Sunday, July 31, 2005

Strange Happenings

Yesterday I met for lunch with a group of prestigious spiritual adventurers. We met at an Afghan restaurant and the chicken curry was delicious. The owner of the restaurant looked like a terrorist, and he stopped by and started expressing the need for peoples of the world to get a long, and that we are all one family. I said, “Since we are family, can you give me the recipe for this chicken curry?” He said of course, but proceeded to ramble on for another five minutes until everyone forgot about my recipe…

We sat for hours discussing metaphysics, movies, cross dimensions, UFO’s, politics, religion, OBE, ESP, psychic phenomenon and any other mystical and spiritual topic you can think of. When the meet ended I headed for my motorcycle so I could get home before it got too dark so I could avoid the drunk drivers. But just when I thought I was out, they pulled me back in. They invited me to dinner. I was hungry again, so I agreed to meet them at Mimi’s CafĂ© only a few blocks away.

I had a hamburger and fries. (Very delicious) One psychic numerologist began discussing how the universe was communicating with her through the number “19”. Everywhere she went the number “19* would touch her in some way. I voiced out that this was hog wash, and that every number touches us in some way. I moved to prove her wrong and pulled out my wallet. I said I am going to pick a random dollar bill and if the number “19” is anywhere in the serial number, then she can have the dollar. Well there was a “19” smack dab in the middle of the serial number. They all looked at me with a ‘knowing” look in their eyes. I was disgusted. But I’m glad I did not have a twenty in my wallet. I said I hope this “19” thing is not catching, and they said it was, and that I too would be touched by the “19.” Yeah right, I thought. [Side note: I swear to God as I write this, I just checked my wallet to see if maybe all the dollar bills had a “19” in the serial number. All I had left in my wallet were one dollar bills. I scanned through them and not one had a “19” let alone smack dab in the middle. Then my heart jumped. I counted the dollar bills and there were 18!!! I had given the numerologist my 19th dollar!]

Well, back at Mimi’s, I had had enough and stood up, looked at my cell phone clock and said, “Its 7:48 I ought to be getting home.” The numerologist said, “19.* We all counted mentally and it added up. Shoot. I ended up staying for another 3 or 4 hours. They started discussing the year 2012 when the Mayan calendar ends. I was amazed by this and did some research on the topic. Here is more info on the topic FYI: (
We finally adjourned and I was looking forward to my ride home. I got on the bike and the odometer read “66.6.” Damn, not again, this seems to be happening way too often. Just last week I met a buddy at the “Chicken Coop” for lunch, and when I parked the odometer read 66.6 then too, it’s happened like 9 times this past month alone.--On a bike, there is no “low fuel indicator” so you always have to check the odometer to calculate how much riding time you have left. Then when you get gas, you clear it and it resets back to zero again.--So I just shrugged it off and shook the numbers out of my head so I could enjoy my ride home.
Ha, no drunk drivers, no close calls, no nothing. I’m not superstitious and the “numbers” mean nothing, I thought. I mean that “psychic” girl could not even add up the check, how can she be a numerologist? I took a wrong turn and had to double back. I took some back roads and cruised through the quiet neighborhoods at night. Uh oh…Mimi’s was only ten miles from my house, but I had taken some detours. Shit. I pulled into my garage and looked at my odometer and it read “85.6” What the f@&*? I had ridden EXACTLY “19” miles. And what the  f@&* , 856 adds up to “19” too!!! And f@&* me, it was “19” minutes past the midnight hour.
This is all f@&*ing coincidence right? It clicked in my head the 2012 event will happen 18 f@&*ing years form now, ha! But when I checked some web sites, they said, “The End of the Mayan Calendar is scheduled for December 21, 2012. (give or take a year.)” –Give or take a year? So it could be “19” years right? Okay so maybe something is going on after all. I guess I ought to wager that the world will significantly change in the year 2013, “19” years from now. So maybe the universe does love me, but how do I return my love to the universe? All I do is piss on it everyday when I have to go to the bathroom…

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Mississippi Running

I hit Mississippi running in 1969 at age eight. We lived in a small trailer on dirt lot off a dirt road surrounded by very tall pine trees. It was very hot and my mom spent a lot of her time with her head in the freezer. The guy in the trailer off to our left used to sit outside and skin his rabbits. Until he died when his trailer got hit with lightning and it burned to the ground. A stray dog came by once with ticks in his ear the size of large grapes. Ticks are black, but when they get that bloated, they turn white. They looked like small balloons, so we took them out and lined them up on a wooden two-by-four. Then we popped them with a hammer (not a very pleasant pastime.)

We were poor, but not as poor as the Black family in the small one room house we passed in our Pontiac Tempest when driving to the Meridian Naval Air Station. I remember one time there was a dead horse in front of their house. The mother and ten kids always seemed to be sitting on the porch in front of the house, and waived at us as we drove by. We waived back.

I started the 3rd grade at the Eastside Westside School. Five years earlier, the school was operated under legally mandated segregation, with the Blacks on the Eastside and the Whites on the Westside. But in 1964, President Johnson passed the Civil Rights Act, and abolished segregation in Mississippi and throughout the South. But the classes themselves seemed a little segregated still. The Blacks and Asians were in one class, and the Whites in the other class. I was half Asian and placed in the 'Black' class. My teachers were Black. When I was bad, I was hit with a two inch thick, two foot long wooden paddle. The girl who sat next to me was bad all the time. One day, the teacher knocked her to the floor and threw her desk on top of her. Then she dragged her by the hair out the door and slammed her against the hall wall. She fell to the floor and just sat there. The teacher picked up the girl’s books and threw them at her then slammed the door. The girl had been literally kicked out of the class.

The school bus stopped to pick me up right in front of our trailer. One girl stuck her head out the window and caught her long hair on a tree branch. It ripped her hair right off and she crashed into the window frame like a rag doll. She had been scalped alive, but died of a broken neck. Two Filipino brothers road the bus, and they always had their fists clinched tight like they were about to hit someone. The bigger brother was in my class and I did not like him, he had a funny looking head like Bert on Sesame Street. One day I saw him and his brother in the woods, and I don't know why, but I gave Bert a shove. Big mistake! They beat the living shit out of me. Their bodies were hard and their fists were harder. The little brother hit low while Bert hit high. I had martial arts training, but I did not even get a chance to use any of it. They left me on the ground and walked away. Not a word was spoken from anyone during the whole ordeal—kids did not mouth off back then like they do nowadays I guess.

