It was a boring party, all of us standing around sipping wine and eating meat wrapped in puff pastry or pickled vegetables on toothpicks, all of us with nothing to say even though we’d known each other since high school, when Julie dropped in that she’d levitated at Sandra’s last weekend, at the couples retreat on the island that all of us thought, all of us still thought, was a swingers retreat, and one of us snorted and called Julie a poser, a David-Blaine-wannabe, and Julie said, I didn’t levitate myself you idiot, haven’t you ever seen The Craft, and we all nodded, took a bite of our meat or our vegetable while running through the catalog of previously-viewed movies in our minds, all of us remembering Nicole, the girl who used to write incantations on our lockers in red felt pen and tell us it was blood, the self-professed witch who lit herself on fire in the tenth grade, all of us remembering how badly we wanted to be like her, all of us remembering how paralyzed we’d been by her death, then Wanda, the woman whose house we were at for this reunion, this celebration of thirty years graduated, topped up our glasses and corralled us over to the carpet, this plush white area rug that looked completely untouched, and said, do it, levitate me, and Julie gulped down her wine, set her glass on the window sill, motioned for us to circle around, to do her this solid, and we were hesitant at first, got braver with each person who knelt down around Wanda, like this was a thing that was going to happen, like we were thirteen and sleeping over after a basketball game with a Ouija board and a bottle of shit mix, and we laughed nervously when Wanda told us not to drop her, like we were going to get her off the ground in the first place, and, god, we hoped we did, we hoped we wouldn’t add to her recently-divorced-mid-life-what-the-fuck-am-I-even-doing crisis, a crisis that more of us had experienced than not, a crisis that culminated in obsessive exercise and late night mistakes and reunion planning, and when we all slid our pointer and middle fingers underneath Wanda’s frame, when we all started chanting, light as a feather, stiff as a board, light as a feather, stiff as a board, you could really sense the tension in the room, the intense desire to work together as a team, and for a moment it felt like the magic was going to happen, like we were going to levitate Wanda until she hovered two feet off the ground, her arms crossed against her chest, her hair hanging like curtains from her scalp, but she just lay there, her eyes closed, her chest almost imperceptible in its movement, all of us kneeling around her waiting and waiting for something, anything, to happen.


© Jennifer Todhunter
[This piece was selected by Sara Crowley. Read Jennifer’s interview]