Saturday, December 31, 2011

Fran's Death And My First Psychic Opening

       I was 24 years old.  I was a student in the second semester of my second year of Medical school at the University of Louisville,  in Louisville, Kentucky.  It was February, to be exact, Tuesday, Feb 16th, Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras.)

      I was on my bed listening to music as is my habit when I study.  I know I was studying something I did not enjoy too much, like Pathophysiology or somethinjg of that ilk.  The phone rings---I answer (this was before cellphones and "caller ID");  my friend Dan Anderson, voice sounding shaky, says "turn on the TV."  A bit rankled, I am like "what channel?  Why?  What is up?"  He was stuttering, which I had never heard him do before blurting out "any channel!"  I went over and turned on the small black and white TV I used in my room (hardly ever watch TV) and the news was on.  The big story was that a young man (our friend, high school and college classmate, Francisco Guerrero,) had been murdered, shot at point blank range between the eyes.  The killer, the ex-husband of Francisco's girlfriend, Rhonda, then shot himself through the head and died.  We later learned more grisly details.  He did this on Fran's front porch, in front of Rhonda and their son.

       But I knew why Dan was totally freaking out on the phone---I mean the news itself was horrible, tragic and inane, but it was weirder than most knew.  Dan, Fran (as he was called) and I had been out drinking two weeks earlier.  After sifting through some "pick-up bars" without success, we headed back toward the U of L main campus (Belknap Campus.)  There was a dive called Dino's Pizzeria, which served mediocre pizza but that night had some kind of special on "Little Kings Ale," which came in small bottles (hence "little")--we drank lots of them.  We were clinically drunk.  We, like many college, grad school, law school, med school students did this fairly often.  I cannot drink like I did back in school.  Now I can feel the next day's hangover looming after 2 drinks--the third often portends a hangover.

      We were going to be very hung over and it was about 1 a.m.  Fran was talking about his girlfriend, Rhonda, who was pretty and very nice (we'd all met a few times), but had a 3 year old son with her now ex-husband.  The ex-husband we'd seen, but none of us knew him.  When I did see him he always looked angry and a bit wild.  He had finished, like so many of us divorced fathers, "his weekend" with his son, and brought the child to Rhonda wherever she happened to be that night.  Francisco was the eldest male in his Filipino family.  He had a younger brother and a sister.  His family lived in one of the nicest neighborhoods in the South end of Louisville.  Both his parents were medical doctors.  When he was 16, his parents bought him a brand new red Chevy Z-28 Camaro.  A cool car to drive at 16--and we all liked to party in it--nice stereo etc.  Fran was naturally a bit flamboyant in his style.  I mean the way he did everything, he did it his own way.  I often admired the way he got to live (parents gave him money every weekend, gasoline card, etc) and felt a bit of jealousy.  But he suffered a lot as one of the few Asians in Louisville at that time, and children, even high-schoolers were quite nasty, racist and called him all sorts of names.  Usually he kept his cool and took the upper hand.  A few times he was forced to fight by bullies.  He was one of my all-time best friends.  He, Dan and I were all best friends, sharing most things, including women at times.

      Back to the point, I dropped the receiver of the phone and turned pale white as every hair on my arms and chest suddenly "stood up" at the heinous news.  My heart began to thump hard, and as I picked up the phone again, I could hear the blood pumping in my ears loudly.  I could not speak coherently, making grunts in between "fuck!" and "god-dammit!"
      Dan sputtered out---"remember Dino's with him 2 weeks ago?"  I was silent for a while, until, in sotto voce I  mumbled, "uh, yeah."  I was sitting in a booth that night looking across the table at Dan and Fran. I asked how it was going with Rhonda.  Fran said "great, she is wonderful and accepting regarding different racial stuff--even likes Filipino food."  (Translation: Lots of women in Louisville at that time, mainly white women like Rhonda, would never date "outside their race.")  So Fran had a tougher time sometimes finding nice women to date, and I was very thankful that he had met Rhonda.  I asked when he saw her last.  He said on Sunday night, the ex-husband, having used up his time with his son, brought him over and delivered him to Rhonda, at Fran's house.  I heard this and said, "hey man, that is not a very good idea Fran."  Oblivious, he said, "what?"  I said, "you (your parents) have a very nice elegant house, you drive a sports car, and now you are dating his ex-wife.  Making him bring the boy over to your house is like "rubbing his nose in it,"--dude, that guy is a red-necked hothead and you are really pushing it with him."  Fran considered this, apparently for the first time.  "Fran it is a good way to get your head blown off, man!" I said.  He characteristically laughed off my worries and continued to take Rhonda to his parents' house for the drop-offs of the little boy.

