EVEN STRANGER THINGS

                                                                                                                                           Photo by Richard-Alan Montemuro

EVEN STRANGER THINGS

My Halloween encounter with the “werewolf” under the railroad bridge was strange. But it wasn’t the STRANGEST thing that ever happened to me ……………..THIS was……

I was in my early 20s and I was living back in Philly on Clearfield St again, with my folks, after a few years of living in Bucks County, and working at the Bucks County Playhouse.

I came home at about 6:30 PM. Mom, Dad, and Gran were sitting and watching TV. I was very tired. I had been on-set since about 6 AM            working on some TV commercial or industrial film. 

I told my mom that I was going to lie down for a while but I didn’t want to go to bed for the rest of the night, so please wake me after a couple of hours.

I don’t know why I assumed my mom would do that. To this day she can’t bring herself to wake me up even if I’m just dozing in a chair. I guess it’s a mom thing. Her baby always needs his rest, no matter where or when. And I guess it didn’t help that I put her through some hair-raising moments when I was little trying to get me to go to bed peacefully minus the “weeping and gnashing of teeth” I STILL hate going to bed but again, as Lou Jacobi says in Irma la Douce, “That’s another story.”

Anyway, my mom let me sleep. When I awoke around 1 AM the house was dark and quiet. Everyone was asleep. 

I can remember that I was very hungry and wanted to go downstairs and make a sandwich and find a late-night movie but what I remember MOST is that I had just awakened from a GREAT dream that left me feeling  positively EUPHORIC…no exaggeration…..so HAPPY..SO CONTENT (except for being hungry)…..I FELT FABULOUS!!

 As I “floated” downstairs to feed myself, I was careful not to wake up too much. I remember keeping my eyes half shut so when I turned on the kitchen light and then opened the refrigerator I wouldn’t lose the dream and that incredible feeling that I had..

As I started to make a sandwich I decided that I MUST write this dream down before it all fades away.

So, I went over to the telephone, hanging on the kitchen wall. Under it was a small standing cabinet with a Formica top and I retrieved a slip of paper from a stack that was always sitting there, along with a pen, to write down messages. It was also used as a “catch-all” spot for wallets and keys, at least for my dad and me.

 I wrote down the dream, folded the paper and slipped it into my wallet for safekeeping. Then…I completely forgot about it.

                                                                                                                           CUT TO

ABOUT 2 MONTHS LATER.

I was going through my wallet; looking for something, when I came across the slip of paper.

For a couple of seconds, I thought, “What the heck is this?” Then I remembered that this was the dream I had written down. All I remembered about it was that it was a “great” dream. I still remembered the feeling it had given me but I hadn’t given it a second thought since I put the paper in my wallet.

Now, as we all know, most dreams when recalled and recounted prove to be a combination of straightforward story-telling and bizarre nonsensical goofiness.

I was expecting to see a brief outline of a happy dream about some lovely woman that I have been thinking about finally falling in love with me and then me accepting an Oscar and then suddenly sitting with all my friends in front of a dozen large pizzas. You know. A “dream”.

BUT…….

THIS IS WHAT I READ BECAUSE THIS IS, APPARENTLY, WHAT I WROTE.

 Johny,

 You are an old spirit, smiling, cheerful, mirthful,

Who helps others change from bad to good.

Beware they not change you. Beware your Death.

You must always dress dapperly and neatly.

Wear the black belt next to the skin.

When you see clearly, the man will have something valuable for you.

As I said before, I remember writing this but I do NOT remember writing THIS…………and yes, my name was spelled incorrectly. 

Was this simply a message from my subconscious or was it a spirit message? A loved one? A control spirit? 

Occam’s Razor suggests my subconscious, of course: a message to myself.

Shakespeare suggests otherwise: “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

I really don’t know. All I know is that IT FREAKED ME OUT and comforted me (sort of) at the same time.

MY INTERPRETATION

You are an old spirit, smiling, cheerful, mirthful,

Who helps others change from bad to good.

It is true that I have always suspected that I was an “old spirit.” Ever since I was a kid I always felt as if I knew things that I shouldn’t know because I was either too young or years later, as an adult, had no relevant experience. Even in elementary and high school people often seemed to gravitate toward me to ask me for advice on stuff. They didn’t know why and I certainly didn’t know why but when I thought I was right, I knew I was. If I didn’t know, I would say so because I knew I didn’t know. This continued throughout my life and still does. A lot of time it’s relationship questions which is funny because I’ve never been married and have had only a handful of serious love affairs. I just never took the time. I wish I had… but, once again, that’s Lou Jacobi territory.

Beware they not change you.

Beware your Death.

Listening to other people’s problems, even though only trying to help, and absorbing negative energy can drain you. That’s why my psychic ex-girlfriend, Rossana, always warned me to “protect yourself by imagining yourself surrounded by white light”. They/it can change you.

As for Beware YOUR Death, my experience with Tarot cards has taught me that the Death card is the card of Change, as in the “death” of a former “self” for good or for bad.

You must always dress dapperly and neatly.

Your guess is as good as mine with this one for I have never been known for my sartorial elegance. Maybe that was the point. Or maybe, metaphorically speaking, it just meant that I must always be ready to present a good first , in whatever way I can.

Wear the black belt next to the skin.

Excellence and expertise in the martial arts are represented by a “Black Belt”.

To wear it “next to the skin” could mean to strive for excellence in everything I do. Keep it close to me, cherish it, protect it, make it a part of my being…OR…maybe it means to keep it under my clothes. A metaphor for humility. Maybe BOTH.

When you see clearly, the man will have something valuable for you.

I’ve always felt that this one speaks for itself. My heart tells me that it is the clearest message of all,the most important message of all. But I still don’t know what that message is.

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