Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Grief

Her grief is not mine to share.  Her sadness she must bear alone.  I might as well be a million miles away from her as she holds her dad's hands for the last few times.  I can do nothing but wait for her to tell me it is over, wishing that I could be there by her side.

He was the one who taught me there was a difference between NYC bagels and any other kind of bagel.  It was the water, he said.  He fed me cheese from his favorite NYC deli that he brought back every year.  It was unlike any other cheese I had ever had.  Did the cows have special NYC milk?  I even discovered there was such a thing as boxed wine because it was always in his fridge, waiting to be shared with friends and family, bringing people together.

He welcomed me into his home and talked with grand gestures, his hands always moving, hugging, beckoning.  He seemed larger than life to me and so....Italian.  Whenever I went to her house, I had the sense of being part of some extended family that I myself never had.  When I was there, I was special, even if my teenage know-it-all attitude turned away and felt embarassed by his warmth.

He is part memory, part reality from my youth that I struggle to remember.  But he was there and soon he will not be.  And I can not be there to share her pain.  But I am here, thinking of her, holding her in the light as she holds up her step-mom and family;  but I am here, hoping he passes surrounded by love and warmth, his pain controlled and his family by his side.

It is all I can do, but I will do it.

I may not be there...but I am here.

 Anytime....

Monday, June 28, 2010

Someone's playing tricks on me

My daughter left yesterday for her first ever sleepaway camp.  She's going to be gone for a whole week.  My stomach is in knots over fear that she will get homesick, or heatstroke, or snake bit.  Basically I am afraid of everything and anything that I can think of that could happen.  Her camp takes pictures and posts them on a private website. I keep checking back and all of her pictures show her smiling so I know she is fine...but.....I'M THE MOMMY!!!!

As coincidence would have it one of our former church's lifetime members died a few days ago.  Now, this church has a new pastor but the pastor is not in town.  He wasn't in town two weeks ago when another member died and had to be buried by a complete stranger because the pastor's back-up people failed to even call the family back.  Hubby was contacted but it was too late for him to do that funeral.  When this current member went into hospice last week, the first thing his daughter did was call Hubby.  There was no way she was going to let her dad be buried by a stranger.

Hubby, being the good pastor that he is, of course agreed to drive the 5 hours one way to our old town to perform the service.  Luckily E's camp was on the way to our old town.  But since he had to continue on after he dropped her off, I had to stay home because I couldn't spend the night in our told town since I had to work this morning.  It made me sad that I didn't get to see my daughter's location.

But, if you are keeping score, that left me all by myself in my house last night.  Just me and the raptor.  I am terrified of my neighborhood and hate being alone here at night.  I tried not to freak out and even took an ativan to try to ward off the nerves.  I finally got to sleep at midnight.  I usually put the raptor away in his crate at night, but had let him fall asleep curled up next to me.  About 1:35 AM I was awoken by a strange, repetitive beep.  It took me a minute to come fully awake and locate the sound.  It was my cell phone letting me know I had received a text.  I got out of bed and grabbed my phone.  I have had maybe 10 texts in my entire life.  This one was from a number I didn't recognize.  It had just one word in the message: BITCH!  Just like that, in all capital letters.  I freaked out.  Did someone know I was alone and was trying to scare me?  Had the gang leader gotten my cell phone number and was he coming for me? Was it just a coincidence?  I went to the computer to try to reverse look-up the number, but by the time my computer had finally turned fully on, the message was gone.  There was no record of the phone number either.  It was as if the call had never happened.

I swear it did.  I was awake because I had to get up OUT of bed to get my phone.  Do texts just disappear?  Did I press erase by accident?  I was a mess.  I called one of the people at church I know and asked her to come spend the night because I was afraid to stay by myself.  She came over and I put the raptor away in his crate.  About 15 minutes later he started to bark in his fiercest voice.  My raptor NEVER barks when he is in his crate. The most he has ever done is growled at clothes I left hanging on the doorknob.  But he was in full attack mode.  I got up out of bed and walked around the house looking for whatever was upsetting him.  I found nothing, finally got him settled and went back to bed.

I never got any answers about what actually happened last night, but I sure will be glad when Hubby gets home this evening.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Vacation Brainwashing School

It's that time of year again.  The time of year when our church takes the children of the community and feeds them a dinner of totally white or brown carb-laden food and then sends them off to learn about JE-sus.  Kids float through various stations being fed a type of crack music that stays in their heads for the rest of their lives, making plastic crafts that fuel the petroleum industry and pollute the environment, play slightly dangerous games that are supposed to represent the bible story of the day, and they even have a bible point for which they have a Pavlov dog-esque response.  I despise VBS.

Our vacation bible school also always has a skit each day.  4 of the 5 days they are silly and make the kids laugh, but for some reason the 4th day always involves some "dramatic" encounter with Jesus and the kids are encouraged to accept JE-sus as their personal savior and Christ.  I have nothing against someone being "saved" I just hate the breathless anticipation with which the adults wait for this special night and the glazed over eyes of the people in the room.

Last night was the 4th night and the directors of the VBS were beside themselves with excitement.  Tonight was going to be even more exciting than last year when Jesus washed the children's feet.  (I should probably stop here to state that the pastor traditionally plays Jesus in these scripts and it really creeps me out to see my husband playing him)  I tried to keep an open mind and turn off the mental screaming the professional director side of me was doing at seeing the haphazardly thrown together staging area.)  All of the lights were turned out and creepy music started playing.  One of my 4 year-old girls rushed in fear to climb up on my lap when my husband, aka Jesus, appeared from behind a nailed up sheet.  The VBS director started reading her script and when she got to the point where she said, "When Jesus died on that cross, he took away all your sins" the little girl whispered in my ear, "How?"  My question exactly.  I can not comprehend how dying on a cross meant taking away our sins (and please don't try to explain it to me, if my Master's in Theology husband can't convince me, no one can).

The VBS director is the woman in our church who controls everything.  If something doesn't get her approval first, she can make my Hubby's life hell.  She picks and picks and picks at everyone until they agree with her just because she has worn them down.  Her husband is the one who accused me of lying about the gang leader living in our neighborhood and the other stuff that was happening.  He also said I was spreading gossip.  So you can imagine my glee when she was reading her script and came to the altar call part (when children are asked to invite JE-sus into their hearts).  The room was dark except for the light from behind the sheet making my Hubby's shadow look like an angel.  Everyone was silent and the kids' heads were bowed.  I could feel the rapture emanating from the adults until my little girl, who had just asked "How?" farted...loudly.

