He Reminds Me Of Him
“Good thing we have wireless, eh?” joked Victor.
Wireless. That word is far older than even Victor would know. It’s a word that he couldn’t even fathom its true meaning. That word belongs to one man only and his vision. The vision, unfortunately, would not come to fruition during his time.
It was 1884 in New York City at Delmonico’s, a restaurant for the aristocrats, politicians, celebrities and such. I traveled on holiday with another gentlemen actor from the theaters in Paris, I found myself drawn by a magnetic pull toward a man whose inventions I saw last year in Chicago – a man, a mind after my own heart.
“Good evening, Mr. Tesla,” I spoke while trying to hide my gleeful smile behind my adopted French accent.
“And what a lovely sight you are! Your name, my dear?” he asked.
“Nadine,” I said, which my taken name was at the time.
“A lovely name for a lovely lady,” he said with a smile. “Care to join us for a drink and conversation?”
“I would love to,” I said while breaking out my heart-throbbing smile. “I’ll have whatever you are having.”
“Then the finest whiskey it is!” he exclaimed.
“No wine? Straight to the rye?” I playfully asked.
“Drinking whiskey everyday will help me live to a hundred and fifty,” he said.
“Are you so sure?” I laughed.
Nikola paused to smile and examine me with those beautiful life-lit eyes.
“What is your area of expertise?” he asked.
“Like you, Sir Tesla, I have a fondness of science,” I said with a slight giggle. “In particular, I loved your electric exhibit at the World’s Fair in Chicago.”
“You were at the Fair?” he asked surprisingly.
“Indeed! I even saw your demonstration with the Egg of Columbus,” I fan-gasmed. “You have so much more ahead of you. I can’t wait for you to discover!”
“You are interested in the study of alternating current?” he asked while rising from his seat, looking deeply into my eyes.
“I’m very much into alternating currents,” I said, leaning closer to whisper in his ear. His electricity makes me pour like Niagara. “In particular the benefits it can provide those who are decades away from having it.”
Nikola looked taken aback by my response. He leaned in smiling, but with an inquisitive stare.
“For such an intelligent and lovely woman, you are one to not wear much jewelry or perfume,” he took note.
“Such things are meant to attract the absent minded, while I seek those with a mind for me to . . . penetrate,” I said biting my lip.
“Then let us abscond to a more private place,” he said, escorting me away from the table.
An Electrical Force
Again, I gaze upon Victor looking lovingly upon Lily. She doesn’t even know. She’ll never know until she lets go of . . .
Until I let go of . . .
Another memory clouds my vision, as I fall back into the past.
I arrived to his home and laboratory around mid-afternoon. As I approached the door, it opened to reveal an older man with fluffy white hair and a well pronounced mustache.
“My goodness,” he chuckled. “If only your lovely face could make me look as young as I feel!”
He excused himself by me very politely and proceeded down the stairs. I turned to now find Nikola standing in the doorway gesturing me to come into his abode.
“You’ll have to excuse Mr. Twain. He’s just helped with a recent experiment,” he said.
“Twain? You mean that was Mark Twain, the author?” I asked.
“Yes!” he exclaimed. “Believe it or not, his real name is Sam.”
We both had a laugh together. Mostly I laughed at how playful he seemed. Excitedly he gave me the tour of his world. As he showed me through several of his inventions-in-progress, I asked him all the questions I could ever think of. Where did he attend school? What inspired him to do something so dangerous? How could he just draw such blueprints perfectly in his mind without the need of paper or chalk?
It was only when I noticed a copy of Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man on his desk that I realized he had no paintings, drawings or other forms of art around his home. Every other man and woman I’ve fancied has lavishly embellished their homes with all sorts of art. Why does not this man celebrate such success and impress his visitors? Dare I ask? Ask, I dared!
He walked over to a table with a large light bulb sitting upon it.
“I admired the works of artists, but to my mind, they were only shadows and semblances,” he said after picking up the bulb and walking over to me. “The inventor gives to the world creations which are palpable, which live and work.” He took my right hand and placed the bulb into it. The bulb illuminated before my very eyes! I know I had nothing to do with this!
“Some might think of you a magician,” I said giggling uncontrollably.
“Magic is the experience of someone astounded by something they’ve never seen before,” said Nikola smiling. “Your eyes give you away.”
