You know that old yarn about cats always land on their feet? Mostly, it's true. With a few exceptions, I've seen more cats land perfectly on their paws than I can count. The few that didn't were just plain stupid to begin with and never saw it (the ground) coming. People probably don't think about it all that often, because most people aren't geared to think analytically, but cats have got to do some kick-ass mathematical computations to make sure that their paws are the first thing down when they land. Speed, gravity, momentum, recoil, muscle tension, direction, axionomical manipulation of their torso, balance, surface grain, traction, wind... if you think about it, cats have got to be some mean motherfuckers when it comes to physics- and they compute that shit all within 2-3 seconds, almost bang-on perfect every time; unless they're stupid, which can be the case sometimes. People do it, too, without even realizing, I'm sure. Ever given any thought to how much computational physics goes into playing soccer? Well, I have and I'm no mathematician, but I'm sure the sheer numbers behind it would give Deep Blue a head cold.

It's all a numbers game, and we do it automatically, without even thinking about it. We have physics and general math to put a pretty face on it, give it a name and a (literal) number, but there's some sort of ephemeral mystery to the natural order of things that blows my mind. People who don't understand math, at its base core, usually try to apply it to their defenses for skepticism. I wonder how many psychics- real psychics, not those schmucks who rape the name of the gift for money- have been faced with some skeptic, brandishing a slide-rule and muttering, "I'm going to debunk your lies and witchcraft with this and you will learn to fear my math when I'm done!"- like psychic gestapo eggheads with nothing more to do in life than point fingers at people and say, "But that's impossible! As such, you will burn for doing it!"

Sorry if I sound a little bitter about skeptics- I'm psychic, to some small degree, and it always irks me when I feel wave upon wave of harsh skepticism from people when I impart some hidden truth about their feelings that no one else is supposed to know and then tell them how I knew it. "I'm an empath. I sense people's emotions. Just a thing I do and I can't really control it. Kinda like breathing. It's autonomic." I swear I only use it for good, and, no, I don't treat it like some parlor trick, telling people how they feel for a few bucks, like some sort of carnie freak. It's a gift, my gift, and I won't cheapen it by being disrespectful with it.

In some ways, it's kinda like having a computer in your head, the kind of computer-brain that tells cats how to land just-so or people how to kick that soccer ball and score one for the home team- only it has a more direct interface, after a fashion. It doesn't come to me in words, per se, more like... soft scents of perfume. With a trained and alert mind, I can discern what the different senses mean and how they relate to what, like a high-society snob picking out Obsession or some knockoff perfume with a similar name, like "Compulsion." It tells me things in ways that can't really be put into words accurately, but it's damn-near infallible. And sometimes, just like certain perfumes, it comes on like gangbusters- force-ten feedback in my head that says, "Surprise! I'm fuckin' ya!"

Tonight, the machine, that special gift of empathy, was especially "on." The strangest things kept coming to me, sometimes bordering on mini-prophecy. Like perfect timing of nearly everything that couldn't be mapped out or parlayed if I'd tried on even my best day of mental acuity. I could sense everyone's emotions like little tunes that ran in my head and wouldn't quit, each one unique and blessed with its own backbeat. This one here is Mike, this one over here is Ed, that one is Carl, the one that won't shut up is Glen, the one that is annoyed over this thing isn't going to get over it anytime soon. There are twelve cigarettes left in your pack, the person you're with is growing more discontent, she will be ready to leave in x-amount of time, you have until then to finish this pack off, but don't count on her saying anything because she's too soft-spoken to demand her desires. Buy a cup of coffee, it'll last as long as your remaining smokes, almost to the minute. Read more of that book; by the time you're done with your cigarettes and coffee, you will have had your fill of the book for tonight. Conversation is winding down, turning to BS as the seconds tick by. Pretty soon they'll start bringing up bad jokes and puns. Good story. Ed's girlfriend is angry at him. Ben is getting sick. Bethany is sleeping soundly.

Life is going on while you're sitting here and reading this book, but that's okay because I'm telling you what you're missing, just so that you don't miss it because life is too important to let it pass you by and I know you feel like a shit-heel when you miss things and the end of the world is coming, but it's already here and....

Just like that, all the time and never stopping. It's the song that never ends, which doesn't have a tune or a name or lyrics, but it's the closest thing to the Word of God a person can get without having their head pop off like a cork.

When it's on, man, it's on and there is no shutting it off for the life of me. Sometimes it pulls my ass out of the fire, sometimes it makes others feel uncomfortable (including me- you have no idea what it's like to know that the person next to you is grieving, but they can't bring themselves to mourn, and then you feel sorry for them all night long but you can't say anything to them about it because they aren't ready to articulate how they feel, nor are they really sure of how they feel yet because they just got the news of their grandmother's cancer yesterday). Sometimes it's a blessing and sometimes it's a curse. But it's my gift and I have to respect that, use it properly. And, sometimes, using it properly means not using it at all.

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