      Holy motherfucker.  Now I saw why Dan could not talk right and was totally freaked.  He reminded me of what I had drunkenly said.  I remembered looking at Fran while I was saying it.  At the time, I had no inkling this statement was prophetic.

      I felt confused, a bit scared, anxious and extremely sad all at once.  Dan and I agreed to meet after work/school the next day to talk about this.  Once together, we downed a couple of beers and slowly began to rehash that night at Dino's.  I let him first tell me all he remembered, so as not to color it with my memories.  He and I both had also seen Fran once (me, at a distance, in a parking lot--we mutually waved) since that night.  We both remembered the same things.  We both remembered my comment about "a good way to get your head blown off."
Strangely, since to my knowledge, this was the first instance of precognition I had ever had, and it felt simultaneously like "an accident" or a "coincidence" but also, the most wretched feeling that somehow, by saying it, maybe "I caused it."

       I felt an inner anxiety that would not go away.  I had trouble sleeping.  Over and over in my mind, the scene at Dino's played non-stop.  I shuddered when it got to the memory of looking him in the eyes and warning him about getting killed.  A female friend of mine in med school, who had dated Fran in high school, "found out" about his death in an "only-in-med-school-way," when during our Pathology class we had to attend a few autopsies.  Just in case someone might know the deceased they tell the students the names of the dead just before walking into the pathology lab/dissection area.  "Jerline" heard the name and froze.  She asked the professor to repeat the names.  This was how Jerline heard about his death (she was about to participate in his autopsy!)  She began to cry and ran out of the room, into the hall way.

      I talked to several other friends, hearing their stories about, "when they found out."  I kept my information to myself and Dan, and because I still felt so different, so "out of myself," I asked him not to talk about it to people, and he did not.  We went to the funeral and were pall-bearers.  Fran's family all wore little black pieces of jewelry, something like onyx on, as a sign of mourning.  They wore these every day for the next year.  I wore mine that day only.

       The next two weeks were unbelievable.  It was "as if" I were "accelerated" in time.  Not by much.  About ten minutes "ahead of reality."  Dan was with me much of the time in the next 2 weeks because he was the only person who knew about the "precognition" I had regarding Fran's impending death.  I slept very little and my mind was churning non-stop, wondering what this all meant.  Meanwhile, I'd say something out loud to Dan, and 10-15 minutes later, it would transpire in front of us.  It was kind of fun, but very weird feeling, like I was a "visitor from somewhere ELSE" and already knew what was going to happen.  I went through Catholic theological dogma in my head, physics, laws of chance, anything and everything I could think of to try and come up with an answer to what was happening to me (or had already happened.)  There was no easy answer to be found.
       Then everyday, everything started to seem to be "this is your life."  I would watch TV in the pool hall where we had gone to try to calm down.  When I listened to the news being read, my mind connected everything said to me and the recent strange events.  I asked Dan if he heard the same things.  He said he did, but his mind just accepted what was said at face value and did not feel it was somehow, "about me."  When I told him of all the constant "coincidences" I saw and heard, he indicated he understood.  (I now know I was seeing synchronicity as it constantly happens, but I had no clue then.)  It was easy to see Dan was very troubled by this, and was totally freaked out that I would say something, then in a few minutes, it would happen!  I began to worry about really watching what I was saying.  
      Then I began to feel Fran's presence when I was praying about this late at night.  It was as if his soul was actually contacting me.  Noises would occur strangely in my bedroom.  I asked God, to let the noises reflect a "yes" or a "no" depending on the noise.  I began to rehash the whole thing for the 99th time with God, and the sounds gave answers consistent with what occurred.  I felt a bit of relief, but since the sounds only did "yes" or "no" answers, I could not get an answer as to what this process was that had happened to me or what it meant.  Or whether it would ever go away.

      A bit of info about me at the time.  I was a believer in Christ, yet was an empiricist, using the "scientific method" to understand and test my world.  I had never gone to a "psychic" or "fortune teller," because everything I was taught said that kind of stuff was complete bullshit.  Up until that point, I saw life as normal "cause and event."  I believed God could do miracles, but what the hell was this about?  It was some kind of miracle (a BAD one) what occurred--exactly as I said it, and now, feeling like I was communing with his soul, etc, I was kinda freaking out.  I did not believe or know that I could do miracles.  But why this?  Why my best friend?  Shit, I cried hard for many nights.  I could not sleep so I studied all night many nights and would collapse asleep in the lecture hall when they turned down the lights for slides.  This was nothing new.  Medical school taxed you and challenged you more than anything I'd yet experienced.