A few short years go by as we exchange theories, ideas, and other pleasantries. Not the pleasantries that I desired, because he is so pure and far beyond any other human I’ve met in history. For the first time I could remember, I did not desire for him to deeply penetrate me.
I wanted to deeply fall into him.
We only met in private and away from parties. It was like I was his secret muse. Used me he didn’t, for he never pursued anything but my attention – my mind. In return, I gave him my entire mind, without trying to give away my own secrets. Edison’s cronies were already snooping around. Less they know of me, the less their true fiendish asshole superiors know. Damned they be if they try to steal or hurt sweet Nikola!
I felt him in my mind. He was in there, searching my thoughts. Turning to him, I attempted to thwart his psychic advances, of which he was unaware he was doing.
“With all these new discoveries and inventions, do you think this world will ever unite as one?” I asked.
“The more we know, the more ignorant we become,” Nikola said. “Paradoxical? Yes, but only through enlightenment that we become conscious of our limitations.”
One day, he had finished working on a new coil for a future tower he wished to build. I, as usual, skipped around humming songs to myself. I stopped, enthralled with observing him marvel at his latest creation.
“To see the creation of the brain unfolding to success, I do not think there is any thrill that can go through the human heart like that felt by the inventor. Such emotions make a man forget food, sleep, friends, everything,” he said.
“Even love?” I asked, swallowing my breath.
“Even love,” he said slowly walking toward me. “Love though, like electricity, can connect between two circuits full of energy.” Now so close to me, his lips near mine, he whispers, “Though wireless, it can’t be felt unless your body connects.”
Those virgin lips of his – so soft, warm, pulsing with static and blood – pressed with mine. The world, the stars, and time all stood still. So many centuries. So many millennia. In this moment and in this place, I was emphatically in true love.
Love interrupted by the sins of humanity.
Edison’s jealousy and J. P. Morgan’s greed have broken my poor Nikola. His frustration grows with each sabotage and withdrawn funding. Though my support of Nikola never ceased, his connection with me also began to be withdrawn. Then that night, pouring stress from his skin, he stood over his latest workbench.
“The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane,” he said as I slowly embraced him from behind. My arms absorbing the warmth of his body, I leaned closer toward his ear and propped myself up on my toes and lovingly whispering that I could help clear his head.
Tesla snapped around and shrugged me off of him. A cold, wide-eyed glare burned through my heart.
“Take advantage of me, vulnerable as I am, just like the rest of them?” he shouted.
Speechless I stood and aghast at what I had done? Did I do something wrong? Did I let my lust show through my love?
“No! No!” I defended myself. “Why would I use you? I love you, Nikola!
“Love?! Love?! Is it is because of love you want to clear my head? Is it because of love that you act so different from everyone else? It is because of love that you posses such a superior knowledge, but choose to hide it? Is it because of love that you never age a day?!” he screamed, soaked is sweat, veins pulsing, and steam rising off his hot skin in the cool air. He continued.
“Don’t you think I don’t know what you are! While these beasts, these well-dressed heathens steal my work, my ideas, my dreams to be wealthier by means of a worthless invention like money, you – you steal my energy! What kind of creature desires a man not for money, or material, or status? You know, but don’t create! You can do, but you do not! Why? For me to do the work for you, while you cloud my mind with your love? Did your love blind me from the deceptions of others; meanwhile, you feed off of my energy?” he vented, with the worst to come.
“As a child, I was told of such stories! I found them all lies! I found them all untrue! Now my mind is clear! Now I know! Ste upír! You are vampire!”
The world stood still again. His stare condemned me. In his condemnation, I fled in agonizing emotional pain. In my uncontrollable state, an electrical storm blanketed the city. As I ran, the rain poured tenfold my tears. Lightning followed me striking every power source it could. Carelessly, I tripped into the muddy fields of Central Park and screamed into the heavens.
The words that came from my choking throat, I do not remember, nor care to know. Why would anyone want to relive that sort of death?
As they do electrically. Attracted I was early January of 1943, to the Hotel New Yorker room 3327 – that was the first thought I had when I awoke. Deep in memory, I must have gone to bed and slept deep for several hours. Victor and Lily slept in separate rooms from mine. I lay in bed, much like he did that day, but he was immobile for other reasons.
