Blank Walls And High Ceilings

Ira Zettler

© Copyright 2004 by Ira Zettler


I remember as a teenager sitting alone in my bedroom listening to the sounds of the Rock group the “Wallflowers” as they sung about a truck with one headlight, and how the song made the speakers on my cheap stereo, hum and shudder, which in turn, made an additional “twack, twack,” noise as the vibrations reverberated off the chipped, rickety cabinet opposite my single bed. Lording over this sanctified edifice, was pinned a poster with the word Angel emblazoned in large scarlet letters under which leaned dramatically, an actor with a perfect smile and one of those impossibly handsome, Hollywood type physiques. Sometimes, in the surreal state between waking and dreaming, I would imagine that my poster pin- up man would suddenly leap out from the confines of his tattered and dog eared prison, laugh uproariously and whirl me around the room in his strong broad arms. Other times, (particularly when I was feeling bad) I would swear his long lashed, cow eyes would look at me in a condescending manner, his brow furrowing and his voice “tut tutting” in some imaginary fashion, obviously not impressed by what he was witnessing within the secret, inner most confines of this shabby little room.

My pin-up poster man was however, mute and inanimate, (well, outside of my own imagination that is) and, (unlike real people) had never betrayed my trust. All that he witnessed within this room, remained trapped within the frozen image of the handsome man with the classically sculptured features and large sad eyes. Eyes that seemed to absorb all the trauma of a world, beyond what was a merely an image of an actor, simply portraying a character in a TV. Series. Eyes that knew the secret, that knew my secret and how and when it had all started. Eyes that knew everything from the very beginning, but in their mute, inanimate way would never tell……..could never tell, what exactly it was, that made me so different from all the other teenagers the same age as myself, all dealing with similar issues and behaving in much the same manner, but different I was, and this I could no longer deny.


I think I must have been around six years of age when I first realised that I had the ability, (though it wasn’t clear to myself for some years to come, exactly why I could do what I could do) and that I had the power to make myself and other objects in my immediate vicinity, move of their own accord. Sometimes when I was exceptionally tired, (or unwell) I was able to will my bed to rise up from the floor and slowly turn clockwise, then anti-clockwise and then with the same thought patterns, make the bed gradually sink back down to the floor. I did this for a number of years without really thinking about it until one night, (during a long and serious illness) I willed by body to leave my bed and travel beyond the confines of my room. Out of the window I floated slowly at first, and then faster and faster I travelled, until I reached a beautiful blue ocean that was as wide as the eye could see. Though naked, I felt no shame and floated peaceably out on the waves, moving further and further from the shore, till the coastline was no more than a speck in the distance. The sun shone brightly on the sparkling water and I paddled happily, oblivious to all that was going on around me. Out of nowhere, came a sandbank and with a plop and little ceremony I was planted on my feet facing a number of people, all standing directly in front of me. Some I recognised, (such as my recently deceased grandmother and an elderly neighbour who had for a time, lived across the road from our house) but others, I did not recognise, (though from their incessant chatter and interest, it appears they evidently knew who I was) until at last, silenced by my Grandmothers waving hand they ceased speaking and all around me became quiet and still. “You,” she said, “don’t belong here, so get yourself home now,” and in a flash, I was back in the water heading rapidly towards the shore, only now the water wasn’t a beautiful blue, but an ugly black and the waves were no longer gentle and warm but dark and ominous, slapping angrily against my naked body. I suddenly realised for the first time, how cold and vulnerable I felt and I wrapped my arms around my thin torso in a vain attempt to keep warm. Each wave that pushed me forward seemed to drag me backwards two paces and making my way towards the shore, took more and more effort. The sunny day had disappeared and grey storm clouds had gathered overhead seemingly only adding to the increased feeling of despair and despondency, that had dogged by thoughts, since I was forced back into the water with a single sentence and the swish of my ethereal grandmother’s hand. Then as all astral travellers are wont to do, I was pulled by some demon force through glass and brick and mortar, till I found myself surrounded by the familiar smell of unwashed blankets and stale sheets and realised that once again, I was back in my own bed, in my room in the dank council house my family called home.

