! He sighed. He needed to get a grip!

He thought about the tree. He pictured it calmly in his mind. He waited a long time to make sure he really had it. He became very calm. He almost felt like he was actually looking at the tree. He quickly held his breath and took one slow smooth step forward. The wind blasted him in the face, his foot touched down on the other side, and in front of him he saw the tree that was pictured in his mind exactly. He was startled as the imagined picture in his brain became real life.

“BENJAMIN! I thought I would never see you again! You could have ended up anywhere! The moon even! Where were you? What happened?” Lem practically shook with relief at the return of the professor.

“I took a few detours.” The professor replied as he polished his eyeglasses. “Just as I was leaving for the tree I remembered that I hadn’t brushed my teeth this morning and just like that I was in my bathroom! From there I found myself in the physics section of the Silver Lake library because at the last possible moment I remembered some reading I have to do before returning the book tomorrow. It was there that I realized how dangerous this time traveling business could be and I took more time to focus my image. After taking enough time with the image I was finally able to get back here to the tree! It’s all quite dizzying!” The professor took a deep breath when he finished his story.

“Yes, please take your time! It never occurred to me that it would come so easily to you. It can be dangerous, but more often a mistake is just inconvenient.” Lem told him. “Let’s practice a few more times and then I’ll take you somewhere more interesting.”

*You will be going to Chavez Ridge disk golf course. A beautiful course! You will be parking in the lot close to the first tee, so if you have the inclination bring your disks!

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