Have you ever been in a roomful of silent children when someone cuts the cheese?  The laughter that starts to swell takes over the room until everyone is in uncontrollable giggles.  All of the kids were daring to laugh and ruining the director's big moment.  I heard her voice starting to screech just a little as she tried to control the kids, she just kept repeating "No...no...NO!"  Her big moment was ruined.  I know I shouldn't have enjoyed it so much, but I was in heaven.  Kharma is a bitch.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Moral Judgment

I like margaritas.
I like loud rock and roll.
I like kissing my husband.
I like hanging out with my gay and lesbian friends.
I love my tattoo!
If my daughter ends up marrying a black man, I don't care.

I am human and try really hard not to judge other people.  That doesn't mean I always succeed, but I always try.  So you can imagine how hard it is for me to be held up to a higher standard of morals than anyone else.  And I am beginning to think Facebook is the devil's playground. 

Our church is having its vacation bible school this week and  I am in charge of the 4-6 year olds.  One of my cutest little girls really likes Hubby and yesterday asked him if he was a real pastor.  Hubby said yes, he was a real pastor.  Then this angelic little girl smiled at him with the most cherubic look you have ever seen and said, "My mommy calls my daddy a pastor sometimes."  I turned to Hubby and whispered, "Yeah, I bet that's what she's calling him." Hubby and I cracked up (if you don't get it, add a -d- to the end and figure out what it rhymes with) and I went to tell the little girl's aunt what she had said.  The aunt laughed and talked about how the girl's family had attended the church up until a few years ago and maybe Hubby could talk to them and try to get them back.  I told her that I would pass that on and I went back to my group.  When I walked away from her I thought everything was fine.

Hubby got home last night and posted the story on his Facebook page without names.  We woke up to an email this mornng from the aunt livid that we had perpetuated this story.  Now the girl's family would never attend the church and she had to pray about it to see if she should tell the family what the girl said.  She totally blew it out of proportion.  Kids say things all the time to me and I only half listen to them. Plus, the girl could have been making things up or been confused with another word.  It was just a cute story.

Well, to make a long story short, this woman accused us of being out of line (this church likes to accuse us of that a lot) and said that she was pulling the little girl out of VBS.  She is refusing to answer Hubby's calls or our emails.  I sent her an email apologizing for hurting her feelings, but letting her know when I walked away I thought everything was okay.  I also told her that children say things like that all the time and adults love those stories, but no one believes them to be real reflections of what goes on at home.

So, anyway, now I am wondering if I will be attacked by this woman (the one who just happened to be the woman who provoked my rage when she said I must be glad I don't have to work this summer), if she will spread gossip among the sheep or if we are really going to make it at this church.  Because all of these congregants requested to friend us before we even moved here but use FB as a means of judging whatever we say.  It's like we're not supposed to be human.

And yes, I tightened the security on my FB page so tight that no church member will ever have access to it again.  They can bitch and cry foul all they want.  The line was crossed.

Monday, June 21, 2010

In conclusion

This is going to be my last paranormal post for a while.  Something came waltzing into my room two nights ago and nearly caused me a heart attack.  It sounded like a child walked up to my bed and then made little chewing sounds.  I'm guessing remembering all of this stuff is opening me up to things again and I really don't want to do that, but I don't want to leave you hanging, either.

So, maybe Charlitan can help me remember why, but somehow she and I ended up at PV's house for some reason or another.  I think we might have been picking something up, but I am not sure.  But there I was in PV's house talking to him and his lover.  The sad thing was, his lover was a really nice guy.  Flamboyant and cliche-edly gay, but sweet.  He was also a little scared of PV, but he chose to stay because he said the sex was so good.  Of course, PV claimed they actually levitated during sex, but that just tells you how insane he was.

Anywho, Charlitan's face suddenly drained of all color and she pointed to a picture on the wall.  All four pair of eyes in the room turned to look at a 100 year old picture of a woman.  Everyone looked at the picture, looked at me, looked at the picture and then just gasped.  I was left standing there going, "What?  What is is?"  Charlitan said, "Muddy, that woman looks just like you."  The picture was of a woman a little older than me with long dark hair.  The edges of the photo were browned and she wore a high-collared dress.  I stared into her emotionless face and wondered how these people could think I looked like her.  PV said, "You see it too, don't you?"  And that's when Charlitan grabbed me by my arm, made a quick excuse and dragged me out of the house.  She called a friend of hers and arranged for me to meet him the next day.  Apparently I needed a little masculine energy protection from PV.

For several weeks before strange things had been happening.  Charlitan had a dream about PV and woke up with a nasty nosebleed.  My car suddenly stopped in the middle of the night on the OSU campus in a really not so nice spot.  Luckily I had a few friends in that area and was able to call for help, but when help came, my car started just fine.  A second story porch collapsed at a campus party I was supposed to be at but was running late to.  But the weirdest thing was the costume I wore for the show.  PV had rented this gorgeous period piece dress for my role in the show.  He had rented a few costumes, but mine was the most elaborate and expensive.  Only PV didn't have the money to pay the rental fee.  Late one night the costume house where the dress was rented from was burned down in an act of arson.  Suddenly all fees were waived.  Gee, I wonder who the arsonist was?

So the picture was just the last straw.  Charlitan took me to her friend and the very first thing he said to me, before even "hello", was that he wouldn't want to meet me in a dark spiritual alley.  Apparently he believed I was an old soul and a natural healer who could be threatening to those dabbling in black magic.  Things were done, candles lit and I was protected.  I left the theater company, although Charlitan (who wasn't really a lesbian at that time) had a crush on one of the acting crew and stayed on for one more show.  The threats seemed to dissipate but I was left exposed.

For example, I was snuggled with Kevin on a couch one day, watching a movie, when out of nowhere I just blurted out, "Someone tried to kidnap you."  He was so surprised he almost pushed me off.  Someone had tried to drag him into a van when he was 10 and he had never told anyone.

A woman was pregnant and I told her she was going to have twins.  She became upset at my insistence and told me she had had several ultrasounds and there was no twin.  Two months later she delivered twins that had been lined up perfectly, one behind the other.

My friend, the Assassin, when I had only known her 3 weeks, discovered her husband had a stage three brain tumor.  I looked her right in the eye and told her he would be fine.  And he was.  He's now cancer free 5 years.  I could just tell.

