I’d left before, though I didn’t tell him that. I knew the feeling of being outside of myself. What I didn’t know, I told him truthfully, was how to choose to leave. I wanted to follow him and I didn’t know how.
He nodded. “I want you to sit for me.”
“Sit quietly, relaxed, not thinking, the way you practice at the end of your ballet lessons.”
I did as he said, trying not to think too much about what I was doing.
“Imagine that your body is a hollow space, like a car that you drive around in. Picture yourself in that space.”
I nodded and closed my eyes. The image that came to me was of a large, empty space with a high, curved ceiling. There seemed to be lights above and in front of me.
“Where in your body are you?”
I knew the answer without having to think about it. “My head.”
I couldn’t see him nodding but I heard the acknowledgement that I’d said what he expected. “There are different places you can see yourself. For some people it’s the chest or the stomach.”
“Should I try to be somewhere else?”
“No. Where you are is just a reflection of where you’re comfortable. For now we’re just working on something else.”
“Now I want you to imagine yourself still in that space, taking a look around. Look specifically for a door, and you should find one. Do you see it?”
I did, at the back of the space, away from the lights. My door, when I saw it, was of carved wood with simple geometric patterns shaped in it. If he’d asked, I could have told him it was the back of my head.
“Walk over to the door and take the handle. Brace yourself and then try imagining yourself opening it.”
The door handle was cut glass like my bedroom doorknob and it shone bright when I reached my hand out to it.
“Now step through it.”
Beyond the door was blackness and nothing else, and I hesitated.
Finally he asked, “Is something wrong?”
Too embarrassed to answer, I threw myself into the void.