9.3.18: Psychic Catfishing And Other Delights


“The reason shamans can do their magic is because they are outside the belief system.”
—Terence McKenna

So in 2016 I wrote this short novel called “ELVIN,” which is about a dude who thinks he’s channeling his childhood imaginary friend. And such an imaginary friend can be considered a “pooka” of sorts: a tulpa, a walking/talking living archetype pulled from the pages of whatever dime-store novel or comic book you happen to be reading at the moment.

And this is the “Frank” of Donnie Darko; Harvey the life-sized rabbit; the big blue superhero of the current Amazon Tick TV show. Tyler Durden.

This is the type of entity the hero of “ELVIN,” Taliesin Roth, believes he’s channeling. But then he begins to have his doubts. For starters, while he considered the original ELVIN to be his imaginary friend, his mother believed it was the malevolent spirit of a boy who died in their apartment. Later, ELVIN identifies himself as some type of alien from the Pleiades, a star system 444.2 light years from Earth.

Thus Taliesin thinks he is now in communication with an alien with important information for us human peons. It’s quite a big responsibility, as you can imagine. Other times, however, he believes such a dialogue might be resulting from one of a list of alternative explanations, including insanity, a creative exercise, a pre-stroke condition, alcoholism (delirium tremens), and possibly “sentient bacteria” (long story).

But what was actually going on turns out to be even stranger than he could have possibly anticipated.

Because ELVIN turns out to be an incredibly powerful empath named Eli Nybakken who psychically “catfished” Taliesin first by pretending to be Taliesin’s childhood imaginary friend, and then an alien from the Pleiades. Nybakken has spent a good deal of his life since childhood in an underground facility in New Mexico (described as an upside-down skyscraper) for dangerous “super-powered” individuals and is incredibly angry at his lot in life.

More blood started to meander down Eli’s nose, reaching his upper lip.

“Do you know how long it took me to locate you, Taliesin? First I had to develop my powers beyond the capacity of the dampening device. (that’s the thing on your head, by the way) All the while fooling the scientists about the levels of my abilities, so they wouldn’t adjust the dampener to compensate. THEN, I had to cast about my psi along wider and wider radii, going one-by-one along possible matches to find your brain.”

“And then what? You pretended to be an alien? Who wanted to FUCK me?!”

The man with the ponytail scowled and got up to grab a handful of tissues from a balloon-like dispenser on the inflatable blue table.

“I was just joking! For heck’s sake!”

“Holy shit, Eli…”

Holy shit, Taliesin Roth,” he answered in a mocking tone, holding the tissue up to his nose.

“Why didn’t you just say something? About who you really were?”

Golly, I don’t know…being an extraterrestrial seemed to be more plausible than the truth, I guess.” Eli stopped and considered Taliesin’s question further. A defiant leer crossed over his boyish face. “Also…I just wanted to have fun.”

“You wanted to fuck with my mind. For fun.”

Sure! Why not? What else did I have to do in this poopyheaded place?”

“And then all that stuff about the universe, reality, etc….that was all bullshit?”

Eli’s demeanor, in a blink, changed from sardonic to almost…beatific. He dropped to his knees in front of Taliesin and stared at him square in the eyes.

That’s the funny thing, Taliesin. You see…I’m channeling something, for real.”

“(Oh fuck me standing…)”

“It’s true…I can ‘hear’ it talking to me.”

No, Taliesin thought…it couldn’t be Crazy on top of other levels of Crazy…it couldn’t be Eli, held in this X-Men jail against his will, on top of Eli, now stone-cold insane. No…there needed to be one, workable plane upon which to save his friend…

“Oh my God,” Taliesin thought, “is that the choice I’ve made? To actually try to save him? When I can’t even sync my Mac up to my iTunes?!”

And so anyway: that’s just a funny dumb little novel I wrote, somewhere between recovering from a rather bad accident and starting a new job at a progressive think-tank/pseudo-charity/videogame-maker. And of course, there are some VALIS/PKD references just for kicks.

You can download it here. Enjoy. And if anyone knows of a way to publish it, please let me know.

elvin cover.jpg