Even people I only know through the internet can touch me.  Some of you leave comments and I think
"Oh, that person needs...." or "So and so is going through a really rough time right now."  To this day when Charlitan, who lives 5 states away from me, is going through something traumatic I can smell a certain scented candle that she used to love. Its my bat signal that she needs me.

I know, it all seems crazy.  You can choose to believe me or not.  It's okay.  But I really don't want any more night visitors for a while, so I think I'll lay low on the paranormal stuff for a little bit.

Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Do you believe in spells?

Your mind is a pretty powerful thing.  It can make you do things you never thought you could do and it can hold you back when you really should be able to do something.  And it can suck you into someone else's drama in a heartbeat.

And that's what happened to me.  I allowed myself to be sucked into someone else's drama.  Never...ever...allow a psychic vampire to draw you in.  I can guarantee it will always end badly.

The next day at rehearsal Charlitan stayed attached to my hip.  We knew that PV was going to try to get hold of me and find out what I knew and didn't know about all things spiritual.   He was fascinated with the occult and ghosts and his own supposed power.  Sure enough, as soon as he could, he came over and asked me what last night was all about.  Our conversation started out fine because I knew the best way to deal with a PV was to get him talking about himself.  I told him that I had seen a ghost but I knew he had already experienced it and asked him what he thought was going on.  That set him off on a long diatribe about how the ghost had told him she had been shot by a jealous lover and that she was trying to prevent the show from going on in her theater, thus Carol's accident.  He even thought the ghost had possessed Carol and made her jump on the glass counter.  Charlitan and I just kept taking tiny glances at each other trying to stifle the urge to cough into our hands while whispering "bullshit."

Our conversation continued as he told us all about the "coven" he was starting and how we would be great additions to it even though we weren't "true" witches.  He would teach us all we needed to know.  Remember, I am not now nor was I ever a witch.  I only know what Charlitan has taught me about witchcraft and, other than Tarot cards, we both insisted the only things I learned would be things that would protect  me from outside forces, things non-witchy people, even Christian people unknowingly do every day to protect themselves.  We gave him a non-committal answer and rehearsal started.

Remember in Elise's story where I mentioned if you let one paranormal thing into your conscience you open yourself up to any paranormal thing?   I had really never had a reason to worry about that.  Even with everything that had happened in  my life, I had never felt threatened or even really connected.  But that night after rehearsal PV came up to give me a hug.  He had never hugged me before and I had know idea why he was doing it then, but I allowed it.  That was my big mistake.

As he walked away I started having a severe pain in my side.  And I started to feel flushed and hot.  It was almost as if I was suddenly developing the flu.  Things started getting fuzzy and it got to the point that I couldn't stand up.  We were all in the lobby and I didn't want to make a scene, so Charlitan and I claimed to have left something in the theater and I went into the cool dark interior to lay down and hopefully let this pass.

Only it didn't pass, the pain in my side increased ten-fold.  I was writhing on the floor gasping.  I was so out of it I am not sure of the timeline, but I remember the ghost appeared at my head, sat down beside me and put her cool hand on my face.  There was nothing malicious or evil about her and I could feel her concern.  Charlitan began to suspect PV, in his idiocy, had tried to cast a spell on me for some unknown reason.  She rolled up her sleeves and laid her hand on  my side and went to work trying to remove his energy.

Now this is where your mind comes in.  I wasn't aware at the time that Charlitan thought this was a spell.  I was in so much pain I didn't even know what she was doing.  But as I laid there I began to feel people gather around me.  I thought the cast had come in and I was horribly embarrassed.  I heard murmurs and felt hands all over my body, trying to hold me down and prevent me from hurting myself.  Gradually the pain receded and the hands fell away.  The noises stopped and I was left sitting with Charlitan and the ghost woman.  The ghost woman wasn't as real as she had been the night before, but I could still feel her there.

When I was finally able to sit up I asked Charlitan who had come in to help her. No one had.  It had just been her.  I looked around in disbelief.  Surely SOMEONE had come in.  But there was no one there.  In fact, when we left the theater area, the only people left in the lobby where PV and his lover.  PV hd a sarcastic little smile on his face which he quickly turned into a look of concern.  I was pretty pissed by this time and, in a barely controlled voice, asked what the hell he had done to me.

He was so excited that whatever he had done had worked.  He said he didn't mean to hurt me but he was so proud that he could do it.  To this day I don't know if he injected me with something, slipped something in my drink, or really cast a spell on me.  All I knew is that I had become his target.

Tomorrow:  Dark Spiritual Alleys

Friday, June 18, 2010

New Age Nonsense

When I was still in college the era of the New Age was in full swing.  Everyone believed in the power of crystals, drank a lot of herbal tea and lit candles for peace and clarity.  People were searching for a new religion and jumped on a very bad bandwagon.  I don't have a problem with the New Age philosophy, I have a problem with all of the people who dabbled in it and caused me all sorts of problems.

During this time it became the in thing to claim to be a "pagan" or a "witch."  People rushed to book stores to buy books on magic, patchouli and jasmine, and to have their tarot cards read.  This brought on a flood of misinformation.  I am very distrustful to this day whenever I hear anyone call themselves a witch, or to claim to be pagan.  I grill them on their beliefs and discard most of the people because they can't answer the simplest question.  One day while searching for information on Shadow People I found FreeDragon's blog and had to read every single page she had ever written and engage her in a dialogue before I decided she would be someone I followed.  (Sorry Free) I just didn't want to become invested in someone who claimed to be something only to find out they dropped this supposedly important part of their life willy-nilly.

I, myself, know how to read Tarot cards.  I use to be quite good at it,  not because I was skilled in the ways of magic, but because I have the ability to read people's faces and sense hidden meaning behind the answers to my questions.  I would make a very good schuyster.  I also know a little about real paganism and witchcraft through my friendship with a real witch.  Charlitan and I have been friends since I was 16, although it was several years before I knew her religion.  Charlitan didn't like me at first.  The day I met her, she took one look at me and thought I was a prissy judgmental wasp who needed a good shock.  She walked up to me, grabbed my hand and in a slightly maniacal voice said, "Hi, I'm Charlitan.  I'm a lesbian."  I shook her hand back and said, "Ok...I'm Muddy."  The fact that she didn't shock me at all threw her for a loop (because she is even better than I am at judging character and had totally misjudged me) and eventually we became inseparable.