Decades have passed, but true kinetic energy refuses to cease. Just so happened, I was spending time in Boston. On a train traveling to Providence, taken ill my body felt with weakened limbs and a chill across my skin I haven’t felt in so very long. Upon arrival, I felt compelled to change trains and ride to New York at once. From Grand Central, his essence guided me through the entrance. A maid greeted me in the lobby pointed me toward the room harboring Nikola.
Outside of his door, breathing heavily, attempting to regain my composure, I closed my eyes and focused all tensions. I imagined one of his reactors inside of my heart. From the moment we met to the fight that we departed, it filled the chamber. The current then flowed through the cables in my body and gave me the strength to turn the doorknob.
“My dearest, Nikola!” I quietly exclaimed.
“Sweet, sweet, Nadine!” Nikola spoke from his bed with wheezing breath. “You’re such a lovely sight to see after so many years.”
“I heard you were unwell,” I said, taking his hand in mind.
“News travels fast,” he said. “Thanks to an invention I don’t regret, because it brought me you again.”
“So much for drinking whiskey to a hundred and fifty,” I giggled, holding back the tears.
An odd static feeling of blushing came across my face, followed by a joyous giggle. Oh, what it feels to be alive again in the presence of Nikola! Turning my head away in coy, I’ve noticed stacks of papers of his life’s work. So much he has done in my absence. I’m tempted to pick up and read through them all, but dare I not leave his hand. His touch only lasts so little time now. That is unless I offer him again the chance to live on. Not only to continue his work, but to be with me.
“Dearest, Nikola,” I said turning back to him. “I’ve always thought of you and about seeing you again.”
“My greatest regret was pushing you away, when I should have embraced you all these years,” he said smiling. “From an incandescent mass we have originated, and into a frozen mass we shall turn. Merciless is the law of nature, and rapidly and irresistibly we are drawn to our doom.”
“Regret no more! I can cure you of your ailments.
“What is the point of it all? Life everlasting? How can I find meaning in it, when many others find no meaning at all?” he asked. “In my long life, I’ve seen greed. I’ve seen the lies. I’ve seen man discard hope for hate. I’ve seen my heroes try to rob me and those they’ve come to enlighten. I’ve seen my allies try to discredit me. I’ve seen a world built on its desire for war, not peace. Every man, woman, and child has a right to live and to grow, but it seems that right comes with its own price – a price dictated by a cabal of wealthy men that devour one another for a great false prosperity. As much as I would enjoy living for many years, for many centuries, it would only give me a slower, more painful death watching humankind devolve into its natural savagery. They make you pay for what nature gives so freely, and then they use it to eliminate you if you disagree with their beliefs. Let the future tell the truth, and evaluate each one according to his work and accomplishments. The present is theirs; the future, for which I have really worked, is mine. So you ask of me, ‘would I love to live to create?’ and I reply, ‘why create more ways for the world to destroy itself?’”
My tears trickled down my cheek, then released, plummeting to their deaths from my chin onto the back of his hand that I held in mine. The one man I loved in so many centuries – the one man with one of the greatest minds and hearts I have ever known – spoke a truth I’ve never wanted to hear, but needed to feel. How cruel a world to forsake such a savior? It is the world I gave up trying to save and chose to exist within - this world that I chose to hide within, because of what I am.
There before me lay a dying man who followed his passion and his thoughts without greed, lust, envy, or dishonor. He’s better than any human. He’s better than any vampire I have ever known. And we let him slip through our embrace, because we found other fallacies to wrap our arms around. I am so ashamed of myself. I don’t deserve to be in his presence.
A cold hand against my cheek interrupts my thoughts. It is Nikola’s touch, slowly breaking the streams of tears down my face.
“Don’t cry anymore, my sweet Nadine,” he said with a smile I haven’t seen on his face since we first met. “I’ve lived a full life, grateful for not my inventions, but for meeting you, my greatest inspiration. My greatest regret is that I didn’t spend more time with you.”
I leaned forward and pressed my lips against his. This time, he didn’t push me away, but held me close. As heart-wrenching it is to know he will be gone soon, it felt so warm and comforting to be in his essence again.
“This has taken up all my energy tonight, I’m afraid,” he lightly laughed. “Come back tomorrow, and I will give you something special.”
I smirked playfully back and said, “In a thousand heartbeats per second!”
I left him slowly releasing his hand from mine, our eyes locked and smiles connected. I rushed home and jumped into my bed hugging my pillow. It was like that first night in this same city. All the butterflies flapped erratically in my tummy. I hugged tightly on my pillow and lay on my side, smiling and thinking on what great thing he was going to show me. Or will he tell me something? Will he show me? Or tell me? Or give me? I can’t wait!
