At Work

We Are All One

There was a contemplative silence in which two big, immaculately dressed guys carrying aluminium cases entered the room. One looked like a freshly shaven Leif Ericsson. He peered into the audience and said amiably, “Hello. How are you all doing?” Then he turned to the other guy, who looked like a friendly, softened up version of Arnold Schwarzenegger. They fingered the sound equipment that had been prepared that afternoon, and started rummaging in their aluminium cases, which were filled to the brim with CD’s.

“I have invited a special guest tonight,” explained Professor Weintraub. “I like to introduce Sanchez to you. He runs a human growth center in the Netherlands, and he has been working next door in a training program of a very unusual nature, namely the art of friendship… His work is quite magical, as you will find out for yourselves…”

A disapproving murmur rose from the audience. Then a silence fell, as through the loudspeakers a deep brown voice started rapping against the backdrop of a pleasantly grooving electrodrone: They are us, we are they, we are all one.

A third guy, somewhat smaller in stature but equally well dressed, entered the room and posted himself inconspicuously next to the door, to be followed by three flamboyant ladies and two more guys. They sat down on the row of chairs that had been put ready in front of the audience.

Then before anyone realized it, a small guy with Dominican features had entered the room. It was impossible to determine his age. He was wearing a woolly hat and a brightly coloured shirt. He carried a tiny stone bottle, and radiated a mixture of shyness and audacity that was immediately captivating.

With him, a warmth had entered the room that affected everyone present. He was accompanied by a blonde woman, who looked like a matured Michelle Pfeiffer. Whenever he spoke she translated into Swiss German.

“Welcome to the Immortality Club,” said Sanchez. The microphone in his hand produced a crackling sound and there was a short feedback. “Whoa, whoa… Testing one two, testing… How are we doing Oliver?” he asked over his shoulder.

“We got it now, we got it now, Sanchez.”

“Willkomme im Unstärblichkeits Club,” translated the blond woman in what sounded like Basler Swiss.

Sanchez held the microphone between thumb and index finger. Then he held up the stone bottle in his other hand.

“This is the very latest in healing,” he explained. “It is a mixture of carrot juice and special herbs. It is supposed to be very healthy: hell tea. You see, whenever there is a new medicine on the market, my girlfriend forces me to be a guinea pig. She wants me to live forever, see?”

He smiled. “Whether you are aware of it or not, I am here to tell you that you are now all members of the Immortality Club. Everybody dies, but hey, who says that you are not the exception!”

“Jede stirbt emol, aber hey, villicht bisch Du die Usnahm!”

Here and there people started laughing uncertainly.

“Professor Weintraub explained to me that you are all into numbers in your own way. So let me give you a few more numbers, just to entertain your minds.”

For a moment Sanchez was silent, then he continued, “There was a time in my life that all I could think of was how to get my next shot of dope. I did that on and off for fourteen years, from the age of fourteen till the age of twenty-eight, and in that time I had seven major overdoses. SEVEN, where the doctors declared me dead and seven times I came back!”

“Ich ha siebe grossi Überdode ka, SIEBE, wo mich de Doktor als tot erklärt het, und siebe mol bin ich zrugg ko!”

Sanchez looked triumphantly into the astounded audience. “Then I went into a Therapeutic Community, where they taught me the basics of being human, like caring for yourself and caring for your brothers and sisters. They taught me a concept of the human being that I would like to share with you.”

He closed his eyes and pressed his fingers to his temples, as if in deep thought. Then he said slowly, “You are one energy… with two choices… three needs… and four emotions… How about that for numbers?”

A few people giggled.

“I can explain that as follows: When we leave off all the labels, all there is left of you is one energy.”

“Your two choices are either to say YES or to say NO. Maybe is generally considered an adult option, but it is just postponing the choice.”

“Your three needs are: receiving love, giving love and experiencing self-love.”

“The denial of the need for love creates pain; anger and fear are reactions to that pain. There you have it: your four basic emotions.”

“Whoa, that was really nutshell stuff! Are we recording this, Eivind?” he asked turning to the Viking who was fumbling around in the background with a box of tapes.

“Yes, Sanchez, the tape recorder is running. We can have it transcribed tonight…”

“I figured that immortality and unity is what we are after tonight. Well, I declared you are already immortal. When God wants to take you, you just tell him, “Sanchez said that I am immortal.” Maybe He will listen…”

“Ich ha’ Dich scho’ als unstärblich erklärt. Wenn Gott Dich hole will, kasch ihm sage ‘Sanchez het g’seit, dass ich unstärblich bi’. Villicht wird er loose...”

There was an outburst of delighted laughter. The people in the audience were clearly relaxing and starting to enjoy themselves.

“From almost forty years experience of working with people I am here to tell you that unity can best be experienced through hugging another.”

“Einheit ka’ me’ am beschte erfahre, durch sich enand z’ umarme…”

Sanchez turned to his translator. “We are going to tell them how to hug, Marianne. And the best way to tell them how to hug is to show them how not to hug.”

She beamed and nodded. Apparently they had done this before.

“You have to spread your feet to the width of your shoulders, and bend your knees. If you lock your pelvis, there is no feeling.”

For a moment they held on to each other like rigid puppets. “That’s not the way to hug.”

“People who are frightened don’t let the other person feel, because when the other person feels, they make you feel: so they crush the other’s back.” Sanchez and his assistant hugged like truck drivers and made grunting noises. “This way you turn the other person off…”

“Then there is hugging without touching the pelvic area of the other person: Obviously there is something missing.” They hugged in a ludicrous position, sticking their pelvises backwards like baboons. The audience rolled over with laughter. Sanchez’s magic was working.

“Then there are the cripples who say, ‘You have to support my back bone, because I have no power myself.’” They demonstrated this by hanging on each other like wet blankets. Sanchez cast a roguish sideways glance into the audience. “No, no, no… This is not the way to hug!”

Meanwhile, more and more people were coming into the room. These were obviously the group participants from next door, who had been invited over to support the event.

“A hug is supposed to be like a hand in a glove,” Sanchez continued. “There is no tension and you are breathing together, and enjoying yourselves together. It’s supposed to be pleasurable. You know, pleasure emits a sound. When you feel pleasure, you go: Yummy, yummy, goodie, goodie, aahh. What we want from you is pleasure sounds.”

“Alright, everybody up! Make sure you meet everybody in the room. We are creating unity here! Bend your knees. Make a soft sound!”

He turned around and said, “Can we have some nice softie hugging music, Oliver?”

Soon the room was drenched in soft humming and moaning sounds.



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