It was about this time in my life when I started to have trouble with my "gift", but of course I was afraid to talk to anyone about it for fear that they would think I was crazy, or worse, jumping on the New Age bandwagon.  Because of my empathetic nature I was becoming victim to psychic vampires.  And when I say psychic vampires, I am not in the slightest way implying anyone bit my neck and drained my blood.  One thing is not related to the other.  We all have psychic vampires in our lives, sometimes we label them as Narcissitic Personality Disorder.  Essentially a PV is anyone who drains your energy and gives you nothing back.  People who are needy or in crisis are drawn to my earthy nature.  Back then they would lean on me and I would give until it hurt.

This all came to a head when Charlitan and I did a show together for a fledgling theater company run by a PV and his lover.   PV was a slightly off-balance egotistical man who had discovered paganism and labeled himself as a powerful warlock.  He was everything Charlitan despised so we both kept her beliefs secret.

The space we were doing the show in was actually an old movie theater.  It had been left to the elements and time and was in bad shape, so PV was able to rent it out for a very small fee.  The weird thing was, however, that while the actually movie screen area was mouse-eaten, moldy and in extreme disrepair, the lobby still showed signs of its former heyday.  The carpet, although flattened and worn with years of use, still held on to its beautiful red color.  The candy counters held all of their glass and were trimmed in gold.  But the piece de resistance was the woman's restroom.  It was gorgeous.  There were at least 8 large stalls (not the tiny ones where you can't turn around in of today).  There was a vanity counter where you could still imagine teenager girls gathering together, smoking cigarettes and touching up their makeup while discussing their chosen dates for the evening.  And there was a large three-way mirror where you could see your entire outfit standing guard over the room.  People definitely knew how to pee back then!'

So, as you might imagine, there was a ghost attached to this place, too.  Only the ghost wasn't interested in me.  One of my cast mates (let's call her Carol) was a daughter of a local celebrity and she had a lot of issues.  She resented her  mother's success and punished herself to no end to cause her mother grief.  She drank too much, slept with nameless men and was reckless with her own personal safety.  One day we walked into the bathroom together.  While I was waiting for her to finish washing her hands (you know how girls are) I stepped into the three-way mirror to check my appearance.  Imagine my surprise when the person looking back at me was not ME!  Never in my life had I actually SEEN SEEN a ghost.  This was something so clear I could take her picture.  It was tangible and real.  I was so startled that I actually fell backwards.  Carol turned to see what had happened and looked in the mirror.  She could see the ghost too.  She took off running out the door to tell everyone what had happened. I stood there for a minute looking at the woman.  She watched Carol run out of the room and her face was contorted with sadness and concern.

I exited the bathroom into a circle of people waiting for me to confirm what Carol had told them.  I said I had seen the woman but just for a second.  I wanted to downplay the event because I could see PV watching me with malice in his eyes.  From the look on his face, I could tell my secret was out.  Even though I never said anything, he didn't like the fact that I appeared to have made contact with the other side. He was, after all, extremely powerful (in his mind) and I had just stolen his thunder.

As I said, Carol was reckless.  Later that evening after rehearsal, a group of us were gathered in the lobby discussing our plans for the evening.  I could see PV turn to walk towards me and knew he wanted to discuss what had occured earlier.  I was desperate to leave before he actually made it to me.  At that moment, Carol, who had been leaning against the glass candy counter, put her hands on top of it and attempted to lift her body on top of it to sit.  I felt a cold air blow past me as the ghost tried to stop her, but it was too late.  Carol came crashing through the glass countertop and started bleeding profusely, huge jagged pieces of glass protruding from her thighs and butt.  The chill in the air dissipated and I managed to bundle her carefully into my car and took her to the ER, escaping PV.

But that night would lead me on a strange and dangerous path.

To be continued....

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Ft. Hayes

I want to say I appreciate the comment Anonymous left on my Angel story.  I walked away from that post feeling really exposed and somewhat cheesy.  That's the problem with talking about this stuff, it seems so made for tv that I wonder how anyone can take me seriously.  So thanks, even though I still feel cheesy I appreciate that people seem to enjoy reading this.

Today will be my last cheesy post.  Charlitan has given me permission to talk about what went on for a few years in my life.  The things that happened during that time are what started turning me away from all of this.  None of that feels cheesy to me.

But, I promised to talk to you about Ft. Hayes.  I have a few readers from Ohio and if any of you are at all wondering if you might have some psychic connection I would suggest you go spend some time there walking around.  You'll definitely find out.  Ft. Hayes is an old Civil War base that was used by the army for about 120 years.  It started with the General's Quarters and a shot tower and was added on to from there.  While I was there I attended the theater program under the direction of a megalomaniac. Because of his personality, I was allowed to see inside a lot of the buildings that were officially off limits. He didn't believe the rules applied to him or his golden children (of which I was one.)

Now, you have to know, theater people are their own brand of people.  We're crazy, and I say that with love, but we're also gullible.  Every theater has a ghost and amazingly every ghost died the same way (jumping from catwalk).  You never say the name of the ghost or whistle because that calls the ghost and bad things will happen during your production.  It's all a bunch of hooey.  But theater people are drawn to and believe in spirits.

And when you get a group of people together who want to see a spirit, it is hard to separate fact from fantasy.  Everyone claimed there was ghost in the shot tower.  If there was, I never saw it.  Everyone claimed there was a ghost in the theater (the catwalk lady), if she was there she didn't tell me.  But one day we were doing a show about the Mexican War and something strange did happen.  A group of us were sitting backstage waiting for a call to places.  It was dark and we were all dressed in digustingly torn, dirty and ripped period clothes.  Our sole male actor was in uniform.  Suddenly this girl whom I didn't really like (although SHE is a published author now) rushed in claiming to see a ghost.  She swore a man in uniform was standing in the shop area and she was petrified.  Of course we all rushed en masse to see this army ghost.

No one saw anything and I brushed it off.  I certainly didn't think anything was there.  The rest of the cast stayed huddled around her and I walked off towards my spot for places.  I hate the drama that surrounds people who believe in ghosts (believe it or not).  So anyway, there I was standing in the wings and our male cast mate, dressed in his uniform, walked up behind me.  I hissed at him to get out of here.  He was supposed to be on the other side of the stage.  And I looked over to the other side of the stage where he was supposed to be...and he was.  I turned back and the man was gone.  I think he was actually an outside spirit who had been confused by our militay bearing and drama.

That's the only ghost I ever sensed in the theater, but there's lots of ghosts there on the property.  There were some WWII barracks on the property that were supposed to be off-limits, but my theater teacher took us through them.  That place was so haunted I struggled to walk through the building.  I heard music from the 1940's, I sensed young army men with slicked back hair, I could smell cigarette smoke and even sense bodies reading magazines on their bunks.  It was the single most overwhelming psychic experience I had ever had.  My head started to ache and I started to have trouble breathing.  I told everyone it was my allergies and claustophobia, but it was really just whatever was left behind in that building.

