Nathan Leslie: It Can’t Hurt, Can It?

When I say “testify” I don’t mean this in any traditional slash Christian sense. No baptisms or the like. Nor do I mean this in the legal sense. I simply and directly am implying a simple and direct statement testifying as to the truth-quality of my position. I don’t mean to sound pretentious; I am known to be anything but.

The first thing you should be aware of is that I practice a cutting edge slash alternative form of reiki which I like to call “remote reiki.” The United Federation of Touchless Touch Masters has determined that I am the second most highly ranked Reiki practitioner in the region—not that I keep an active tally or the like (these are, of course, subject to whim and this frequently shifts according to the high-drama of Reiki-whimsy; it’s all political). There is an ebb and flow to such things.

This story starts and ends with remote Reiki.

It also starts and ends with Ed. Ed is my husband.

You may consider it odd for someone named Charlotte Felicity Emily Grainsborough (that’s me, CFEG) to find herself betrothed to a gentleman who goes by the name of Ed, however, I would remind you that his full nomenclature is Edward Williams Williamson.

What happened over the long course of our marriage is this: though we commenced in synch in virtually every way—spiritually, emotionally, psychologically, philosophically, mentally, gastronomically, astrologically—the air slowly hissed out of the balloon of our marriage to such a degree that nine months later I wasn’t so sure. Edward was identifiably exact to the man who proposed to me, tears galloping down his face as he mouthed Whitney Houston to me under a delicate gossamer array of pink and purple. Yes, perhaps his overindulgence in margaritas assisted such pathos, however, who’s to say this wasn’t also the emergence of his identifiably authentic self? Perhaps his true self lay dormant, ready to erupt from the normalcy of daily living.

But as my mentor likes to say, “One year is a long spell to unite with any one soul.”

I miss Ed: he is still my best friend and soul mate.

That said, I additionally believe we all possess more than one soul mate. Perhaps an entire yellow school bus chock-filled with soul mates awaits each of us. And on that bus of soul mates, each soul mate frolics with the other soul mates, in wait for potential union with the soul mate who is us. Who wouldn’t want a ride on that bus?

So there wasn’t one specific moment that brought the house of marital cards tumbling down. There were many.

Ed claims, however, that the incident with Jarvis was the straw that broke his lovelorn back.

Jarvis was (and is) a client of the first order. He is what we within the reiki community call a “steadfast”—a weekly customer who sought not only a “quick fix” for his ailments, as most do, but truly a continual lifestyle alteration and improvement. Needless to say Jarvis was (and is) a highly valued reiki nook.

Which is why I saw little problem (much less a conflict of interest) with having Jarvis au natural, privates a-jutting as I wandered my hands invisibly—close but not touching—over his protuberances. He complained of testicular numbness and overall genital disturbances unmoved by the appearance of womanly beauty. I revealed this simply and directly to Edward, but he remained stubbornly convinced that something extra-ordinary slash interpersonal slash quasi-erotic may have been afoot between yours truly and Mr. Jarvis.

Anything could be further from the truth.

In actuality it was the interruption Edward provided which caused the said Jarvis protrusion to wilt and caused the overall healing process to retard significantly. In other words, though my husband views Jarvis’s nakedness as a sign of my cuckoldry as Philip P. Seaman Esq. has informed me, a suit in pursuance of legal damages for lost wages is not out of the question.

To wit: point seven of such a line of reasoning—my designated home office space was at the time affixed with a “Please Knock” sign, which was conveniently ignored by my husband at the moment of my so-called “indiscretion.” A “Please Knock” sign is not only a request (says Philip P. Seaman Esq.), but an invisible contract between members of a residence. Willfully ignoring such a sign is a breach of unwritten contract, and such a breach in itself is worthy of damages paid in full.

Who said that hovering a healing hand above another man’s erect penis and taut scrotal skin constitutes infidelity? Was there touching? Did seed emerge from such a healing state? Does the Bible make mention of legitimate and documented reiki techniques upon a wounded groin? This was a healing act related 110% to my professional acts.

Speaking of reiki, what I now realize is that the crux of the problem is this: I was stubbornly practicing reiki in person rather than taking advantage of a much larger and infinitely more lucrative remote reiki market. In this light, the betrayal by Edward was a helpful pointer: I realized then and there that I must sever the chains which tie me to in-person healing and instead embrace a much larger community—the world! I could constantly hover! I could be a cloud in the cloud!

As Edward stewed and worse (more on this in a moment) as a result of “the Jarvis incident,” as I began calling it, I simply decided to be proactive, to take the high road (tolls need not apply).

This high road, unfortunately, involved posting ads online and sending hundreds of millions of e-mails to various addresses I had acquired over the years. I became, I suppose, a kind of spammer in my attempt to salvage my connubial relations.

By this point Ed had hunkered down at the Red Roof Inn off 216, watching horse racing and drinking beer and kicking his sad sack heart around the shabby beige industrial carpet. I still felt empathy.

“Why don’t you let me try it?” His voice was thin, almost weakened. However, it could’ve been the Red Roof echo-chamber.

“I just need to take a few antacids, Charl.” He was in denial; the phone plastic felt cool against my neck. I could feel the emergence of positivity.

“You know, it can’t hurt,” I said.

“Yes, it can.”