The next day I got on the bus and sat right next to them. (I guess to show I was not afraid) They ignored me, but kept their fists clenched, ready for action. A few days later I saw Bert and his brother in the woods again. And they were in a standoff with six Black boys—they were in trouble and something was about to go down. I went up to them and stood by the brothers and clenched my fists too, ready to fight. The brothers turned their heads to me, and then turned back to the Black guys, looking a little more confident about the situation. I wasn’t surprised the brothers made enemies, because they just attracted trouble somehow. I think it was their clenched fists. The Black leader seemed to recognize me and asked, “Are you Bonnie’s brother?”

I said questionably, “Yeah?”

He said, “I seen you and Bonnie with Maddie. Maddie’s my sister.”

I said, “Maddie-May?” He nodded.

"Maddie-May’s my sister’s best friend, you’re her brother?” I asked.

He nodded, “Yeah, I’m Mike.”

Everyone seemed to relax and the fight was over before it began. Mike, Bert and I quickly became best friends. Bert turned out to be a very cool guy, and Mike was my first Black friend, and we all actually cried when I had to leave for Texas three years later. I still have the going away gift they gave me. It is a “High Chaparral” book signed by them—“Comrades Forever.”

We climbed Goblin’s Glen together, explored the haunted house together and jumped over the spiked fence of the forgotten cemetery, hidden with vines and underbrush where baby tombstones gave us the quivers. We climbed pine trees and ate wild blackberries and peaches, and stole corn and watermelons from farms. My dog Prince and cat Niko would follow us as we walked through the woods. They were both black and Niko was a larger than normal cat. People said it was very strange for a cat to follow people around like that, but my Niko was an exception. One day Prince ran ahead of us and we heard a gun shot. A few minutes later Prince found us in the woods with a smile in his eyes and a chicken in his mouth. Bert, Mike, Prince, Niko and I ran like hell in case the farmer was still giving chase. Prince went off to eat the chicken and Niko followed later to see what was left.

In the woods, we would hear mountain lions roar nearby and carried sticks for protection. One day when Prince was not with us, Niko ran ahead in the brush and fought a bobcat that was twice as big as her. The noise they made was very scary and the fight seemed to last an eternity. Finally, the bobcat ended up running away. The bobcat’s footprints were the size of a silver dollar and we honored Niko for saving our lives against such a formidable foe.

We hung out by Mike’s house a lot. He was very poor and lived in a small wooden, unpainted one room shack. The bathroom was a roll of toilet paper on a low tree branch in the back. He had no electricity and no plumbing or running water. But Mike was wise and showed Bert and I how to spear frogs at night in the swamps. He showed us the bat caves and we watched the bats against the night blue sky at dusk. He taught us how to fish for catfish using a vine, hook, stick, and bloodworms that we dug up from a cornfield. He showed us insects and flowers I’ve never seen before or since. We all ran barefoot in the woods until the bottoms of our feet became as tough as raw hide. We developed a Southern Drawl and attended a small Baptist Church where everyone was Black but me and Bert. We were in Mississippi, running wild and free through the woods without a care in the world. Mike was our leader, and he showed us what life was about. He showed us that life was about having fun with whatever happens to be around you.

And as kids, we never knew or cared about the dangers that loomed in our midst. We never knew about the KKK or the animosity between the Whites and Blacks. If Mike knew, he never mentioned it.

Then I got sick again and they took out my left kidney. When I was in the hospital, Niko got in a fight with a water moccasin (a poisonous water snake) and she was poisoned from the bites and developed gangrene--I was always worried about her running off into the swamps at night. I was told she went off into the woods to die. But the day I returned home, Niko came limping into our trailer and stood in front of me as I sat on the couch. My family and I just stared at her in silence and awe that she was still alive. Her glassy eyes lit up and she dropped to the floor, but held her head up, still looking at me. She purred, blinked, then slowly laid her head down and closed her eyes. Then she simply stopped breathing and died. My family said Niko was strong and waited until I returned home before she would die.

They said it was unusual for a cat to die in front of people. I still remember the quiet times Niko and I spent together in the woods. We would just sit next to each other and silently enjoy the nature around us, and enjoy each other’s company. The silent understanding and connection we had gave us an even stronger bond then I shared with my ‘comrades’. I loved Niko, and she loved me--in Mississippi.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Terrorist Nabbed in London

Scotland Yard nabs terrorist trying to smuggle himself into London dressed like a giant bag of Cocaine. Authorities say this may indicate a disturbing trend that the terrorists are becoming more ‘daring’.

(original photo confiscated by CIA.)

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

New Threat

Monster shark caught walking the streets in south Florida. Officials say don't panic, they move slow and can be easily outrun. But warn to get out of the pools if you see one approaching.

 (Note:  Illustration provide by an eye witness who improvised when her camera was confiscated by authorities.)

VIBES: The magnificent OBE

I experienced my first Out of Body Experience (OBE) at age 17. I had been reading a comic called ‘Doctor Strange’, which featured a mystic superhero who could Astral Project. I was so intrigued by this that I wanted to do it too. I must have been thinking about it a lot, so it was fresh in my subconscious, because it happened. But I was not prepared for it, and did not even know what to expect. I documented the following in my journal on July 11, 1978:

"It happened, my God it happened. I was awakened by a strong and powerful force. A vibration. My body was caught in an unknown wrath. It felt like my whole body was being electrocuted except there was no pain. It was like God was giving me a full body massage—like every atom of my body was vibrating. My mind was awake. Fear was very strong in these few moments of vibration (approx. 30 seconds). I thought I was dead or dying. I was afraid. The most fearful thing that I have ever experienced. I could not move. I called for my cat "Misty" countless numbers of times, but no sound came out. I could not move. All I could do was fear and struggle in my mind for this force to stop."

"The vibrations got stronger and the high pitch sharp tone that is a constant visitor to my ears became so loud, almost unbearable as if it were amplified 10 times its normal volume. I was scared. I knew this was not normal. I did not know if I were dead or alive, but all I thought about was trying to get back to my normal state of being. As I was calling to Misty I could swear I could see the room in front of me (was it real or memory?) As the powerful wrath held me, my ears pounding with its own high tone, the physical world entered my ears and moments after I could see through the slight opening in my eyelids. The sound of the cars on the freeway became a dominant sound in my ears as if it too, became amplified 10 times. (The inner sound was still louder than the freeway noise.) Then the powerful vibrations stopped, as suddenly as it started. I opened my eyes, heard misty groan, and just laid there on my side for a while, thinking, afraid to move."

I did not actually ‘leave’ my body, but I knew the ‘Vibes’ had to be the gateway to OBEs. I did not know they were called OBEs at the time, but I went to the library and looked up Astral Projection (no computers back then.) I discovered that others had experienced OBEs and there were books on the subject. I read all I could find on the subject. And I learned that the vibrations (I call them Vibes) were indeed the key. Two months later in September I had two OBEs. In October I had five. And between 1978 and 2005 I’ve had thousands.

