Actually, we can accept the normalcy of participating in collective insanity. We can observe examples of it in a variety of forms all over the world. What we cannot assume with no evidence is that it is healthy, nor that our local form of it is exempt, nor that mass hallucinations are real.

While still an inquisitive young lad, my head filled with conflicting pictures of gods, a god named God, angels, a choir of thousands, some mysterious things called genies, fairies (all of whom apparently moved to San Francisco, joined the Catholic Church, and utterly adore their current Pope), cherubs, pixies, and all manner of strange creatures haunting humanity from mid-air wherein they are said to exist in a form akin to that of ghosts. That is, they are made of some immaterial material that exists in something, or some place, called the aether.

I can remember a summer when I visited my grandparents in their rented home on the Allegheny River. It was a moist place that seemed like it could support life without rain. Grandma and I took a walk, late one morning, to fetch the daily mail. “Watch out for the Faeries,” Grandma warned me.

Afraid to dance another step, I looked all around. “Where are they?”

“Right under your feet.”

I looked where she pointed and wished I could lift myself off the ground. “I don’t see anything.” Thinking maybe Grandma was fooling me, I looked up to see.

“You don’t see the little webs where you were walking, nor all the places you stomped them flat?”

I couldn’t tell if Grandma was fooling me or not, but I could see the darker green places that marked the trail I had left. I bent down for a closer look at what appeared to be a cobweb suspended on several blades of grass.

“Those are tables where the Faeries eat their breakfast,” she said. “They must not be home. I don’t see any injured or dead.”

I took great care while crossing her lawn the rest of that summer, and expect that she might have enjoyed great fun as a result of gas-lighting her grandson. While beautiful to imagine, I can find no one who has ever seen any portion of a surreal magical realm in a verifiable way, nor any of its inhabitants except for fairies, who turned out to be some of the pleasantest, most conscientious workers I’ve ever met on a job. Without sufficient reinforcement to keep it going, the dream fizzled out, one character at a time until all that is left are gas-lighters and their farts.

Written entirely with OPEN OFFICE.


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