If you want to experience some modern-day mysticism, drive to Roanoke, Virginia with a Mongolian. I say this from personal experience.
The Mongolian I drove to Roanoke with was a guy I worked with named Medekhgui (pronounced Medekhgui), but we all called him Mike. It’s an established fact that when your name is as hard to pronounce as Medekhgui everyone calls you Mike. I bet even the people in Mongolia call you Mike when your name is Medekhgui,
Anyway, Mike and I were in the car together for about six hours. I didn’t know Mike. He was twenty-something. Short. Stocky. Asian. That about sums it up.
We were supposed to take turns driving, but Mike never once offered to take his turn at the wheel and I really didn’t care. What Mike did do, was talk. And talk. And talk.
He talked about growing up in Mongolia – for the better part of seventy miles he talked about growing up in Mongolia. He talked about his family. He talked about being related to Genghis Khan. He talked about the educational system in Mongolia and how it was different from the American education system.
“Not better,” he told me. “Just different.”
He talked about being a black belt in something or other. He talked about getting a job with General Electric in Mongolia and how he rose through the ranks. Apparently, he was some big shot manager for General Electric, which did not explain why he was riding in a rental car with me going to do some work in Roanoke, Virginia for General Electric.
He talked about many things, Mike, and it was all about him. He never once asked me about me or mine. He had no interest in where I grew up or who I grew up with. He told me some long yarn about his grandfather on his mother’s side. He never expressed the least bit of interest in finding out about any of my grandparents.
I had mostly tuned Mike out. He was basically background noise – no different than listening to the radio. I interjected the usual “uh huh” type comment when I was supposed to. I pretended to be impressed when what he was saying was supposed to impress me, but mostly what I did was listen and let him go on.
He eventually got around to religion. Buddhism and what not. He told me about the monks he met or lived with or something – I don’t remember the details. He told me how they taught him things like how to meditate and how to get in touch with himself and his place in the universe. I was getting to the point where I was wishing my place in the universe was anywhere but in a car with Mike, when he said something that actually got my attention.
“You want to see something I learned from the monks?” he said. “I promise it won’t hurt.”
I wasn’t entirely sure how to answer. Like I said, Mike was crazy. The question was whether or not he was violent.
“What do you mean?” I asked him.
“It’s something the monks taught me,” he said. “It won’t hurt.”
“I’m not so sure about the ‘It won’t hurt’ part,” I said.
He laughed. “I’m not going to touch you in any way,” he said. “I’m just going to hold my hand over your arm. That’s it.”
“You’ll see,” he said. “Really. It’s cool.”
What the heck, I thought and held out my arm.
“Not yet,” he said. “First I have to meditate.”
With that he closed his eyes and pressed his back into the seat. He rested his forearms against his legs, his open palms turned up. He made a ring with his fingers by touching his tip of his thumb and middle finger together. He sat like that, perfectly still, breathing quietly for say another ten or fifteen miles.
At least it was quiet. In fact, it was the first and longest moment of quiet I experienced since we got in the car.
Finally, he opened his eyes. “Hold out your arm,” he said.
I thought about it a second then stuck my right arm out. If he did anything wonky, he was going to have to prove all that talk about being a martial arts expert. He took his right hand and held it about an inch or so over my forearm. I felt something on the order of static electricity. Every hair on my forearm under his hand stood straight up. I took my eyes off the road long enough to examine his hand. There was nothing in it or on it. It was just a bare hand.
He moved his hand along my forearm and as it he moved it the hairs on my arm stood up in kind.
He showed me his hand and spread his fingers to demonstrate he was not secreting anything then closed his fingers and placed his hand over my forearm again. Up went the hairs.
“How are you doing that?” I asked him, but I never got a real answer. He just babbled on more about mysticism and being in touch with the forces of the universe.
Eventually, we got to the worksite where we met other members of our team. I asked them about Mike. The general consensus was that he was an all right guy, just a little weird. No one seemed to know him very well. Everyone agreed he talked too much. I was the only one who ever experienced the “hair trick.”
When it was time to come home, Mike and another technician stayed back to finish their part of the project.
When Mike did return to work, he only stayed for about a week, then I never saw him again.
We never discussed the hair trick again. In fact, I’m not sure we even spoke again.
To this day, I don’t know how he did what he did. Magic, I guess.
Only I don’t believe in magic.