I learned meditation techniques to help induce the Vibes. I learned how to concentrate on keeping the Vibes active, and making them stronger by controlling them, and making them pulsate from head to toe. I lifted my Astral hand. I lifted out of my body. I’ve explored my room, passed through walls and flew through my neighborhood. The sensation of the Vibes is magnificent. The sensation of floating out of your physical body is extraordinary. It’s a fucking blast and I’m still not used to the Vibes—it’s simply not normal. That is why I never told anyone about it until 1994 when I wrote a small publication on it. I was afraid people would think I was a freak. And this is the first time since 1994 that I am blogging about it. Now I don’t care what people think, and people are more open minded now anyway. I tried it all: The umbilical cord thing; the light at the end of the tunnel thing; the near death thing; (when I was near death) the talking to dead relatives thing; the OBE without vibrations thing; the reading the book while in astral form thing; the visiting friends in their room across town thing; the touching other people thing; the visiting past and future thing; the having sex with other astral projectors thing—female astral projectors of course, I am an out of the closet heterosexual; the flying to other planets thing; the diving into the ground thing; the flying to heaven thing; and the healing yourself with the Vibes thing.

But I could never prove to myself for a certainty that I was really leaving my body. I would put a playing card behind my speaker without looking at it, and then I would go to sleep. When I left my body I would take a look at the card in my astral form and remember it. Then when I woke up I would check the card. I never got it right. So for a while, I believed the whole OBE thing was just a Super Charged Lucid Dream on Steroids (SCLDS)—see my post about SCLDs for more info on this. And I believed the room I was seeing, the neighborhood, and the friends were only recreated in my mind from memory, so it only seemed real.

My theory changed when I started having precognitive dreams, precognitive day-dreams, precognitive lucid dreams and precognitive OBEs. Psychic dreams man. I could see the future. Now this is one mind blowing reality. And I’ve had hundreds. And they always freak me out and amaze me. I’ve used them to win at the race tracks, the stock market, and a couple of weeks ago, the slot machines. But I’m not filthy rich because I can’t control when or what I can foresee. But I can without a doubt in my mind, see the future in my dreams. Now what does this mean? This means that there must be a dimension where past, present and future all coexist simultaneously. And I can tap into this dimension. And my belief is that if I can do it, anyone can—because I refuse to believe I am any more special or any less special than anyone else. This OBE thing has made me feel that everyone is connected and just one large entity. It has made me happy for life, no matter what tragedies and trials I must face. And no matter when the ultimate tragedy we all face will happen. (The death of loved one and death of self) Because I know that even in death, we still exist, because we are all so much more than what our physical senses reveal to us.

So how does this explain why I believe OBEs are for real? Well if you think about it, when you leave your physical body, you obviously perceive the world using different senses that you possess in the physical world. So with an OBE, you exist in a different dimension that occupies the same space, a cross dimensional reality. You can throw the rules of the physical world that you experience with your conscious mind out the window. And if you think about it, you are actually out of your body at any given moment already anyway. Just think about the infinite universe. It is as infinite outwards as it is inwards. Think of cutting a pencil in half. And keep cutting the halves in half. And when you are down to the atoms, cut them in half. And notice it never ends. Each of us holds an infinite universe within our own bodies. We each hold all the infinite wisdom of everything that ever lived and ever will live.

Most of us cannot comprehend this because we rely on our physical senses to determine what reality is. We rely on our physical senses to survive. But the truth is our physical senses only allow us to see, hear, taste, smell, and touch only a very small part of reality.

We all have suppressed or underdeveloped Extra Sensory Perception (ESP) capabilities. Some of us have some measure of active ESP capabilities. That is what an OBE is; it is an ESP, a form of clairvoyance that allows one to ‘see’ with a sixth sense, or third eye. . Maybe you don’t believe in ESP. Well I do. My precognition dreams are ESPs too; the ability to ‘see’ into the future. And the money I’ve made is testimony to this ESP. My mom uses ESP but does not talk about it. One night my mom was awakened from her sleep by the sound of her friend calling her for help, a sound that was in her mind. Her friend was at home 15 miles away having a stroke. My mom called 911 and told them to go to her friend’s house, and that she was in trouble. Her friend later remembered calling out to my mom in her mind. (She could not talk during the stroke) My mom saved her life. This is an ESP called mental telepathy; the ability to read minds. And her friend’s life is their testimony of ESP. And my mom ‘knows’ when I am in trouble. And she knows it is ESP but never elaborates on the subject. I’ve seen her move silverware, and break rice bowls with her mind. This ESP is called psychokinesis or PK; the ability to move/control objects with the mind. My sister is actively practicing psychic healing, psychic readings, and performs regressions into past lives. This ESP is called total weirdness, the ability to do weird things for people. (I’m sorry, I think this is just weird and don’t know the official term for it—maybe psychic? I tease her and call her psycho or telepathetic.) But her customers and those that have been healed by her are testimony to this ESP capability. I think ESP is something that runs in our family. I don’t know what powers my brother has—maybe all that dope in the seventies messed up his mind.

My sister and I can read auras. We just talked about it one day and found out we each do it. We looked at our father and we both saw a bright green aura, something I’ve never seen before. My sister said that meant something was wrong with his body and it was actively trying to heal itself. I just use aura reading when I travel by air. If I ever see people with black auras, then that means impending death. So I will get off the plane along with anyone else who chooses to believe me. This is not an ESP, because anyone can do it with their own eyes if they know what to look for, but I thought I would mention it.

The bottom line is I now believe OBEs are for real. And they are very fun, and worth talking about. And I believe that with practice, anyone can enjoy the OBE/ESP, and that it is something inherent in all of us. You know, like we all have a brain. Sometime soon, I’ll post a guideline on how anyone can have an OBE.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Superheros Part 2

After the commotion stopped, I flew out of hiding and down to the front of the building where there were like 20 black vans and cars and a bunch of guys I assumed were all ‘good’ guys. I guessed maybe they were CIA or the equivalent. These guys did not see me, and one guy even walked right through me before I could move away. There were five bad guys lying dead and scattered around the front entrance. One guy was pretty mangled and looked like he fell from a high place. The superheroes and the ninjas were not around. One of the CIA guys identified the bodies and came across one he referred to as the “Catch of the Day.”

The ‘Chief’ looked at the catch and said, “Great, we got what we came for. Forget the others inside and clear out these bodies. Let’s move out!” He turned to one of the CIA guys and ordered him to call at least five different agencies whose acronyms I did not recognize. He told him to find out which one was responsible for releasing whatever weapon it was the killed the five bad guys. I was thinking it had to be the superheroes or the ninjas, because I did not do anything.

