The Top Five List

The other day, I met with an old friend at Boulder’s Dushanbe Teahouse. Swathed in delightful floral designs and wood carvings from Tajikistan, and sporting the requisite koi pond in the center with statuary of nymph-like humans, the landmark vibrates with the air that makes Boulder what Boulder is. That’s a good thing, mostly. If you can’t handle self-parody, then I don’t know what to tell you.

Along with Boulder’s acceptance of almost any topic that borders on the unfathomable, the high ceilings make for enough lunchtime din to allow you to talk about nearly anything without the people around you getting too much of your conversation. You could say something patently obscene like, “The Cummins 6.7L Turbo Diesel, with 800 lb-ft at 1600 rpm, arouses me greatly” and the folks at the next table would likely mistake “Cummins” for “hummus.” And chances are they wouldn’t hear the rest of the sentence until “arouses me greatly,” which would make sense given the high quality of hummus in the restaurant. You could talk about plans to spring someone from prison or to set up a meth lab in a church basement, and it’s just the kind of place where no one’s going to hear enough of what you’re saying to connect the dots.

Ours was one of those sweeping discussions that brought together our past six months of activities with any observed shifts in our worldviews. That’s the way conversation goes, right? You’ve got this back-and-forth thing that covers what you’ve experienced and how you feel about it. You ask questions. Neanderthals did it with monosyllabic grunts, the same way Packers fans go about communicating (I can say this because I am one, except I have to add that Packers fans really don’t want to know what you’re thinking, unless it’s about Jay Cutler being the world’s foremost douche bag).

I digress. My friend elaborated on a recent meditation retreat to the mountains of California, the overriding topic being The Shift due in December 2012 and already manifesting itself in the so-called Ninth Wave. We’ve heard about the Mayan calendar ad nauseam, but still, everybody seems to really want to know, whether they openly admit it or not, if the world is going to blow up on that particular winter solstice. And I get that. From a practical standpoint, it’s good to know if you should hang on to that nest egg or bankroll your final moments of depravity.

I noticed that the couple next to us glanced in our direction as my friend spilled out two or three hot-button words, but at first I took that as coincidence. No one in Boulder should have any reaction whatsoever to terms like “resonance” or “quantum shift in consciousness.” For the record, we were talking about how a lot of People in The Know are saying that the shift will be primarily one of vibration and enabling some people to exist in multiple dimensions. This means dumping the baggage that’s keeping us in the same karmic lot as Komodo dragons and resonating at a perilously low level of, say, 20. What we’re girding for is enlightenment and a hell of a lot more vibration points, and to get there you’ve got to transcend things like apathy and anger, even acceptance and reason, and get your quantum self buzzing like a city block full of adult toy stores. Like so many dogmas addressing End Times, you’re either on the bus here or you’re fucked.

The aforementioned happens to be a dogma that resonates with me, and if nothing else, it provided a thin segue to my end of the conversation that day. I have since learned to spoon feed people what I have to say about these things, kind of like when you start babies on whole food. Small bits of new but relatively bland things that can be digested, lest the recipient puke them back at you. You don’t jump into talk about zero-point energy, wormholes and anti-gravitational UFO propulsion systems any more than you’d serve scotch and pork chops to a three-month-old.

Loosened by a glass or two of pinot-something, I disclosed that I’d been studying exopolitics — the social, political and economic ramifications of ET contact. I said that a lot of people look at contact as this thing that kinda-sorta might happen in the future, perhaps in the form of the rabbit pulled out of the hat in December 2012.

“But I got news for you,” I told my friend as I let a garden-variety UFO chat slip into Outer Rear End World. “They’ve been here a long time. Some of them look just like you and me — except they usually have fewer teeth.”

She glanced around the room, then back at me. “You need to protect yourself,” she said. “Surround yourself in light, now.”

Evidently we were receiving bad vibes from the immediate vicinity.

I like to look at conversations in terms of the Top Five Weirdest Things being discussed at any given time. I’m certain that in my Saturday-morning exopolitics group, we’ve hit the planetary Top Five several times. It’s not at all weird for the group, which wants to see UFO disclosure and, urgently, development of the technology that frees us from the craziness surrounding nuclear and fossil fuels. But for most people it’s the scotch-and-pork-chops thing. Weird is relative.

Between the alien teeth and my apparent need for protection, we’d easily hit the Top Five list for the restaurant that day, and probably for the past six months. We had succeeded in violating Boulder’s standards for Conversations That Freak People Out. The table next to us had gone quiet, amid some visible under-the-table kicking. I looked at them as kindly as I could; they sent receding glances, kind of like the gorillas you see on documentaries. The encounter lasted about two seconds, but like a car crash, it seemed like three hours.

I felt like I’d just ripped off all my clothes at a clothing-optional beach where everybody else chooses to keep theirs on. Some things can’t be reeled back, and I’m quite certain that the people who sat next to us at the teahouse now have scars on their brains. But hey — it wasn’t like we implanted devices in them or anything.

“The weather’s been nice,” I said to my friend. We asked for the bill.