There's also a weeping willow tree near the parking lot (at least there was) that held a very sad ghost.  I know nothing of the story or who it is, but everytime I went near the tree I was overwhelmed with sadness and smelled a cooking fire.

Also, if you go behind all of the educational buildings to the storage barrack and bus depot, there is one specific building where the theater department used to store our props.  I went in there alone one time and was attacked by something.  I kid you not, a cart was viciously shoved toward me, only there was nothing there.  Things would be thrown and you could hear stomping.  I think I saw the thing one time, and I say thing because there was nothing compassionate or human left in that spirit. I had made the mistake of closing the door behind me when I entered.  When I tried to leave, the door was stuck and I was stuck inside.  Luckily one of my friends had come with me and just stayed outside to smoke, or I really think something bad might have happened to me.  I hated that place because it just oozed of evil.

So there you are.  If you live near Columbus stop by and see if you think I am right.  If I'm not, that's okay, too. 

Tomorrow:  when paganism and my "gift" collide.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Angel

You know, it is amazing to me to think that the world has changed so much in 35 years that I am afraid to let my 8 year-old daughter walk to school by herself.  Even if we lived in a nicer neighborhood, I'm not sure I would do it.  But by the time I was 6 and in 1st grade, I walked to school by myself.  My brother had won a lottery slot and gotten into a very traditional and strict charter school which is what he needed for his learning disabilities.  I would not get a slot until 2nd grade, which is good because it was definitely NOT what I needed.

But anyway, at 6 years old my parents felt confident enough to let me walk alone the two blocks to my school.  I remember some of it, but not much.  I remember always walking by one particular house and using their low border wall as a balance beam.  I remember stopping to strip someone's gate of honeysuckle.  And I remember the bridge.

I seem to recall the bridge was more of an overpass for our quiet neighborhood.  You could skid down a slanted cement wall and play at the bottom, which my friends and I did.  The Vietnam War had just ended, so we did a lot of military maneuvers in that ditch.  I was forced to be the nurse and I used to really resent that.  I always had to treat the "wounded" soldiers instead of getting in there and fighting with cattails, or sticks or whatever we could find.  And  I was never allowed to go down there by myself, but I had to cross over the bridge to get to my school.

Now two things coincide here and I am not sure if they relate.  One, a woman was raped and stabbed in the ditch sometime while I lived there.  She was a friend of my parents and I remember the whispered conversations they would have at night after they thought I fell asleep.  So I know someone died there.  But that's not what I experienced.

One day as I was walking over the bridge something caused me to turn back.  A noise, a movement, a thought, I don't know.  But I turned back and "saw" (sensed? imagined?) a woman's body hanging from the guard rail.  She was bound with some sort of leather straps at her wrists and feet.  I stood stock-still, unable to make my feet move.  There was a gentle breeze blowing in the air and her body swayed ever so slightly.  I knew she wasn't real, but I also knew she was there.  Just as I was about to take a step away from her and towards my school, she opened her eyes.  I was caught, terrified and alone.  Finally a car came by and broke my concentration and I was able to walk on.

But every time I crossed that bridge, I could sense her.  I refused to ever look again, but even today I can close my eyes and conjure up an image of her just hanging there, her neck broken and her head hanging low.  I was so thankful when I was transferred to my brother's school because I would not have to walk past her alone.

This haunted me for years.  We moved away from Columbus and I got older, but I never forgot my terror.  Eventually  my dad was transferred back to Columbus, but by this time I was a teenager.  The day I got my driver's license I took my car and drove back to my old neighborhood.  I parked my car at the empty elementary school and started a slow walk towards my old house.  When I came to the bridge I hesitated.  I didn't want to look, but I also didn't sense anything.

Relieved, I began to cross the bridge.  I thought to myself that it was all just my imagination.  I must have heard those conversations about the woman who had been stabbed and made it all up in my head.  I know that seems strange for a 6 year old, but I had a very weird upbringing and I thought anything could be possible.

I got to the other side feeling confident and happy.  I didn't need to go any farther, I had proven to myself that it had just been my imagination.  How foolish I felt, but glad that now I could let the image go that had haunted me for 10 years.  As I turned back I looked over the bridge, imagining how I used to play down in the now glass-filled, desolate ditch.  It was then that I saw it...there on the wall.  Graffiti, just stupid graffiti, I told myself.  Only it wasn't just graffiti.  Someone had painted a beautiful winged angel bound in leather straps.  The paint wasn't brand new, but it wasn't ten years old either.  Someone had painted my vision but with wings.

Did someone else sense her presence?  Was she their relative?  Was it all just a coincidence?  I'll never know.  But I haven't forgotten her...ever.

Tomorrow:  Tales from the Civil War Fort I used to call  my school.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

My First Experiences

I thought I had blogged about this but I have briefly looked through all of my posts and can't find it, so if I am repeating myself, I apologize.

I was born in Columbus, Ohio.  For the first three years of my life I lived in a half of a double in Clinton Heights.  Clinton Heights then was a lovely little burb with neatly lined houses and well-tended yards...now, not so much.  My mom tells me this story, but I don't remember a bit of it.  I am not a sleeper, never have been, never will be.  My mom was so worried about me when I was a toddler that she even talked to my pediatrician about my lack of sleep.  He told her that I was fine, she just had to make sure I had a set schedule that allowed for sleep and that during that time I had to know I had to stay in my room by myself.  So that's what my mom did.  I could do whatever I wanted from 7:00 to 7:00 in my room as long as I didn't leave it.

My mom talks about how in the beginning, in the middle of the night, she would hear the toys in my room moving, only I was in a crib and couldn't reach them.  Remember, I'm 40, this was before electronic toys.  When I was old enough to have a toddler bed, she would hear me in the middle of the night and would peek into my room to find me sitting on the floor, playing with toys that had been put away and I couldn't have reached, happily chatting away with someone.  I was never afraid of this "person" and I was a happy-enough child, so she choose to just let it be.

Things didn't get weird until it was time to move out of my first house to another house in Clinton Heights.  This was a three story house, with our playroom in the attic.  My mom was downstairs packing boxes and she would hear someone walking, stomping actually, in the playroom even though my brother and I weren't up there.  The closer we got to moving, the louder and angrier the noises got.  My brother, who was three years older than me, was terrified and refused to go into the playroom. 