After I watched them dump the bodies into the vans and drive off, I realized that I really had to take a piss. So I entered the building to look for a bathroom. The first room was medium sized and there was smoke, broken boards, bullet holes and broken glass. And I noticed three or four dead bodies near the windows. I passed the room into a hallway and found a bathroom on the left. I unbuckled and unzipped. Darn, this means I will probably wake up soon. Just then, I heard footsteps and saw a man running past the bathroom door. He was a bad man in a white shirt with a shoulder holster swinging as he ran. I zipped up before I actually peed, thinking I can still prolong the dream. So I followed him. He went upstairs to a larger brightly lit room joined by another large room. There were about 15 bad guys there, and the holster guy was there at a table talking hysterically to five of them. The others were scattered about, some of them nursing wounds.

A woman came out from another room, probably the kitchen. She walked up closer to me and said, “Who the hell is he?” Everyone looked around confused—they could not see me, only the women could see me. She looked down at my crouch with my belt still unbuckled, and I grabbed her right breast. I know this was wrong, but she had cleavage. They were comfortably large and heaving, and sticking out of her blouse, and I did not have all my wits—it was a dream for goodness sakes. So I grabbed her breast and she screamed. Then she pointed at me and shouted, “ge…get him!” Everyone's eyes darted in my direction, there faces still sporting confused looks. I panicked and flew through the wall behind me.

I ended up in a dark room. There was a big guy facing down on the bed wearing a wife-beater tee shirt. I saw a door and flew to it, but it was a closet with just a bunch of suits hanging around. Darn, I had to take a piss really bad. I came out of the closet and saw the bedroom door open, and several bad guys were running down the hall towards me. Damn, I really gotta piss. I flew to the ceiling and tried to fly threw it but got stuck. It was gooey and I was loosing my powers. The bad guys were almost to the room, and I had to take a piss soooo bad. I knew this was the end of the dream, and I would never get a chance to find out what would happen next. Sometimes after waking up from a loud noise, I can go right back to sleep and continue my lucid dream, but not if I have to take a piss…

I woke up, opened my eyes, and then headed straight to the bathroom…But when I got there, the lady with the big breasts was sitting on my toilet looking at me with evil eyes! Damn, stupid dream is not over yet, and scaring me to death. Finally, I wake up for real this time and cautiously head for the toilet. Coming Soon: “VIBES: The magnificent OBE”

Monday, July 25, 2005

Superheros Part 1

A lucid dream is where you wake-up and become conscious in a dream, like the Sausalito Bay sample I wrote earlier. And usually you just follow the story line of your dream in progress, with the power to control what you do and where you go. A Super Charged Lucid Dream (SCLD) is something I kind of came across on my own, because I’ve never read about it anywhere. This is where you wake up ‘before’ you have a dream, so you can control what kind of story-line you want to play with. Using an SCLD, I’ve swam with whales, walked with dinosaurs, explored other planets, drank water from a puddle in a dark jungle with a white tiger, and had wonderful (consensual) sex with strange women. You know, if I see a good looking ‘dream’ girl, I just ask if I can force myself on them, and they usually say yes. If they say ‘no’, then I walk or fly away.

The point is, an SCLD can be more fun than a regular lucid dream. And I started having SCLDs because I did not want to waste half of my life just sleeping. So I figured a way to have a blast when I sleep.

Last night, I woke up at that critical time when you are in a state between sleep and wakefulness. You can tell when you are in this state because your physical body is paralyzed and you can’t move. Your body has a built in mechanism that protects you from getting hurt by releasing a chemical that paralyzes you and prevents you from physically acting out your dreams. You may notice your sense of hearing is amplified in this state also. It is in this state where you can launch an Out of Body Experience (OBE) and actually leave you physical body (for me this requires control of what I call ‘Vibes’, which is a strong feeling of vibrations) or you can launch an SCLD. Last night, I did not get control of the ‘Vibes’, so I just settled for an SCLD.

I rolled over on my stomach and pushed up out of my body until I bounced off the ceiling. In an OBE you will ‘see’ your own room and be physically removed from your body and ‘see’ via your minds eye. In this case I just had the sensation of being Out of Body, but in reality everything was happening in my mind, so the room I ended up in was just some dream room. Once I can fly around the room, I have some time to decide what kind of dream I want. If I want to have an SCLD under water, for example, I just think about it, the pass through a wall to find myself underwater. In this case, I just left it up to chance as to where I would end up, so I did not ‘think’ of a theme. I just flew through the wall and out into the night air of a normal looking city. It’s a weird feeling to fly through windows/walls and such because it’s a sensation not normally experienced.

I decided to fly up high, until I came upon an alley below where two dogs were running. I flew in for a closer look and the dogs saw me and began barking and tried to nip at my feet, but I flew back up way out of their range.

I proceeded to through the city to see if I could find anything interesting to write in my blog. To my right, I heard some commotion and saw the flashing of light. I decided to take a look, so I flew in that direction. I looked below on a building top and spotted two figures crouched down—they were dressed in a blue and green superhero looking costumes, and looked like they were about to do something.

I flew down behind the female superhero and said, “You guys need some help?”

They turned and looked around like they could not see me, so I said, “You can’t see me?”

And the female said, no but we can hear you.”

I said, “Oh. Well, could you use some help?”

The male superhero said, “Sure, we need to have the floors cleared.”

I said, “What do you mean?” and he said, “You know, we need the floors cleared floor by floor. “

I asked him, “Okay, do you want me to start at the bottom or the top?” But before he could answer, I heard a noise on the other side of the building and told them to wait there a minute. So I flew around to the other side and saw four figures hiding behind some outcrops on the roof. They were dressed in black and looked like a cross between ninjas and commandos.

I flew up behind them and said, “Are you guys with the super heroes on the other side?”

They all turned in my direction and the one closest to me looked at me and said, “Who are you?”

I asked, “You can see me?”

“Yeah.” He said matter-of-factly, and pointing to the guy on his right continued, “So can he, but the others can’t see you.”

“And you’re not bothered by the way that I’m just floating out here like this?”


“Oh.” I said, but before I could continue all hell broke loose. There were alarms and gunshots and lights and the ninjas just dropped from their positions down their ropes. And I heard one of them shout, “They're on to us!” And I just hid behind a wall until all the commotion stopped. You know I feared for my life. I mean, in hindsight, I could have just flown away, or protected myself with a force field, or just willed myself invincible, but sometimes even in a lucid dream, you get caught up in the action and don’t think of these things. I mean it all happened so fast. Occasionally I will lose my lucidity in a dream, but I knew I was still lucid because I was thinking, what kind of stupid dream am I in anyway? And I have died in lucid dreams before, but merely brought myself back to life. But non-the-less, I hate dying—it feels terrible. So I hid like the invincible coward I am.

