In which I am asked the question, what does a teleporter actually look like?
It was 10.06 pm when the phone rang, about three days since the events of my last self-publishing post.
“Yep, Hoang, how’s it going?” Trepidation..he’s going to say it’s too hard..
“Good, good. I was just wondering, if you can tell me because I can’t really find it in the story: what does the teleporter look like?”
“Yeah, look like.”
“Umm…” I racked my brain for a memory. Surely I had imagined what the teleporter would look like…”Um,” I improvised. “I guess it might look sort of like, there is something coming from the ceiling…actually Hoang, what do you think it would look like?”
“Well, it could look all industrial, so with like, red lights and big metal doors and things.”
“Oh yeah, that sounds cool.”
“Or, it could be more minimalist, like, just a light from the ceiling, with a few hooks.”
“Oh, yeah, that too.”
“So which do you prefer?”
I paused. The thing was, both sounded cool. But I had never really pictured the teleporter before. I kicked myself for this oversight.
“Can I call you back? I just need to think about it for a bit.”
I lay on the bed (my favourite thinking position, after he baththub) and tried to imagine the teleporter. Both of Hoang’s options sounded good, and I wanted to give him full latitude as the visual creative on this project. This situation demonstrated to me how much of a word person I was, and not an image person. It also made me feel like a bit of a nob, really. Not knowing what the third word in the title of the book even looked like? Dear oh dear, Jackie, I berated myself (in somewhat harsher thought-words).
I thought, and I thought. I eventually put the (metaphorical) baseball bat that I was whacking myself with down, and let myself realise something that had been nagging at me.
The story was not about the teleporter. It was about the experience of being teleported. I had spent ages and ages, imagining what it would feel like to be teleported. What it would do to a person. How they would lose part of themselves in the process of becoming what the person at the other end of the journey “expected” of them (the teleporter, as everyone knows, works on the principle of expectation energy. The downside, or upside, depending on your proclivities, is that you become what the person who is waiting for you expects.)
I hesitantly explained myself to my betrothed, who immediately made me feel like I wasn’t an avisual loser. “You wrote about what mattered to you,” he encouraged me.
“So, I was thinking, do you think you could illustrate Mr Middleton being teleported, rather than the teleporter itself?” I had called Hoang back and now waited to hear his response.
“Yeah, I think so, absolutely. Can you explain to me what it feels like to be teleported?”
This, I could do. “It’s like, your whole body disintegrates, and you are a million atoms but you are none of them, and you could be tugged in a hundred directions, but the person expecting you applies their expectation energy which gathers you into the person they expect. But before that moment, you are ego-less whilst still having self, distributed across all the different particles which are all the particles of the Universe.”
“OK…I think I have an idea.”
To be continued.