vanishing

Jan 13 2013

at 50 Jane took long service leave and went on a holiday to europe with no fixed itinerary just wandering wherever she pleased considering her past and the peace in her heart. in a small city somewhere she encountered a gypsy in a funfair inciting the laughter of a small crowd by reading fortunes and performing tricks at the door of a caravan. Jane attempted to hover as a spectator on the edge of the group but it was not to be.

“you!” said the gypsy pointing a gnarled old finger “that locket around your neck! give it to me, i will make it vanish.”

Jane having a quiet and trusting disposition was nevertheless reluctant to hand over the locket and clutched at it protectively but the gypsy was not moved. “it is just a trinket” prodded the practiced finger “a mere material possession. give it to me” and so simply as that the locket was wrenched from its embarrassed keeper.

“now behold” said the gypsy to the crowd with the bauble dangling by its chain through her slippery grasp “a great cosmic mystery here today for your very own eyes.” and she closed her fist on the thing and when she opened it there was no longer any locket. the illusion was outstanding – there was no sleeve or any other apparent means of removal; there had not even been any covert passing over of hand or cloth or any other thing; the fist had closed and opened in plain view and that was all. the delighted group applauded.

“now make it come back” begged a child “please, please” but the gypsy only shook her head. “it is not invisible or removed but vanished” she explained conclusively “no more, gone, forever”. and it became apparent that the performance was over so that all the audience quietly dispersed including Jane who wandered away in a state of shock.

but returning later after she had recovered her spirits found herself hammering on the caravan door until it was answered. “yes” said the gypsy “what can i do for you?”

“my locket” Jane demanded “give it back to me.”

“i told you, it is gone, forever” said the gypsy “you understand. there was no trick, it was vanished away, no longer existing. you understand this concept.”

“give it to me” repeated Jane enraged “give me back my locket now”. and the gypsy invited her in, and sat her down, and gave her a cup of tea, and explained to her again, the locket was gone forever, as though into another dimension, but not into another dimension, because simply gone. she repeated again and again, vanished, gone.

“impossible” said Jane “that is impossible impossible. a thing cannot just disappear. it must have gone somewhere. like anything else lost it must be found by looking properly in the right place. you have it here. if you dont have it here prove it to me by making me disappear too.”

the gypsy frowned. “you do not know what you are asking. you do not understand the meaning of this. you will not reappear in some other place where you can find the locket, you will be gone forever, just as the locket is, no longer existing in any form, simply vanished. all this waste for a piece of junk?”

“i understand perfectly but you do not. it is not just a thing, it is much more than that. and a thing cant just be gone. that is irrational, it makes no sense. if it has not been destroyed or dissolved then it must still exist in the same form somewhere. i must be able to find it.”

the gypsy sighed and opened a tall narrow wardrobe in the corner. she unceremoniously threw everything that was in it on her small bed and then motioned for Jane to step inside. she closed the door on her, and when she opened it again a moment later, there was nothing and nobody there. Jane was gone and the wardrobe was as empty as it had been before she had stepped inside. slowly, the possessions were replaced, and everything was just as it had been before.

One response so far

  1. I had to re-read this.

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