Anyway, I have to go now, so I will continue this story in my next post…

Thursday, July 21, 2005

I became a soldier

I became a soldier in Okinawa, sometime between 1967 and 1969. The Vietnam War was raging. It was all over the TV, fighting, shooting, bombing, monks setting themselves on fire, and naked children burned alive from napalm. We watched war movies like ’The Green Berets”, war shows like “Combat” and we played war with plastic machine guns and grenades. We played war in the same jungles where thousands lost their lives in the previous war. We found old bullet shells, bayonets and dozens of tunnels and caves where the Japs hid out. (I can say Jap because I am half Japanese)

Jets flew over our house daily, and I dove for cover, pretending they were Japs attacking. The double bladed helicopters were my favorite and I used to call them Grasshoppers because that’s what they looked like. They were huge helicopters used to move heavy equipment and vehicles. Outside of Kadena Air Base there was a clearing where the Grasshoppers dropped off all the damaged trucks, jeeps and tanks form Nam. The clearing must have been at least a square mile and it kept growing. As far as the eye can see, a mass of olive green mangled steel. I got in trouble for playing there, but I did get to play in some neato (word we used back then) tanks, jets and Grasshoppers. And the GI’s gave us rides in their jeeps, and I got to ride in an amphibious tank once too. My father was in Nam, but some of the GI’s on base showed me their guns and gear. They let me shoot a machine gun. It was set up on tripods and I got to shoot at least a hundred rounds at a silhouette man. I blew that silhouette man to shreds. But I picked up an expended shell and burned my hand before the GI could warn me. I got to climb up a tall wooden tower where they rigged me in a harness and slid me down a cable that emulated a parachute jump. The GI’s used it for practice. I must have done that a dozen times before it was “sh_t on a shingle” time.

All I wanted to be was a soldier and fight for my country. Fight for Lyndon B. Johnson. But when I got sick I saw the other side of the war. The Military Hospital was filled with wounded GI’s, missing legs, arms, hands, feet and eyes. They were lying on stretchers moaning, and so was I. I had a tube sticking out of my bladder for about a week. It was held in place by prongs in my bladder much like an arrow head. The only way to take it out was to pull it. I did not know how to curse back then, but Damn! When it got infected the Doc opened up the hole and I could see the pink flesh as he scooped out the pus with his finger. Damn! But I never cried. Not even when they stuck a tube in my penis and jammed it into my bladder for some stupid test, then pulled it out again. (Although I did tear up from the pain) It was the most painful thing I ever felt. They did this procedure six times, and by the seventh time I said, “no more.”

But a GI wheeled into my room with the same tube, only his tube was much larger, and he said he heard that I never cried or screamed. He said he was going through the same thing and it was something that the Docs had to do. He said he knew how it hurts and was proud of me no matter what, but if I let the Docs finish the tests, I would be braver than most men in his platoon. The GI looked like hell. He looked like he was the one that needed the pep talk, and his eyes were tearing up from pain too—I heard that the test hurts worse for an adult.--so I said, “Okay, if you finish, then I’ll finish.” I felt sorry for the guy, and I did it for him. And I was prouder than ever, to be among soldiers.

I’m still a soldier at heart today, and trust our leaders act on what’s best for our country. Sure our leaders make mistakes, but it’s a soldier job to follow orders without question. If they don’t, then we won’t win the wars that need winning.

My grandfather killed Japs in WWII and I’m proud of his service. That was his job, and he did it for our country. My mom was a little girl in Tokyo when B-52 bombers dropped their bombs. Most everyone in her school was killed and she saw her best friend screaming and burning alive. My mom was hit in the chest and stomach from shrapnel and almost died. But her father was a doctor and saved her life. My mom loved her older brother who was drafted to become a Kamikaze. They drafted college students because they can more quickly learn how to fly. He was a soldier on the “other” side willing to die for his country. But he died of a stroke before his mission.

After the war, my mom’s uncle became General Douglas McArthur’s tailor in Japan. McArthur used to bring my mom gifts, and he taught her some English. He gave her an apple when all she had to eat was powdered milk and crackers. My mom admired McArthur, and grew up wanting to be an American.

Today, sixty years after WWII, I still get blamed for bombing Pearl Harbor (where I was born, by the way, in Tripler Hospital right by the harbor.) I am called a nip, jap, gook, slopehead, chink (?), slant eyes, and dirty yellow monkey. My white relatives hate Japanese. My white, Vietnamese and Korean girlfriends all hated Japanese. And my Chinese wife hates Japanese. And this is because they all lost loved ones or relatives to the Japanese in the war. And I think this is natural and healthy response to the atrocities Japanese committed in the war.

So even though I never personally ever killed anyone’s loved ones, I take the sh_t. I take the sh_t for the GI in Okinawa who took sh_t in Vietnam for you and me. And I take the sh_t for the American soldier in IRAQ who is taking sh_t right now, for you and me. Because if an American Soldier has to take sh_t, then I’m right there beside him. Support our Troops.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

At Four

I remember my first day of pre-school in Okinawa, 1965. I was four years old. A teacher that looked and dressed like the mom on ‘Leave it to Beaver’ displayed a series of charts showing all the different bombs and ordinance that we should stay away from when at play. The weapons were still scattered about the island from WWII. I learned about pungi sticks before the movie “The Green Berets’ was released in 1967. I learned about war when I was four.

I was in the front row, but could barely make out the pictures of different grenades and bombs. But I understood the message clearly. When the teacher walked further away, her face became a blur. I was bored and thought that since I could not see her, she could not see me—so I started making all kinds of funny faces. The teacher thought I was retarded, so my mom took me to the doctors. I got my first pair of glasses at four.

My mom gave me my first Timex watch, and let me go out to the playground by myself. I was to return when the small hand reached the 3, and the big had was at 12. Sitting on the grass, a big boy around age 7, naked except for a pair of dirty shorts, shoved an insole of a shoe in my face and then dropped it. He ran away. I smelled something and picked up the sole, to see brown on it. I searched around and saw some doggie poop. I was mad, the boy was bad. I saw another little boy sitting in the grass, so I dipped the sole in poop and wiped it in his face. I felt bad for doing that, and still feel terrible about it to this day. I learned about what is wrong and right, when I was four.