       But I was changing--my mind was on overdrive.  I found I could do all sorts of new things with my mind that I could not do before.  I could read, study, remember, write out/draw out multiple complex ideas/theories simultaneously.  Studying, which I usually dreaded and hated, became a joy.  I could rip through books and retain the info faster and more efficiently than ever.  Also, I could "see into" people differently, by looking deeper in their faces/eyes.  I caught much more subtle messages, and developed "gaydar."  I realized a certain surgery student wanted me.  She was a beautiful Italian woman with bright blue eyes.  I had just gotten married Dec 26th 1987 to a woman I met while studying Spanish language and culture just before my second year started.  We honeymooned and she returned to Madrid to finish her last semester of her degree from La Universidad Complutense and I returned to medical school at Louisville.  I called her every day and we rung up huge long distance bills. She would get her visa and finish school and move over in six months.  Oh my God, six months of raging change, in the abilities of my mind.  I could tell who was coming around corners at school (hundreds of people moving about), before they made the turn.  Naturally, except for my friend Dan, who was there when it started, I did not tell anyone about this, as it was so weird it might scare them.  I noticed subtle movements in "inanimate objects," and I could watch flowers breathe.  [It was as if I were on, say, 300 micrograms of LSD, ALL THE TIME, without having taken any.  That last line, I say with many years of experience since those days (retrospectively speaking.)]  Everything was becoming more simple, more understandable to me.  I wondered why I had not understood it the first time.  The loneliness (missing my new wife, who was in Europe) and my horniness would drive me to give "the look" back to my Italian classmate. I do not mean to justify my actions, as what I did I feel was wrong, but I was on a roll and nothing could stop it.  I became a lot funnier--people got my jokes, and I began to finish people's sentences (which I now know is irritating.) La Italiana was an enigma, an exercise maniac who did 200 sit-ups a day.  Really.  We quickly became lovers, though she knew I was married, and I was certain this was a sin, according to the Church, since I knew I was married.  But it felt so good, so right, I did not see how it could be morally wrong.  It also helped de-focus my raging mind that had never slowed down since the phone call on mardi gras, as my mind doing all these things that later I would learn (15 or so YEARS later) were siddhis and what I was going through was actually my first psychic opening or "spiritual emergence."  By June, I had rented a small house and my brother Tim, and I moved from our apartment to this little house in the South end.  The plan was that Ana (my ex-wife) and I would have the back larger bedroom and Tim had his water bed in the front bedroom.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Grannie's Dark Cellar

It was looked like a door to hell. I was five years old.  Grannie was VERY old.  In fact she was the oldest person I knew.  She actually was only 90 years old. She lived on Haldeman Avenue, off Frankfort Ave.  The street was very hilly and was paved with brick cobblestones.  I thought that was cool and a bit weird.

She lived alone in a little "shotgun house," which was immaculate, as she cleaned maniacally daily.  She had very few modern appliances.  She had a television, which was very strange because it was round--looked like a porthole on a boat.  To my dismay, it did not work and probably had not functioned for some time.  So, I would go outside and play whenever we visited Grannie.

There was a small back porch with shade where I would sit and play with Hot Wheels cars.  In back of that, a tiny backyard existed.  Grannie, whose actual name was Carrie Graves, had a beautiful rose garden on the side of the house and a larger one with other flowers in the back yard.  She worked on pruning , weeding, harvesting the flowers nearly every day.  She also, at 90 years old, cut her own oawn with a push mower (non-electric, non-gasoline powered!).   I had never seen such a contraption, and she let me try it and it was hard work. You had to push it and then pull it back and forth, etc.  I told Grannie she ought to get a gasoline powered mower so it would be easier--she just said , "naw."

There was one weird thing in the back yard......a big metal door-looking thing that in the ground near the back of the house.  She had it locked  always.  I wondered what it was and what was in there and multiple hypotheses came and went in my little brain.  I never asked about it or told her about my hypotheses.