One day when she heard something crash and break, my mom decided enough was enough.  Now, my mom thought very little of the fact that I seemed to attract spirits, this was common in her family.  So she marched upstairs to talk to the spirit  (She always suspected it was her grandfather for some reason).  She told him that she had been very understanding about his presence and never stopped him from playing with me, but he had drawn the line when he had scared my brother.  When my mom tells this story, she still uses her best motherly tone.  She claims she said something to the effect of, "I'm sorry you are upset that we are leaving, but that's just how it is.  If you can't be nice and stop scaring my son, then you are not welcome here."    And just like that it stopped.

I do believe this spirit has been a presence with me my whole life, although I can't really tell you why other than the fact that my daughter is aware of it and is scared of it.  One day I am going to have to sit down and talk to her about all of this, but it just doesn't quite fit with the whole pastoral family thing.

Tomorrow, my first experience with a murder victim (I was in 1st or 2nd grade.)

Also, I am going to talk about my experiences at Ft. Hayes in Columbus so you might want to get started by reading this.

Monday, June 14, 2010

So here's the thing....

Hmmm... everybody seems to be really fascinated with the paranormal stuff. 

There's two things that kind of hold me back from talking more about it.  The first is that I try really hard to maintain a high level of truthfulness on my blog (believe it or not) and so I try to only write about the things that I can verify through someone or something else.  The woman at the pink house was a verified experience because someone who knows nothing about me confirmed what I thought I was experiencing.  I told Elise's story because it was unfolding in front of me in the news.  The wolf thing at Old Man's Cave was experienced by Hubby.  The dead body I found, well, I can't confirm what I heard or felt, but I think the fact that I found her speaks for itself.  A lot of my experiences can't be confirmed and are so strange that I am left to wonder if they are real or merely my overly creative and dramatic imagination. 

BUT....I will be happy to share some of those things as long as it is understood that I do not ask YOU to believe anything I say and that you are free to think I am full of it.  For all I know, I might be.  Integrity is important to me and I don't want anyone thinking I am trying to pass myself off as something I am not. I think there are people in this world who are truly gifted and psychic, but I do not claim to be one of them, nor do I want to cause someone else to doubt them because of the wild things I might talk about.  Their lives are hard enough already, if my little talent is but a shred of what they experience.

The second thing that holds me back is that during the most "sensitive" period of my life there was another person involved who might not want me to tell her stories.  There was a time when I felt I needed to be protected from the things I was experiencing and she acted as my guide, so to speak.  I was physically being hurt by things I could not see or control and she was able to act as a wall between me and the things.  But I have too much respect for her to go someplace she might not want to be right now.  She has enough crap going on in her life, I don't want to uncork another bottle and give her more grief.   And we might remember things differently.  Apparently I didn't even get my own story right about my conversation with Hubby when we decided to become a pastoral couple.  He's going to write his own version of what happened when he has time.  He's in the middle of planning a funeral right now.  But once he told me, I went ,"OHHHHHH!!!! OOOPPPSSS!!!"  I wasn't horribly far off, but people have different perspectives.

Okay...check back in the next few days (about a 1,000 times please) and I will tell you about a few of my weird abilities and some of the things I have experienced.  I will also think hard about some crazy "congregate" (tamjenic :}) stories because I am kind of in a good place in my life right now and think I can handle writing it out.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Woman on the Water

So I no longer actually live near the coast. I live in an area surrounded by water that leads to the ocean, but CountryTime is more of a river city than anything else. Everyone here (but us) has a kayak or sea-doo or boat, has lived near the water's edge for generations and there is even a dialect that arises from this area that reminds me of my adventures to other countries. It's a lot like living in a warmer climate Northern Exposure.

Every day I walk the raptor and sometimes my path takes me down to the river. The river road curves around and I pass the former mayor's house, the Admiral's house, then the crazy artist's house until I get to the pink house. I've seen this house at least 4 times a week since we got the dog and it is always the same for me.

The house is one of the oldest houses around with multiple additions built on over the years. But even with the add-ons, the original structure is still quite obvious. It's a Federal house with the tiny slat siding. The original free standing kitchen has now been connected by a newer room and there is both a main porch and second floor balcony. It's run-down, the paint peeling, the tin roof tinged green with age, but there's something about it.

Whenever I walk past on warm days I sense someone. It's a washerwoman on the second floor balcony looking down at me. I can't truly "see" her, but I know she is not completely white-skinned, but nor is she black. I imagine she has skin the color of a rich, golden leather. She never seems to be smiling, always stern, and I wonder what made her this way and why she stays.

I also have the sensation of hearing sheets flapping in the wind, hung out on a line to dry. I always wondered why there are so many sheets. I can sense rows and rows of them, hanging there, perfectly white but worn. Too many sheets for a family that would have lived in this house. The woman seems to be standing guard, making sure her sheets are left untouched as well as the inhabitants of the house.

Several weeks ago I am stopped as I walk by the woman who lives next to the house. She is an obsessive chatterer and mentioned how she always sees me looking at the house. Isn't it lovely? So sad that the owner is letting it get so run down, especially with the history behind it. She sees my ears perk up. Don't you know? This was a make-shift hospital during the turn of the century...typhoid. It's said so many people got sick that they had to boil water 24 hours a day just to keep up with washing the sheets.

So now when I pass I just give her the slightest nod, sad that she still washes the sheets for those left behind. And I think sometimes I feel her nod back.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Sign Number Three

So Hubby, last night after reading my blog, bemoaned the fact that "I left out so much." I could dedicate a new entire blog to our first 5 years of marriage, but then I would never get to the story of how I actually became a pastor's wife, and really, that's how all of this started.

So here's the first five years in a nutshell. We hated the city that held the Most Expensive Seminary in the World. H-A-T-E-D it! It was a scary and violent place. We both held decent jobs but Hubby's boss was abusive. And mine, well, mine is another story in and of itself. So without a job or much of a savings between us, we moved to a little second floor apartment on a coastal barrier island to start over. There we proceeded to get whamped by hurricanes. Not one, not two, but three hurricanes. When our second floor apartment became a first floor apartment by way of storm surge and rats moved into our stove shortly afterwards, we decided buy a house and move a little more inland to Pop. 259.

Just a few weeks after moving inland I was in a death-defying car accident. A 70 year old woman who had had a stroke just two weeks before AND HAD NO SIGHT IN HER LEFT EYE, stopped at a stop sign and then pulled out in front of me while I was going 55 mph. I crashed into her and almost sent her into the intracoastal waterway.