One day, I learned how to dig a tunnel in the wet sand. But the bad boy came around and stomped on everyone’s tunnel. They called him Billy. Billy started to jump on all the kids at random. I knew it was a matter of time before he came to me. So I set him up. I made like I was climbing the monkey bars and waited ‘till he jumped on my back. When he did, I pushed backwards and let go of the bars. We fell to the ground, but I was cushioned by Billy. Billy did not get up right away, seemed to have trouble breathing. He went home after that. I learned this trick from watching TV. (black and white TV) The good guy did it to the bad guy. The next day Billy wanted to fight me. There were at least 10 kids circled around to watch the event. I gave my glasses to a girl to hold, and waited for Billy. He came charging with his head down. I grabbed his head and slammed my knee into his face. (I learned this trick from watching the TV series ‘Gun Smoke') He went down and all the kids were happy--except Billy. I heard my mom call so I went home. She was outside and asked what I was doing. I said, “Nothing.” I was four and did not know how to talk, so I just said “nothing.” –So I learned how to fight when I was four.

I saw a lot on that playground; a boy got hit in the back by a dart, a girl fell from the monkey bars and broke her leg--She screamed until the ambulance came--and a torn out picture from a magazine showed a half naked girl. I was excited about that. And Billy bothered everyone less after the fight. But he was still around and always dirty all over his face and body. He only wore one pair of shorts. My parents said he was poor. One day he knocked on our door then sprayed bug spray in my brother’s face when he answered it. My brother was seven, same age as Billy. That night, my father told us to go over to Billy’s house and complain to the father. So at 8pm, my brother and I went to Billy’s house. We peeked through the window and saw Billy and his dad, and five other kids, all eating spaghetti with their hands. They all looked dirty and the father was scary and he was yelling. My brother and I decided not to complain that night. One day Billy rode his bike with a parachute tied to the back. It flew up and so did the cat he had tied by the tail. At four, I learned about poverty, and how it can lead to cruelty and a dysfunctional upbringing.

We often drove around the perimeter of the Island, it was beautiful. We could make the trip in about four hours. The tall cliffs and jungle were always a marvel. There were big round mirrors on the corners so you could see any cars coming from the other direction. One day, we saw a skoshi cab (small cab) hit an old lady. She popped straight up about 10 feet then came back down on the road like a rag doll, her shoe landed a little later on the side of the road. The driver backed up, and stuffed the lady in the back seat and took off. My father said she was dead, and the driver was bad, and was going to hide the body so he would not get into trouble. My sister mentioned she saw a dead body in the drainage ditch by our house but was scared to mention it before. My brother saw human bones in one of the hundreds of abandoned bomb shelters that he was told not to go into. I learned about death when I was four.

We visited ‘Suicide Cliff’ where thousands of Japanese civilians leaped to their deaths when confronted with approaching American GI’s during the war. They were told American GI’s were the white devil and feared being captured more than a certain death. They did not know the Americans were the good guys. I learned that fear can be dangerous, when I was four.

My brother and sister broke a lamp. When my father got home, they pointed at me, and I was spanked. I learned about injustice when I was four.

One day there were some kids wrestling and I wanted to play. But the winner was black, the first black person I had ever seen. I did not really know he was ‘black’, I just thought he was dirty, and did not want to touch him, so I went home. Later I found out he was American Indian. But I did see six “real” black girls the next day. I was sitting under a tree, and they were walking/dancing by me. I was staring because I had not seen people so black before. I thought they looked neat, and I liked the music. The girl carrying the radio on her shoulder said in a rhythmic tune, “what’s the matter boy, haven’t you ever seen a nigga before?” I did not know what “nigga” meant, so I just smiled and waived. That night my father heard my story and got all the kids together. He explained that we should not use the word nigga, or negro because it was impolite. We should only use the word “colored.” (This was the sixties, now it’s black or African American…I had to teach that to my backwards father in the seventies.) And he explained that they were not dirty, and did not drink too much chocolate milk as a baby like my sister thought. But they were a different skin color because some places in the world the sun was so hot, that your skin changes color. And he said they were just as clean and the same as everyone else. I ended up beating that American Indian boy with a flip I learned from a ‘Green Lantern’ comic book. And at four, I learned that everyone is basically the same.

It was fun sliding down the drainage ditch. But it had torn a hole in my shorts and my underwear was showing. I walked like a crab all the way home with my back to the buildings. When I got home, I changed my shorts and spread the torn pair on the couch and stared at the underwear through the torn hole for like five minutes. Then I realized I was still wearing my underwear? The white was just the lining of the shorts…I was so mesmerized by this; I did not have to walk like a crab after-all. I learned about shame and ignorance when I was four.

A Typhoon hit Okinawa when I was four. I saw my father go outside to help save a man from a fallen telephone pole in a hundred plus mile per hour winds. It looked fun and I wanted to go out too, but my mom would not let me. I cried and cried and threw a tantrum. I cried for what seemed like an hour and decided not to stop unless they let me out. After a while, I still cried, but was getting tired. My mom came in the room and comforted me. The love and comfort I felt made me feel like I never have before. At four, I learned the best thing of all—the power and comfort of a mothers love for a boy at four…

Sausalito Bay

It started when I opened my eyes and found myself neck deep in water. The water felt cool and I floated on my back for a while before wading out towards the center of what appeared to be a small and quaint bay. The feeling was tranquil as I swam alone, twisting into a side stroke and then switching back into a smooth forward glide. Daylight was fading and I scanned across the shoreline admiring the hilly, green canvass that reached for the horizon. I felt a soft night breeze brush my face as the water rose and fell around me splashing lightly across my brow. Then I realized there were several yachts quietly anchored, and sprinkled about as if an artist had placed them there in the exact right positions to appear enchantingly beautiful in the fading light. Some of the boats glowed with distant flickering lights as if to mark a time for romance at sea. I looked closely at one boat and then swam to the stern with an unusual desire to board.

I pulled myself onto the boat and landed on a wooden deck. I found myself wearing a short black bikini type pair of swim shorts that seemed to dry almost immediately. I possessed an impressive muscular body with noticeably rippled stomach muscles that seemed to wave at the wind much like the sea around the boat.

I guessed the boat to be at least forty feet in length and I searched through the cabin entrance towards the bow of the boat. My eyes caught the figure of a woman with short blond hair starring back at me from the far end of the darkened cabin. She was leaning against a table and did not seem alarmed at all by my sudden appearance. I sensed that she was alone and my eyes caught her loose white blouse that hung down just far enough to cover her breasts. My eyes grasped her beautiful tanned body and followed her firmness far down past the curve of her belly onto a black mini skirt that yielded to a pair of slender legs parted in a manner that made my skin crawl. Her glassy hazel eyes were frozen as I gracefully glided towards her. "Who are you?” she said, “Are you a salesman?--a lawyer?--a life insurance agent?" Her voice pierced my brain and I felt the heat of her body penetrate my flesh. "What do you want me to be?" I said casually after pausing a moment. "Rock hard!" She said, her soft voice caressing the air like a midnight drizzle. Those words, flowing from those lips, and the way her eyes narrowed while her head tilted slightly made me feel as though a warm bottle of water had exploded in my chest. Not a further word was spoken as she took my hand and gracefully led me down the steps into the bedroom. We gently exchanged exploring caresses, and touched and kissed and stared into each others eyes. She melted into my arms. She was brail and I was a blind man. And I read her from front to back not missing a single word or punctuation or meaning.