Finally, one day, I asked her what it was.  "It's the storm shelter, honey, " she replied.  She unlocked it for me one day.  To my surprise, it opened like the cellar thing in the Wizard Of Oz.  We descended the creaky old stairs together. The only light was that which came in from the smelled nice and woody, like cedar.

When we reached the concrete floor she pulled a string and a single hanging light bulb came on.  Finally I could see. It was very cool and nice down there compared to the blistering horrible Louisville heat and heinous humidity.

Grannie said this was where we go if there is a tornado.  Tornadoes are very common in Kentucky.  This cellar was still quite was full of spider webs, and I sure did not want to go into  the corners, which were dark.  I stayed close to Grannie's side.  There were many homemade wood shelves with lots of glass jars arrayed on them.  I was fascinated.  I asked what was in all the jars.

She explained that those were vegetables and fruit and jams she made and keeps there in case of emergency.  These things, I thought in my little head, must be 40 years old or more!  Then I peered at the faded yellow newspapers under the jars (lining the shelves.) Headlines were from 1945.  I read some of the news from the paper.  If I touched it it turned to dust--it was so old! I started to like the place because it was so nice and cool and dark and special down there in the horrific Summer.  When she would let me, I would go down there from time to time, just to look around.

Whatever evil lurked behind the stairs sans light...I did not venture there because I was afraid.  One reason I was afraid was that there were several GIANT spider webs (the round kind that radiate out from the center about 2.5 feet in diameter!) hanging dangerously low.  At first I thought "holy shit! I better run!"  Then I saw one of the spiders in a web.  It was very very large!  I was afraid to move.  Remember, I was only 3 feet tall--give me a break!

I sprinted upstairs quickly, just narrowly avoiding another nasty huge web hitting my head.  After that, I did not ever ask Grannie to go down into the cellar again (unless SHE came with me to fetch some vegetables or jam.)  I preferred to sit on the porch in the shade, read a book, look at the beautiful rose garden and catch small the smallish greenish-bluish lizards and play with them a bit.  Some would shed their tail, but I knew they grew new ones.

Occasionally the lizards bit me. It hurt a little, but then I realized I could squish the biting lizard simply by squeezing the lizard's belly.  Lizard then realized it too!  Lizard stopped biting me.  I looked him in the eyes.  I then put him down and let him go.  He instead stayed a while then then finally a noise spooked him and he ran off into the tulip garden near the cellar door.  I loved those visits to Grannie's house.  She would go on to live to be 102 years old. I wrote to the president, Jimmy Carter and asked him to send her a birthday card on her 100th birthday, which he did! He and Rosalynn both actually signed it.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Beginning of Chapter Six, Apeshit!

At the pool hall by the railroad tracks on Preston street, just past the viaduct. The viaduct crosses Preston street and is painted a nasty blue-greenish combo, with lots of spraypainted graffitti. "REAGAN SUCKS!" people's names, names of their girlfriends, schools. John and I turned into Benny's poolhall, a grungy "guy-dive" if I ever saw one. I was extremely nervous. Glad he was driving, as I was going to try to calm down with a few bad beers. But, Benny's was the absolute CHEAPEST place to play pool and there were many (like 20) tables, so you could always get one for yourselves without having to "play someone for the table(a male macho ritual where ante is sometimes upped to buying alcohol). It cost two dollars per person, per hour to get a table. The only choice in alcohol was beer because in Kentucky there are beer licenses and liquor licenses and the beer ones only are much cheaper and easier to obtain. Benny's must have been there for 40-50 years at least. Tons on people had lost all their money due to the pool sharks who'd come in dressed scruffy, posing as a "nobody." Then you'd watch them chat someone up, and eventually say, hey mister, I got that table, you want to hit a few? The friendly stranger to the newcomer (read "sucker") insists on "buying the first round." Two Blatz Lights are retrieved and slurped in between breaks and calling pockets. I watch them occasionally from my table as does John because we know the one guy is a professional--we have seen him in action before and at other pool halls. We go to the bar and order the best beer they carried, Miller High Life. All the beers only came in cans at Benny's. Glass encouraged violence he said. He was likely correct.

This was the strangest day of my life. Playing pool was a way to focus the mind and calm the nerves. I broke; two ball went into the corner pocket. I kinda chugged my Miller, drinking about one half the 12 ounce can. I never do that. My hands trembled a bit and I was sweating even though it was not cold.

I was a medical student at the University Of Louisville (Kentucky) and John studied physics there as a grad student. We had gone to the same high school, St. Francisco de Newburg road.