z-index problem

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Does anyone have a working site which shows how to truly use layers with

I thoroughly understand how to link to another page.
What I want to do is, to do the same thing with the link, but call up a
layer instead.
Of all the sites I've seen so far, they only discuss how to layer one item
over another.

You have a menu in the left portion and in the right portion each menu item
replaces what was there.
I know it can be done. I have seen sites do this.

Most sites just talk about examples of saying something like:
You have 10 items and only 1 item is shown.

So how do you put item 5 in view then?

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