Later, we came back outside onto the deck to watch the moon spray misty light into the dark night. We made love again. I held her close from behind and made each thrust as slow and deep as we both could endure. She quivered in my arms and tightly griped the rail as I increased the pace of her torment. I fell in love with the soft sighs that escaped from her lips as her head jolted upwards in rhythm. I buried my face in her silky blond hair and thought about how I would soon have to leave her, and never see her again…

The trouble with lucid dreaming is you can’t control the beginning or end. And when you wake up, a part of you wants to go back, but you can’t. Just like in real life, when you die, you can’t go back. I’ve been a master of the lucid dream for most of my life. And I make the most of each adventure. So too should you in life. Make the most of it now, because you can’t go back. I recommend living life over the lucid dream, but if you want to try it yourself, do some research on it. I am able to induce a lucid dream at will, just by wanting to have one, and telling myself before I go to sleep that I want one. The same basic technique works if you want to explore the Out of Body experience (OBE). Except in addition to wanting to do it, it helps to use meditation techniques…But that’s another subject.

When you get good at it, you can have premonitions in your dreams. That’s where it gets freaky because you can see the future--where dream world overlaps with the ‘real’ world.

…If only I asked her name. The thought occurred to me that she may have been a real person having her own lucid dream! What a blast if that’s true.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Essay: The Game of Life

I'm just a big male kid--very selfish, and always trying to have fun. But the only woman that likes a big kid is the big kid’s mother. All other women only like small kids. And they wonder why men only like women for “one thing”—it’s because that’s the only thing men can have fun with. All other times men just get bitched at because women can never be satisfied with a man unless he is Mr. Responsible Prince Charming. And they don’t realize Prince Charming does not exist. Because any man that claims to be a “real man” will still see women as a piece of candy, and still want to play war—observe our world leaders. So “real men” are just posers, pretending to be the responsible man women want, so they can get the candy and be king of the hill. And women are posers too. They play house or pretend they can survive in this world without a man. So I submit that all men and women are just big kids and posers who live and play the game of life.

We even pretend we are human. We are not. We are lanky hairless monkeys for goodness sakes…Animals. But one would be hard pressed to find someone that sees themselves as a big monkey, even though we all share the same basic parts. It’s because we have a built in survival mechanism that steers us into believing we are “better” than animals, or “better” than each other—to help us survive in this kill or be killed world.

Religion is such a survival mechanism. I think at least one religious story goes something like this: “You are man, God’s child, and all the animals are soulless creatures for you to eat. And women are there for your entertainment.” Well, I say to the author of this story that all animals and living things have love. And love is a product of their Spirit and Soul. And all exist equally for each other; man, woman, and monkey. And yet another religious story goes something like this: “You are my Gods child, and all other’s who disbelieve are “infidels.” Well, whether there is a God or not is not the point. It’s the “belief” in God that holds the powerful component to help us survive in a kill or be killed world. War is a product of our own survival instincts—“Kill them before their satanic beliefs corrupt our way of life.” Or, “Take their oil before it falls into the hands of religious fanatics that will destroy our way of life.” Our society prepares us for war everyday in our schools and sports arenas--and all societies on our planet come together to celebrate the War of the Worlds during Olympic time.

Another “human” belief is that there may be aliens out there in space, and that they may be among us already. And usually, this belief is accompanied by a certain fear. Fear of what they may do to us. Well, I say to these believers, that you are correct. There are aliens out there in space, and we are them. And if we get a chance, we will do the same harm to other planets as we do to our own. It’s highly unlikely we are the only “living” planet in the infinite universe. But so what? We can see an alien every time we look into a mirror—no big mystery. Other “living” planets won’t be that different. And we are all equal: Man, Woman, Monkey, Infidel, and Alien. We ought to focus our fear on ourselves, and our ignorance. What we ought to do now is “play” smart--because we live in a world that is still in its adolescence. And we have a gun...

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Blunder Fish

Fishermen in Thailand catch largest freshwater catfish ever found--646 pounds, the size of a grizzly bear. But they ate it. Sources say they could have made millions on eBay if they sold it instead. (news report)

'The Apple'

The city is not that fun. It makes my muscles tense and makes me nervous. There are bad smells and a suffocating musky heat that penetrates my whole being... And the people all look at me like they’re predators and I am some kind of prey or victim. And they too are all permeated with the musky sweaty heat. They all look like they’re in some kind of perpetual distress. The whole city roars of these people, scurrying around in what seems like a heightened sense of urgency. I compare it to one of those all-you-can-eat buffets where people hurry around to make sure they get all the good food before someone else does, only on a city-wide massive scale. But I’m here for a couple of days, so might as well venture around a little more. This is all part of the rat race I guess–the dance of survival in the city.

As I arrive near the center of the city, I come upon a large, dried out water fountain occupied by a group of wild, scary looking shirtless men. They look up from what they're doing and eye me with their red, glassy demonic eyes–like I’m their next meal or something. I watch the leader at the very top for any indication that I should run. His eyes bore into mine for any sign of fear or disrespect. They’re postured around this fountain like a congress of cannibalistic baboons from the darkest jungles of Africa. I make it past without incident–barring a cold sweat.

A few blocks away a gang of six ruffians approach at 12 0’clock. They’re different; these guys are on the hunt. The man in front wearing a too-tight holey tee-shirt stands out as the boss. His eyes never meet mine, but rather darts from left to right and straight through me like I’m not there. He has decided to pass me up. But the others watch me, ready to pounce if I make any false move, like a troop of battle monkeys from the deepest regions of the Amazon. These are the wild and untamed of the city.

On the subway, two teenage gang bangers carry sticks and tout their authority, and make it clear to all those around that to mess with them would mean a nasty painful death involving their sticks and the most delicate of body parts—what a bunch of nuts!

As night approaches, the subways become empty. But there is a man in this tunnel standing in my path, swinging a bat. I proceed without hesitation, knowing that any signal of weakness would provoke his ultimate intention. With my hands in my pockets, I contort my face, avoid eye contact, and make like a battle monkey boss. I maintain my course forcing him to swing around me, trusting my instincts that my ruse will be enough to convince the man not to swing at my head; for fear I may be packing a far more dangerous threat to him. I’m brave and never look back. I survive.

