Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Teslacolonic

For the most part, I think I've come to do a fairly good job of maintaining a positive attitude, but I can no longer deny that for the last several months I've been feeling somewhat out-of-whack.

I don't know if it's Seasonal Affected Depression, Clinical Depression, regular Depression, Attention Deficit Disorder, Anxiety Disorder, Frieswith Disorder, Restless Leg Syndrome, ants in my pants, low barometric pressure, Mercury going retrograde or the drying-up of my already meager freelance income on the brink of hard times, but lately I've been feeling it, and having a tough time focusing my energy productively.

Acupuncture has helped me in the past, I do a little yoga from time to time for general physical alignment, and the Neti pot once knocked out a persistent sinus infection that a brutal regimen of antibiotics couldn't lick, so I'm always open to alternatives to pharmaceutical treatment, especially in psychic crises.

A friend referred me to an elderly electrician in Woodside who, in his youth, had worked briefly in Thomas Edison's labs before becoming disillusioned and taking up as an assistant to Nikola Tesla towards the end of his career. He'd worked with the aging Tesla on several projects concerning the application of electrical current to personal health, and was now the sole practitioner of these techniques. This man could straighten me out for a reasonable rate, my friend told me.

So a couple of days ago I paid him a visit.

He lives alone, a widower, on the first floor of a trim split-level semi-detached on a quiet street a couple of blocks off Roosevelt Avenue and keeps a small workshop in the basement.

Sitting next to me on the crisp plastic-covered couch in the living room his niece, a cute pear-shaped girl with large almond eyes and thin hair tied into a whispy ponytail explained the procedure to me.

I would be asked to remove my clothes. Oppositely charged magnets would be placed in each of my hands, and I would be asked to make a fist. I would be asked to bite down on a negative lead connected to an AC modulator, and the positive lead would be placed in my rear.

"Don't worry," she reassured me perfunctorily in her thick Queens accent, "It's very non-invasive. You won't even notice it's there."

I followed her into the kitchen, signed the release waiting for me on the kitchen table and paid her twenty dollars which she tucked neatly into a small gray cashbox on the counter behind the toaster. She gestured towards the cellar door and told me to go ahead down, he was waiting.

Her uncle was a small, angular octogenarian, sad-eyed and quiet in a chin-to-ankle waxed canvas smock and rubber gloves that fanned out around his elbows, which poked sharply out from under his rolled shirtsleeves. He was barefoot, and I noticed that his feet were in excellent condition for a man of his age. Thick healthy nails, gently arched bridge, and expressively articulated toes, each crowned with a tuft of white hair at the knuckle.

He gestured vaguely for me to undress and began powering up a series of switches and ballasts as I disrobed and hung my clothes over a nearby vinyl-padded metal chair. A constellation of old-fashioned glass transformers and vacuum tubes glowed to life in the darkness behind him. He pointed to a rubber mat in the middle of the floor and I stood on it.

From the pocket in the bib of his smock, he produced two egg-sized magnets and put one in each of my hands, then made two fists with his own hands to demonstrate what I was supposed to do. I squeezed the magnets and held up my hands to show him I was squeezing.

He nodded and took a thin copper rod out of a beaker full of antiseptic solution, stripped the insulation off of the tip of a length of 14-gauge wire with his front teeth, twisted it onto the copper rod and placed it in my mouth, baring his own teeth as instruction. I bit down on the copper and waited for the positive lead to be inserted. While that really isn't my thing, his niece was right, it didn't feel invasive at all.

At that point, he turned on the juice and gradually increased the voltage.

It's difficult to describe how it felt. Having been bitten by 12-volt car batteries, I'd say that the voltage he ran through me peaked at about 8 or 9 volts and was raised so gradually that I hardly noticed I was being zapped, but at a certain point I lost all awareness of my body and was overcome by the tangible sensation that the universe and I were one, flowing into each other at a quantum level.

As to whether or not it cured my blues, that's also difficult to say. But I've had an erection for the last seventy-two hours.

copyright, © 2008 Andy Biscontini