By Matt Phillips
I'll never forget the night last summer when I woke up in a tree.I hadn't been sleeping well at all in the past week. It was this recurring dream. Someone was holding me upside down outside of a window on the 90th floor of the Empire State Building, demanding information about stolen jewelry or something. I never gave them any information; after all, I was innocent! So, down I go, falling, falling... until I woke up in a cold sweat.
This time, though, it was a little different. I was dropped out of the Empire State Building all the same, and I was falling, falling... but, over my house this time. Strange, I don't live near there. Anyway, I spied the tall tree in my backyard, and just kind of willed myself to be in it. Not land in it; be in it. I closed my eyes, and suddenly felt the branches scratching my back, poking me in uncomfortable places. I felt the oddly cool breeze and heard it move through the leaves. Relieved, I opened my eyes, only to discover that this part of it was no dream. There I was, at 4:30 AM, in the big tree in my backyard in my boxers. What the hell? Did I sleepwalk? Did I sleepclimb? How'd I get 15 feet up? It took my sleep-addled brain a few minutes to realize that I did, in fact, will myself there. I could teleport! Think of all of the applications! No commute to work! No plane flights! Want to go to Rome? I'll meet you there! I never needed a designated driver again! And, hey, if someone needed me to retrieve something she left at the gym in the women's locker room, of course I'd oblige. Screw climbing down. I willed myself back to bed and realized that it wasn't that easy as thinking "OK, go to bed!". I actually had to picture the bed, the sheets, the blankets, the pillows, and place myself in the picture. It took me two hours to get it right. Not a great way to start a Monday morning, not that there is really any great way to start a Monday morning. My alarm went off soon afterwards, and I went through the motions of getting ready to go to work. Exhausted as I was, I did not want to go through my long commute. I tried to picture my office, the files, the computer, the desk, the credenza, the shelves. I had it all in my head, and willed myself there. The only problem? I ended up in that damn tree in my backyard. Seemed I had some kind of reject error built in; if my picture was insufficient, into the tree I went. Changing it from the tree to my bedroom took three months, but that's a story for another time. Let me tell you, though; getting a branch poking you in the butt when you fail is a great motivator to succeed. As with anything, teleporting got easier with time. I'll never say that practice makes perfect, because I still end up in my bedroom about a tenth of the time. For now, I'm content with my life. As for the future, who knows? I may someday use my power for good, as I think the guilt would kill me the other way. Oh, wait, time to go to work. Hold on, have to save this draft... Hey, I'm at work. Didn't end up in the bedroom at all.