February 14, 2002

Floating

E-meter

At the first office I was given a piece of paper and was told to deliver it to a person in a second office. At the second office I was given a different piece of paper and was told to bring it to a third office. At the third office a bald man took the paper and asked me to sit down across from him.

On the table between us was a device with a meter with two metal tubes attached to it by wires. The man explained how the device worked. I was to hold a metal tube in each hand. When my reactive mind was triggered, the meter would register this and the man would report it to me by saying that my needle was “floating.”

The man asked if I understood and I said I did and then he began what he called the process.

When it was over he gave me a new piece of paper to bring to the second office, where I was given a different paper to bring to the first.

Eve was waiting for me in the car.

“How’d it go?” she said, seemingly casual.

The truth is, I had no interest in Scientology. It’s just that Eve couldn’t imagine being with someone who wasn’t a Scientologist, so I had agreed to try this one thing this one time, knowing what it meant to her. We both knew, although we never acknowledged it, that if things went badly, which they likely would, we would break up and I would leave Los Angeles.

“It went fine,” I said. “The only weird thing was the part where he says that your needle is floating.”

“Why did that seem weird?”

“It just seemed to be floating a lot.”

Eve’s eyes narrowed. “Wait, he did explain this to you, right?”

“About the needle? Yes. But it was weird because every time he said that, I felt okay. We’d be talking something and he’d say that my needle was floating and I’d think, ‘Why it is floating again? I really thought I was over that thing.'”

Now Eve was livid. “He was telling you you’re okay! When your needle is floating, you’re okay! It’s his job to make sure you understand this!”

She slammed her hand on the dashboard. “Shit!”

This was the end. Eve knew it and I knew it, and it was terribly sad, a sad stupid waste. However the mix-up about my needle floating was just too fucking funny, and I burst out laughing.