The subway tunnel is dark, and narrows as I approach the exit steps to the streets above. Just before the exit, a figure appears in the darkness under the steps. It scarcely stands, teetering from left to right, then advances to a cross-section of shallow light. And with a deep croaking voice, it asks if I want a sexual favor… In the dim light, half buried in musty shadows, I can just make out a pale, gaunt, oily, disease ridden 85 pound crack whore with greasy strands of matted hair caked on a balding sore infested scaly head. She looks like she died three days ago. And a smell that could wake the dead—maybe that’s what happened… I make for a hasty exit followed by a chill up my spine. These are the parasitic lowlife’s of the under-city.

Back above the under-city, the streets are still crowded at night. I pass a large muscular Guardian Angle dressed in full military gear. He stands motionless with his back against a wall, gripping a short leash attached to a spiked collar and an alert, well trained pit-bull—to remind me that I’m not safe on the city streets at night. This man could take out six normal men in ten seconds without having to think.

Further away from the crowds, I contemplate a right turn down a quiet, unlit street. Only my instincts give me pause… And suddenly, as to confirm my doubts, an undercover detective passes quickly without slowing his pace, and while barely moving his mouth and without acknowledging my presence, he secretly warns me, “Don’t go down that street.” The hairs on my body stand up on end as I feel a shudder of fear and a sense of a profound evil looming down that street. The undercover cop or whoever he was has vanished. I make like a spooked ghost and retreat back to my hotel room. The man may have indeed saved my life… These are the protectors of the city.

Up above the streets, in the towers, are people with more developed communication skills–the workers. The workers cover the widest spectrum, from the vast array of legitimate services, to the soldiers of organized crime. These are people who come together in the most ethnically and culturally diverse city on the continent. They come from every corner of Earth to meet with opportunity at the hotbed of worldly activity—and create the pluralistic pulse that keeps New York City alive and strong. They sacrifice the peace and quiet of the suburbs for a chance at wealth and prosperity for their children. They deal with the animals and lowlifes on a daily basis—they improvise, adapt and overcome. These are the life-blood of New York City, the life-blood of the Big Apple.

My visit to New York City was eventful, but nothing like it would have been if I stayed a while longer. Not long after my visit, the Twin Towers were toppled by the tyranny of terrorists. The target was the symbol of prosperity, and the life-blood of the city. The objective: To terrorize. The result: Complete and utter failure.

New York City is tough. Hardened by its perpetual metamorphosis—its unique ability to continually digest and nourish constant change and diversity—it has prepared its people to handle the worst of adversity. The pulse of New York City, strengthened by a unique union of both liberal and conservative elements, allows its life-blood to tolerate, or decimate any threat that shows its unsightly head. But the terrorists are just now realizing their mistake…They simply picked the wrong Apple, in the wrong Garden, at the wrong time…

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

'The Night Before'

When I arrived at the hotel it was obvious it had been taken over by some special event. There were people everywhere in animated conversation, shopping at makeshift kiosks, and signing up for raffles and contests. A sign explained that it was an Annual Assyrian Convention offering a week of art, music, food and celebration. It was an interesting surprise—I just came for the free taco and half price beer at the hotel bar. And with my wife away on business in New York City, this gala hoop-de-la provided a nice distraction with an interesting assortment of tastes, sights and sounds. The bar had closed early that night anyway, in preparation for a special Assyrian festivity. Assyrians party late, starting at about eleven and ending when the sun rises. At least, that’s what the Assyrian merchant told me—an alluring bearded man who spoke carefully, and with a heavy Arabic accent. A man who had in his possession the most compelling object I had ever seen.

I had little knowledge of Assyrians, but observing them at the hotel revealed a special quality of beauty and strength about them. Etched in their eyes, movements, and mannerisms were a definite purpose and a living history. They had come from all parts of the nation to meet as one, to share a sense of love, tragedy and survival.

The bearded merchant stood in one of the convention halls nicely converted into a small exhibit and bazaar. It was there that I first saw her. The room around me blurred as my eyes devoured her. She had her back to me and the world, but her head tilted down slightly and she looked over her shoulder, her eyes staring deep into mine. I could feel the bearded merchant move closer, his eyes upon me.

“She is not for sale”, he said softly. Did he speak in Arabic? It had to be English, because I don’t understand Arabic. Do I?

I could not answer him. My eyes refused to leave her. My mind and body had already surrendered to her with an instant inseparable bond. It was not her physical beauty that attracted me most. It was the psychic pull she had on me. She knew something important. She had a knowledge that ran deep into the core of my soul. Did she know me?

“I agree”, I said finally, still not looking at him. “But tonight, she will be with me”, I added simply, turning to meet his dark, concerned, unflinching eyes.

The negotiation took over an hour. I was to have her back the next day unharmed. The merchant was a proud Assyrian—a Christian Arab and direct descendent of the people of Mesopotamia, and believer of the Assyrian role in the prophecy of Isaiah — and he talked of his heritage with great respect and excitement. He seemed more excited than I was, maybe it was the money or the thrill of the barter, or maybe he was just happy for her. No one had ever taken an interest in her like I had. But he knew very little about her other than she was a fellow Assyrian Christian found by a minister, and somehow came into his care through the church.

At home that night, I propped her up with the music stand on my grand piano. The frame was intricately carved in an ancient solid mahogany that matched the tone of the painting. She was in the center with a view around her depicting simple trees and what may have been a church or some kind of sanctuary. But the fine detail transported the observer into a beautiful yet uncertain world, underlined with troubled shadows that culminated into a mood of distant unrest. And her eyes told me she wanted to tell me something, and I intended to let her.

I started to play and immediately found a connection with her and my music. Before long the rhythm of the music penetrated the painting and returned with an Arabic melody of hauntingly beautiful sadness. As the tempo increased, the mahogany frame became a portal that joined our two worlds. The sounds filled the room via the acoustic cathedral ceiling and crashed down upon me like deafening thunder. And through the roar of pounding music she became free and alive. The faster I moved my fingers, the faster the notes would end, and it felt as if time slipped further away as each keystroke faded. Until finally I became the past, she became the present and the portal our future.

But what past was I? I was dead to her. And she looked back with no pity, at my world, and me. Why bother to pity the dead? Yet it was my world that engulfed her, that nourished her world. The music grew with intensity as her sons’ future was born from the chaotic sadness of a tragic past. She had no pity to give. She guided my fingers into a turbulent crescendo of epic struggle that forced me to see the future imposed upon her sons, and opened my eyes to the suffering and death that life would bring them…

My cell phone rang—morning already? I flipped open the phone and heard my wife’s trembling voice — “Hi, it’s me... I... I think I’m in trouble, a plane just crashed into the building…”