We decided to get pregnant after I healed and had our first miscarriage on my 30th birthday. Hubby sold life insurance but hated it and I worked at a tiny little pharmacy and loved my customers but hated my boss. All the while we were attending this very old, red brick church with the most beautiful stained glass windows and a dying congregation. Hubby suffered from depression and I would find him hiding out in the house playing tetris. Something had to change. He had to find something that made him happy.

One day the pastor delivered a sermon about answering God's call. I don't really listen to the sermons (even my husband's). I don't know why, probably because I am not biblically knowledgeable. I'll make grocery lists in my head, sing silent songs and write whole plays while the service is going on, but this one caught my ear because I knew it was speaking to Hubby. But I kept silent. I remembered our first date and his comment on being a pastor. If he wanted to be a pastor, fine, but I wasn't going to PUT it in his head.

Finally, one late, warm afternoon Hubby asked me to go for a walk. We put a leash on our dog and started to meander through our small town. We walked in silence for a while as Hubby gathered his courage to talk to me. Finally he told me that he had been thinking about something but he didn't want me to feel like he had to do it. If I couldn't support him in it, then he would forget about it because it would drastically affect both of our lives. It was then that I stopped him and said, "You want to be a pastor, don't you?" The relief I saw in his eyes that he wouldn't actually have to say those words to me was immense. I told him of course I would support him, whatever it meant for us. He told me that he wanted to go to the World's Most Expensive Seminary but it would take a year to get into it. In the meantime he would receive special training to be a lesser pastor.

We finished our conversation just as we walked up to our cute little white house that we had just purchased less than a year and a half before. Our cute little house that we had renovated with our own sweat and gumption. Our little white house that sat on the corners of Church and College (funny how we hadn't noticed that before). And it was done. Shortly after Hubby became a pastor and we moved back to the scary, violent town we hated so much so Hubby could work as a part-time pastor while he got his degree.

And that's how I became a pastor's wife.

I appreciate all the comments of people who think my Hubby should become a teacher or work at another profession, but Hubby would be miserable. Whatever my beliefs, I believe in my Hubby. I believe that his Higher Power touched him and gave him his calling. I believe this is what he is meant to do and I believe that I am meant to be with him. So we work it out. (See, Natasha, I didn't ignore your question.) This blog is my place to vent my anger at congregational life, but I am not as miserable as I appear BECAUSE I can write it out. He is as committed to my well-being as I am to his, and that is what it takes to survive this crazy life. We hold on together and walk the road side by side.

Oh, one last thing, the year we moved up to the city with the Most Expensive Seminary in the World...a hurricane barreled into our state and kept going up...up..up. And we got WHAMPED AGAIN!

I am a bad weather magnet.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Sorry About the Delay

I really didn't mean to make you wait so long for the next part of the story. I have a new play being performed in a few weeks that I really had to finish since the actors needed it to learn their lines.

Anywho, Hubby bundled me up in the middle of the night in the coldest winter in 150 years and drove me to the emergency room. Head injuries with bloody noses get fairly quick attention so I was whooshed back into a room and then made to wait....and wait....and, well you get the picture.

Meanwhile I was going on about 8 hours without having eaten anything and my head was throbbing and my blood sugar was crashing. Hubby was like a centurion guard, watching over my every need, fetching me orange juice, asking questions of the doctor who would periodically come to check on me to make sure I hadn't lapsed into a coma. When I was taken to x-ray he tried his hardest to be allowed to sit with me WHILE they took the x-ray. Thankfully the technician was more hard-assed than Hubby and made him wait outside. But as soon as she closed the door, she turned to me and said, "I hope you know that one's special. He's definitely a keeper."

Oh, by the way, my little hospital visit diagnosis? I swear to you, the doctor walked into the room with my x-rays in hand and said, "Do you want to know what's wrong with you? You got the snot knocked out of you." Have you ever had a doctor tell you that you had the snot knocked out of you? Um...yeah, I could have told you that. But that was it. I had a mild concussion and was sent home at 2:00 AM with an RX for painkillers that Hubby got filled for me before I went home.

It was that night that I realized I was truly in trouble. He was leaving and there was nothing I could do to stop him. Our time together went so quickly, that before I knew what had happened, it was April and I tried not to cry as I watched him drive away in his car, heading towards Louisiana where his real job was.

That night I sobbed myself to sleep. I had known that day was coming and I had promised to let him go, but it just hurt so damn much. I woke up the next morning soaking wet, wondering how I could have cried so much while I was sleeping and not even know it. Only my bed wasn't wet from tears, it was wet from the pouring rain storm we had during then night that caused my ceiling to come crashing down in plaster pieces all over me. I brushed the rain, dirt and dust off of me and thought "How fitting a way to wake up on my first day without him."

So needless to say, Hubby and I couldn't stay apart. This was the time before cell phones were so easily accessible and email was just a glint in Al Gore's eye ;). So we spent $3-400 dollars apiece per month on phone calls. We flew back and forth across the country to each other. He broke up with his fiancee and we realized we either had to be together or file for bankruptcy. So he found a job in the town with the World's Most Expensive Seminary-sign number two (although at the time he had no intention of becoming a minister) and I packed up my stuff, moved away from home and we lived together for a few months before we got married.

Tomorrow: the conclusion of how I became a pastor's wife.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Following Weeks

From that day on we were inseparable. I got out of rehearsal or shows at 10:00 at night and he would meet me at the theater. We would go out to eat, or walk, or just back to my house for wine and conversation. Unless he was out of town we never spent the night apart again for the rest of his 6 weeks in Columbus.

Hubby was only in town temporarily to do an audit for his company. The audit turned up massive corruption in the office and he had to stay on to hire and train new staff. So I took those six weeks as a gift. I knew I was falling in love with him, but I had learned he had a fiancee (who after 3 years kept pushing the wedding date farther into the future) and I didn't have time for a long-term commitment. I was an actress with a soon-to-be-successful theater company. And ke knew he was falling in love with me, but he had made a promise to another woman.

But those 6 weeks were magical. He sent me white daisies on my birthday without ever being told that they are my favorite flower. He knew I wasn't eating very much because my theater had weigh-ins, so he would bring me coffee and a healthy muffin from the local market. I would hold his face in my lap and rub the tension of his day away and sing to him. It was all very indie-film romantic.