I didn’t sleep very well for a long time after that experience and once recovered from my illness, I did not wish to have any more out of body jaunts, so I gather, this is where I began concentrating on simply floating above my bed rather than going on all night-long trips, (as I called my out of body/room experiences.) Gradually I learned, (through effort and concentration) that I could float on my own, (and without lifting my bed up at the same time) and this sensation, (though a little frightening at first) after a while, became extremely pleasurable. Eventually I was able to touch the ceiling with my hands and would spend several hours at a time, just hovering midway between the floor and my bed. Once, (and only once) my mother came into my room, whilst I was idly floating at ceiling level and with an odd, detached horror, I thought that now she would notice me and scream or do something totally inappropriate, ( I mean seriously, a teenager that floats above you in thin air would I gather, be somewhat hard to accept) but she merely made a few disparaging remarks about what she would do when she found out where I was and left the room in a huff, angrily slamming the door behind her. From that time onwards, I was more careful and would only practice my floating at night when the rest of my family were safely asleep. That was until I met Florian………

What a boon and what a weapon young love is. It blinds us and binds us and gives us hooves or wings………How the simple act of a kiss, an embrace, the first ever intimacy, sealed my fate and led me to where I am today. He was older than me, more experienced and persuasive, with eyes as large and deep as my mythical pin-up poster man. Eyes that had only ever seen a pampered world where hunger, violence, distress and poverty, simply did not exist. Where wants are fed and sated and ones individual needs rise above all others around you. That is until one desire crosses a far stronger and angrier one………………and anger was one desire, I knew that I had a great deal of trouble controlling. My anger and distress was such that at times, I would have to grip my bed to stop myself from breaking a hole right through the ceiling for had I let go, I would surely have smashed my way, not only through the ceiling, but no doubt, through the entire roof as well. It made me hide items and send untouched objects crashing through space, with simply the merest notion of a thought. My family, (although devoid of the knowledge of my extra curricular floating activities) were well aware of my ability to move, (and at times surreptitiously hide) objects at will and had with sullen minds, (and faces) resignedly accepted this as part and parcel of my general makeup and as families generally do, made sure that this knowledge was known only to themselves, (although I am convinced my mother had divulged my curious abilities within the relative safety of the confessional on at least one occasion.) And such as first love drives us towards insanity and lets our guard be dropped, I whispered all that was sanctified and secret into my first and only lovers ears, gripped his hand tightly in mine and willed him to float with me, above my bed as if it were the most ordinary act in the world, (which of course to myself, it was.) Recent moans of pleasure and desire, quickly became terrified screams, screams became…………..angry………………….confusing …………...taunts…………sharp fingernails………shouting……freak………….crazy creature……..higher and higher we moved…………sharp blows………..bastard……..bastard I thought to myself,………I shall let you drop from my grasp and fall he did, as Lucifer, did, when driven out from heaven by God and forced down into the pits of hell……the upturned scissors pierced his heart even before his body had completely reached the ground. He made no more sounds, taunted me no more………only a funny omphhhhhhhhhh………like air being released from an inner tyre tube…….The ceiling now became my sanctuary………….I was there, silent, hovering above them all, when they came to take me away……..wild eyed, disbelieving……….stunned faces…….my parents moaning and genuflecting like the sanctimonious prigs that they are………the police, the strange men with their dark glasses and bland crimplene business suits……..not understanding my fear…….my power…….but wanting it just the same……..desiring what is for them unobtainable, and unexplainable. Shooting me down with a tranquilliser gun, as methodically, as one would shoot a staid balloon target at a country fair………..Placated and safe in their fools paradise, as they witness the daily ritual of my drool sodden face and clumsy movements. Convinced that nothing of earthly intelligence, can hide from the effects of the cacophonous, chemical straight jacket they believe they have imprisoned me in…..fools……my anger knows no bounds or limitations……it feeds and devours all knowledge, all experiences, as you in turn, devour me and deny me my earthly freedom……………for whilst you watch this sorry, tranquilised carcass night after night………safe behind your monitors and alarms,…… true self, (my inner self) flies high and free beyond the confines of this prison…….beyond the reaches of your grasping hands and your noxious potions. It has flown and it has seen and it knows………………..all, and sees all, and waits for that sweet day when vengeance will be mine………..

I am that Angel cast out from heaven into the pits of hell and my wrath knows no bounds………my wrath is infinite, my displeasure knows no limits nor mercy and I wait……..wait……… till I can pronounce judgement on each and every one of you……..and still you think that you are safe……. Safe from what you think you see….but what you really seeing is merely an illusion of my physical presence for if willed, I can be beside you in an instant, in your office, your car, your bed, your arms……..beside your spouses, your children and your loved ones……….and no earthly materials can stop me nor prevent these un-holy intrusions and still you think yourselves safe……….

“For everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”  Ecclesiasticles

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