33 Theft one, and how to be ignored

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33   Theft one, and how to be ignored

So here I am in the studio, with Evelyn and Rik only, psyching myself up to project my first three tune-ins, and here they come...

First up is Angel's violent childhood, as I plunged down into it in Downstairs; his lusciousness and poison, his shacking up with Lucan and his sheer survivor qualities.

Then comes Shigem's boyhood sky full of planets, as I saw it there in Paradise; his will, like a truck, within his own vulnerability, keeping his enchantment intact through the years.

And finally comes Pippa with her hard and lonely upbringing, one real relationship that didn't work out, and her bits of joy, like shadows...

Once I start projecting, I'm pleased to discover that a small corner of my mind remains free to analyse what I'm doing, while I'm doing it, which certainly wasn't the case during the broadcast. This is one respect in which this particular process is subtly different from anything I've done before. (I suspect it would have taken me a while to think of trying this particular pursuit, incidentally, so I'm almost grateful to Jason for forcing me into the discovery of a third kind of inhabitation of my abilities.) Basically this feels like a milder version of the hypnotic projecting that I used for the broadcast and for showing Lucan who was boss and for imprinting into Angel his phony sense of having worshipped Alaia and me for years. This is still active like those hypnotic projectings were—in contrast with just a passive tune-in during conversation—and this is also still visible to the camera and would be visible to anyone if I were looking into their eyes. However, compared with the hypnotic kind of active projection, this here is a lot less demanding on me and requires me to be a lot less hyped-up, because I'm not having to scare up any of my own material and voltage but am merely relaying other people's, accessing my memory of their imaginations and minds as if I'm replaying video and audio.

On the emotional side, at the start of my projection of each imagination I have a feeling of "confessing" things that I'm not guilty of myself, but in each case this soon turns into an exhilarated awe at that internal landscape ... then an understanding of how it ticks ... then through that understanding, a growing love. In fact I soon find it's the strength of this love that I most have to cope with, in order not to derail the faithfulness and efficacy of my projecting—as if it is now I who must take care not to let myself be hypnotised by my targets. I didn't expect the strength of these reactions in me, which are noticeably more powerful and concentrated versions of what I felt while I was doing my original tunings-in to gather the material itself.

In no time it's all over and I am filled with emotion at having inhabited so intimately these squirts of flesh-bound passion and pain, ambition and anguish, laughter and weakness—the three of them here for such a short while and soon enough to die, leaving no lasting record of their own complexities except what I'm laying down here in Rik's camera.

"You OK, Jaymi?" asks Evelyn, her hand on my shoulder. "What did that feel like?"

I slide into unexpected chuckling, as an emotional release and also at how very obliquely these emotions lie in relation to the business of assembling the one-line statement that'll best answer this most natural of questions. "It's quite a trip to have been privy to all that, and empowered to preserve it," I say.

"I bet. I wanted to watch you on the monitor, but I could only snatch glimpses of it because Rik had me monitoring the brightness gauge the whole time, which I'm guessing was probably a less interesting sight."

"You were doing noble work," Rik tells her. "We had to keep it within those parameters and we don't have the playout guys in New York to do it for us. In fact, I think we've found your niche—custodian of the brightness gauge."

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