Dr. Rufus promised me that the invisibility cap works for two hours before needing to be re-charged.
Of course, charging the cap is not an easy feat. Just as the professor taught me, I begin with 22 chants, then spread a special lavender-speckled shawl over it, then enact a strange spirit dance for 33 steps.
The first time I used the I.C. – Rufus’ nickname for the invisible cap – it worked wonders. I snuck into the professor’s class on “Mysticism and Magic” and tickled Joanie Mathew’s elbow, then blew in Tommy Thomas’s ear. Tommy started to smile softly, as if he was thinking of something sexy.
I hoped his thought didn’t include me, because as often as he’s asked me out, I’ve declined.
My love is beyond my possibilities.
Dr. Rufas didn’t ascertain that I was in his class either. He would have blinked if he did, and given invisible me a frown. But he continued his lecture, and I skipped out of his room.
I passed the I.C. test.
This morning I charge the cap again – a 44-minute process with the dance steps – and now am sitting on my favorite turquoise bench. It’s hard and cold, but I love having it all to myself. With the cap on, I can watch passers-by in front of the university, and they have no idea I’m there. I don’t even know why I brought a prop – a book titled Levitating on a Celestial Plane. I’m wearing my favorite black and white checkered skirt and black turtle neck. A white flannel scarf and long black gloves keep me from shivering in the spring air.
But despite my invisibility, students are shooting strange looks my way.
Tommy Thomas, studying for his Ph.D. in magical realism, just stopped in front of me as if puzzled…and shocked. He can’t see me. What’s he thinking about?
Ingrid Berenson, the Swedish wunderkind on psychic phenomenon, actually giggled when she passed, muttering, “Hocus Pocus, you’re a doofus.”
I hold on to my book like an anchor. Dr. Rufus is approaching this end of the quad. Great – another way to test the I.C.
I stick my tongue out at him. He doesn’t react, so he must not really see me.
“How do you know I’m here? “ I whisper.
“Oh dear God,” he responds. “I’ve always loved you in that skirt. Now, take I.C. off and go home. You’re embarrassing yourself.”
I hurl the cap off my head and pout.
But truly, I’m ecstatic.
The Professor loves me in this skirt!
I walk the rest of the way home with a visibly joyful grin.