All daylight I paced around my room thinking all the things. What could it be? Time passes so fast to us vampires when we are deep in thought that I didn’t realize sunset was already upon me. I dashed from my apartment, down several blocks, and back to the Hotel New Yorker.
Then, from adrenaline to sedative, time stood still.
Everything became slow, but I did not drink blood. The Earth became so silent. I knew, but did not want to know.
I watched breathlessly as several police officials and men in black coats came in and out of the hotel entrance. My run became a reluctant walk through the front doors while I avoided all eye contact. I took the stairs up to his floor, for the lift had its waiting line. I walked into a hallway of more men in black coats standing inside and out in front of Nikola’s door. I took a deep breath, already knowing what I still refused to accept, continued down the hall, and turned into his room.
An empty bed is all I saw. Nikola was gone. They had already taken him away.
The maid there recognized me.
“Oh, my child! I’m so sorry. Mr. Tesla passed…,” she said before I stopped her by slightly shrugging her off. I walked over to the empty bed where I saw him the night before. I never had a chance to say goodbye. Suddenly, I felt a strong grasp on my right arm.
“You! You knew, Tesla?” yelled one particular man in black. “What was in his safe?”
Still in shock, I looked around and noticed it wasn’t an investigation. It was a raid by these men for all of Nikola’s work and secrets. My sorrow boiled over into pure anger. How dare these fucking cretins throw about my beloved’s work around like useless papers! Without thought, I turned to the insolent fool who foolishly grabbed me and bared my fangs with a loud hiss!
“Let go of me or I will tear out your throat and spit your blood into the sewers!” I screamed. With that, silence and stillness conquered the room. All eyes fell upon me. The look of horror scarred the face of my captor. His dominant facial features hid behind his submissive expressions and he let go of me. The frozen time of the world I felt coming here, became theirs in this moment of my fury.
I could breathe again since my vocal rage. Inhaling deeply, I stormed out of the room, down the hall, took the stairs, and out the front doors of the hotel. I couldn’t tell if my fangs were still out, as all I wanted to do was go home. I wanted so bad to be back in my bed again, cradling that same pillow with joy, but now sobbing into it with the heartache bursting out of my chest. He’s gone! My Nikola is gone! The tears are coming without my permission! He left and I didn’t get to say my final goodbye! My love! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck everything and everyone!
Gone! Gone he was and with him went what he wanted to show me. And with me – for the rest of my existence, goes that mystery.
Until I find out what it is, I take upon me that name – his name – my name – Nikita. His be my name until that moment I can be in his static embrace again!
I found out later he died of a clot inside of his heart. Heartbroken, as he was, by the world that turned against him. Heartbroken, as was I, didn’t attend his funeral, but thousands did. Every few years I travel to his museum in Belgrade and visit his golden sphere urn. Though his ashes lay before me, it is his spirit that dwells within me.
I will love you forever! My energy! My lifeforce! My Nikola Tesla!
Old Friends Who Aren’t Dead
Stumbling through my apartment, glancing at Victor sleeping on the couch, and then into the other bedroom where Lily relaxed listening her music in her earbuds, I walked to bathroom thinking of Room 3327. Why am I thinking of Room 3327? Is it because of Victor? No! Victor is not even a fraction of who Nikola was.
Think, Nikita! Three and three is six. Two and seven is nine. Six and nine is fifteen. One and five is six. Six is three plus three. Three! THREE!
I remember three! I remember who is three!
He is who we must find! He is where we must go!
I ran back down the hall into the loft living room screaming of joy.
“I know! I know! I know!” I shouted, awaking Victor and attracting Lily. “I know! I know! Holy shit I want to fuck someone’s brains out, but I know!”
“Know what?” Lily asked.
“You were right! The unveiling has begun! I know where we go to next, and I’m coming,” I said falling back onto a startled Victor.
“This early in the morning?” Lily playfully retorted.
“No, I’m coming along with you two!” I said springing to my feet and bouncing around.
“So, where are we going?” Lily asked.
“An old love said, ‘the universe is simply a great machine which never came into being and never will end. Man, like the universe, is a machine,’” I said. “We need to see an old friend of ours that knows the stars better than us all!”