Then one day I was at rehearsal and something happened. The set consisted of multi-level platforms and the actors had to run and leap from platform to platform in a very carefully choreographed pattern. During one very dark scene I lept from my old position for my new position, only to find another actor had become confused and was in the wrong place. I crashed into his shoulder with all my weight and the full force of my nose and head. Everything went dark for a second but I kept going until the end of the scene. I was in massive pain and rehearsal was called for the night.

Hubby and I went back to my apartment but I couldn't sleep because the pain was so intense and then my nose started to bleed lightly. So at about midnight, Hubby bundled me up and took me to the emergency room.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Day After

I finally managed to push his comatose drunken body off of me and I rolled onto my side in a fetal position, trying to stay as close to the edge (and as far away from him) as possible. What had I done? Sure, he seemed like a nice enough guy. Sure, I had talked to him a few times at the bank. Sure, he was very cute. But...WHAT HAD I DONE? I never had one night stands. Was he going to think I was easy? Was he going to believe me when I told him this was never going to happen again? And it wasn't going to happen again. I was too focused on my career to get involved with someone. Plus, he was only in town for a few weeks. I certainly didn't want to get involved only to get my heart broken.

The next morning I sent him on his way with an awkward, cold, polite kiss. He asked if he could see me that night and I told him I didn't know. This wasn't like me and I didn't want him getting the wrong idea. But he told me he would call me later and left.

When he called me later I hesitated before answering the phone. What was proper etiquette in this situation? If I went out with him on a real date, would it lessen the sting for me that I had slept with a stranger? Or was I just encouraging his false belief that I was going to sleep with him again. In the end my need to justify the situation won over and I agreed to go to dinner with him that night...on one condition. I told him flat out that there would be no sex. If he wanted to go out on a date me then we had to back up and start over.

He picked me up that night after my show and took me to a local restaurant that we could walk to from my apartment. He refrained from drinking that night and I got to see the real him. He was nice and polite and funny. He opened doors for me and when I walked through he put his hand on the small of my back to guide me. I love that, when a man puts his hand on the small of your back, it makes me feel so protected.

We talked about everything. I told him about my acting and my family. He told me about his small hometown and his deep religious belief. He even told me that he had considered becoming a pastor, but they didn't make enough money. To this day, that sentence still rings clear everytime I think about it, just like a warning bell.

When dinner was over we walked out of the restuarant to find a light dusting of snow falling from the clear night sky. It was beautiful. He held my hand as we walked back to my apartment.

Neither of us wanted the date to end, but I had made my rule, so instead we walked over to the grocery store across the street and bought some Ben and Jerry's Chunky Monkey (who knew banana ice cream could be so good) and snuggled up in my warm house to watch Martin Lawrence host SNL. Some of you may remember when Martin Lawrence hosted he blew past the censors and delivered a raunchy opening monlogue that was later deleted before the west coast could see it. We laughed until I cried and it just felt so right... but it was getting late.

Hubby turned to me and asked if he could stay the night. I flat out told him no, that I had no intention of sleeping with him again until I got to know him. At which point he said he promised he wouldn't try anything, he just wanted to stay with me and it was SO cold and snowy outside. He looked at me with this fake pouty face and I was lost. I took him upstairs and he kept his promise. There was no sex that night. But this time instead of half sleeping on the far edge of my bed, I was snuggled up into the nook of his chest and very, very comfortable.

To be continued....

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Where Was I?

We pulled up into the back alley that led to my house. I lived in a half of a 150 year-old double in German Village. We had a little garage/shed that I had left my car in so I had to leave his car parked behind it, exposed to the night elements and the night people.

Now you have to realize, I was a feisty 22 year-old who adored my little corner of the world. It was quaint and quirky and I was surrounded by my kind of people. My next door neighbors were a little old couple who had been married for over 50 years. The other half of my double was rented by 2 professional (and cute) straight yuppie guys who worked for the same bank I did. Across the street was a flamboyant 6'5" tall gay black man who regularly wore bright fuschia leg warmers and a violet ripped up dance shirt named Maurice (I'm not making that name up). Two doors down was the local German pub where you could do the chicken dance AND pick up a man, a woman, a couple, whatever your pleasure was for the night. But of course, there were also the shady rednecks and gang members who stalked the alleys looking for someone to rob.

Hubby is ultimately from the smallest town in Florida (even though he has lived in several big cities) and he was aghast at the thought of leaving his car in my alley. In fact he made some comment about how dangerous it was and I just about left him outside to fend for himself. I loved my house and my neighborhood and didn't appreciate him being so disrespectful. BUT....he smelled so good.

So I dragged him inside and hollered for my two roommates. The sound of my voice echoed through the cavernous three story brick house. No one answered. There it was. I was all alone with this drunken man I barely knew. I was in trouble.

I immediately went to the back of the house where the tiny little kitchen was located and started a pot of my raspberry flavored coffee that I bought freshly ground from the little coffee shop down the street. Believe it or not, for a brief period of my life, my house was the place to gather. People filtered in and out and I always had snacks and drinks. It was nothing for my roommates to find one of my friends sleeping on the couch or with me in my room because it had gotten so late. The house was huge. I could have a full-blown party on the first floor and no one would hear it upstairs.

Hubby and I sat on the couch while he drank his coffee. I was valiantly trying to keep him in line all the while fighting off my own attraction to him. I barely knew him. I was interested in someone else, someone I had spent a year trying to get to acknowledge my existence. I had only been in one other sexual relationship and that was short-lived and a result of mourning my brother's death (I needed to do something life affirming). But there I was, caught up in this new-found passion and one thing led to another and I led him upstairs to my bedroom.

Before I write this next paragraph, I need to let you know Hubby is okay with me writing this story. I'm not mocking him or trying to put him in a bad light, because everything obviously turned out okay, but...he was drunk....

Anywho, there we were, or should I say, there I was engaging in my first and only one-night stand. Never in my life had I done something so risky or remarkable. Except right in the middle of it my roommate came home and knocked on my bedroom door. She had parked in front of the house and hadn't seen his car out back, so she assumed I was alone. She opened the door and noticed two heads turn towards her. Of course it was dark and she couldn't see who was in the room with me, but in her embarassment she tried to rectify the situation by being her ultra-polite self and greeting the guest. Only she said, "I am so sorry. Hi, Jim." But it wasn't Jim, the guy whom I had been wooing for a year. It was Hubby. Boy did I have some 'splaining to do. Only I didn't have to explain then because Hubby quickly feel asleep on top of me leaving me pinned to the bed and panicking that I had just made the biggest mistake in my life. What was I going to do with this big lunk of a drunken man preventing me from escaping this obviously uncomfortable situation?