“It can hurt my soul,” he said. “Deeply. My confidence. Everything.”

“I’m going to anyway,” I said. I began my complex set of preparations.

“You can’t forcibly reiki me,” he said.

“But I can heal you remotely,” I said. “And you won’t even know it. You’re still my husband, Edward.”

“I’m only going by Ed now.”

“Reiki isn’t a verb, by the way. It’s ‘heal.’ Heal is the action.”

This was our repartee, where our relationship landed.

A few more exchanges and Edward disengaged. He muttered a sentence about needing to quash my maternal instinct, or something to this effect in his parlance.

I continued my preparations and performed my healing anyway: who says one can’t compel a horse to drink from water?

By the next day his intestinal complaints had diminished (I didn’t ask him about antacids then).

Post-healing I must almost always, in addition, cleanse myself. I must expunge the accumulated filth from my qi. My healing process has to do with seeking my own center, and then crawling into my own center so that my center takes the shape of a kind of nest of energy which encapsulates me in such a way that it takes on its own energy. It is only when the energy of my center-nest exceeds my own energy that I know I can return to the activities of mankind.

These activities often revolve around gustatory matters (one of the ironies of my husband’s post-flight maladies). I told him that if he ingests the shell of a robin’s egg along with sufficient dandelion sports this would perfectly compliment my healing gestures on his behalf. Little did he listen. My balance has to do with not just rudimentary matters as minerals and vitamins, but more or less with the tone of what I ingest. For instance, I usually find that positivity arrives with the consumption of orange foods on even-numbered days. To wit, on the 18th I find myself dining on clementine wedges and tangerines, carrots and saffron-spiced rice. On oddly numbered days it’s blue or green, or some combination of the two—broccoli and cabbage and blueberries and avocados.

Ed was at the door three days after our healing session (whether or not he was aware of such session). Thankfully for his displaced sense of bourgeois morality I was not involved with healing male genitalia at this juncture. Frankly, the current state of the economy has put a dent in the reiki (remote or otherwise) market.

Ed clutched a handful of garbage bags.

“Came to get some stuff, Charl,” he said. He was not unshaven, which was a pleasant surprise. However, I could tell he returned to the habit of meat ingestion—his body reeked of animal fat (I maintain a fine-tuned sense of smell).

“Sure,” I said.

“I don’t want a scene,” he said.

It sounded like some cliché from a hack film starring Sandra Bullock. It was disappointing.

“No,” I simply said.

He stepped inside.

“What the hell?”

He was referring to the fact that by this point in the downward slope of our relationship I had painters glaze the entirety of my 3,623.25 square feet above in turquoise. My mentor said cool. Fish-bowl-esque colors would soothe me.

“I feel like some kind of sea cucumber, Charl.”

“Well, good. That’s the general idea. Or part of it. Why don’t you come back? This is soothing, isn’t it?”

He blew his nose into his sleeve; he knows how I find this to be counter-productive to his much-depleted energies.

“It’s a bit too weird here for me,” he said. “I just came to get some clothes. I’m tired of wearing the same shirt.”

“Be my guest,” I said. “Can I make you a bean sprout and edamame wrap? It’s the twenty fifth.”

“See,” he said, walking away. “That’s exactly what I mean. I don’t believe in that, in any of that.”

I told him there was nothing to believe; uber-organic, numerological gustatory practices have been proven worldwide to promote energy construction. To wit, the article in Sea Kelp last month.

I still, sadly, associate the Tuvan throat music with Edward’s final steps away from the love that once was ours. Long marriages, I assume, must find conclusion in one way or another. My mentor was the one who convinced me of this. I told her that eleven point two four months is not a particularly long stretch, but my mentor made the excellent point that this is only in Earth time. In the inner landscape where we all actually reside, our love lasted for eons. I mentioned to her the insight that Edward and I only had the rare occasion to share the intimacy that is the exchange of holy matrimonial fluids, but my wise mentor said this is no matter.

“The thrust of your love,” she said, “is eternal, not merely physical.”

At any rate I have chosen respite in the form of pillows. My mentor said pillows would help defuse the emotional violence of Ed’s departure. I journeyed to one of our local home and bath retailers and pursued this line of thinking to the tune of twenty nine pillows. Now I live within a soft fish tank, Ed says.

The use of the present tense is purposeful. I am still in active touch with my husband. The denouement here is that I still conduct healing upon him in the form of remote reiki, whether he shares this knowledge or not. He did mention to me not to “talk about that shit no more.” At least he does refrain from clearing his nasal passages into his clothing in my presence.

I have subsequently found a wondrous new soul mate from the bus of soul mates which is our spherical orb. She emerged from the doors of the bus with an energy that bespoke of her royalty and divine spirit. Her name is Thistle Bud Chillington. Our union is purely nonsexual, and will remain so—as I physically lean towards the pull of the protuberances of men—but she has embraced reiki remote and otherwise with open wings. She adores the cool rapture of my azure walls and the pillows which I have towered hither and thither to suit my own healing purposes.

We drink tea together with vast abandon. My heart swells in the whirlpools of chai.

As it turns out I am now her mentor an am in the process of instructing her in the process and methodology of reiki remote and otherwise. The future is a vast plain on the bottom of the endless sea that is my voyage. And on this sea my healing is ceaseless.

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