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December '04  

news: Hobart #4 available now; 2004 Pushcart nominations

Guest Edited by...
by Ryan Boudinot

Plane Crash Stories
by Stephen Elliott

by Stephany Aulenback

EP No. 5
by Calvin Liu

by Lee Klein

Evenfall and the Residents Return from the Casino
by Matthew Simmons

   Prequel to

  “The Telepathic Beauty”

         by Lee Klein
            ("The Telepathic Beauty" appears in Hobart #4)

The extraordinarily, almost exquisitely beautiful thing about me -- if I can speak about myself in such a way now that so much has changed -- was that, for a considerable time, I was entirely empty-headed, that is, my thoughts revolved around nothing at all. It’s not like I was some super-serious dipwad philosophizing all the time about the intricacies of nothing, as in the concept of zero, the absence of something, the nil, the null, the nada of lore. No. Literally, my mind, as far as I knew, was up to nothing more than carrying on its most ordinary activities of daily living. I was on auto-pilot, happily, successfully, even sort of wonderfully most times -- glumly sometimes, sure -- but mostly all things were going just fine, and very little of these things had anything to do with my mind.

I realize now that it is not particularly interesting to write about someone with not much going on upstairs, as they say, but at the time, and perhaps because of my complete lack of brain activity, the downstairs bits of me were comparatively taxed, a fact that some among you may find somewhat interesting indeed.

Now that things have changed, however, and my mind works well enough to produce electronic markings you can read on this website, my lower half’s activity has come to a complete standstill. In fact, if my sexual activity were depicted by a local watercolorist, it would be the watercolor of a puddle, a small one, a puddle in the middle of an untenanted sidewalk, a puddle on the outskirts of a small midwestern city, a puddle with a persistent cold. Yes, an unseen puddle in the middle of nowhere with a never-ending sinus infection and a rash across its chest and glands swollen to the size of ostrich eggs, a puddle like that, perhaps with some immobile dog poo in it, too, that’s what a watercolor of my sexual activity would look like if a watercolorist spent the time to depict it as it is now.

But back then. Back then. Back when the downstairs/upstairs disparity as it stands stood on its head, a watercolorist would have depicted my brain activity as, at most, an evocative grayish sweep of the brush across the page to symbolize a harmless breeze through an empty space only existing in a world of hypothetical nothingness beyond our imaginations’ ability to conceive of nothing as it really is. A breeze unfettered by bird or airplane, air pollution or high pollen count, stink or sin. And the activity of my loins, in extreme contrast, would have been depicted as a roaring lion or a hungry bear or a mouth-watering sizzling steak just off the flame broiler. Yum.

Um. So where was I? Right. The downstairs/upstairs disparity, as it stood on its head back then. Nothing would better illustrate that disparity than a story, one wherein my higher mindlessness perfectly served my lower purposes. And so what follows is a story about the improbable love of a perfect pair. That’s right -- a story about how I, a man with not much on his mind, met a ridiculously lovely woman everyone I knew referred to thereafter simply as “The Telepathic Beauty.”

Lee Klein edits, wrote Incidents of Egotourism in the Temporary World (, and lives in Iowa City.