Vintage Eve of Destruction: Comfort and Fear

Eddie gained control of our television’s remote last night when I had to put Samantha to bed.  When I returned he wanted to watch Olympic soccer and I wanted to see what the women were wearing to the Hispanic Grammy Awards (Why did the non-Hispanic Grammy dress look so shoddy?).  I pantomimed, my right thumb pressing the air over my palm, “Spin it!” when he came to a talk show.
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  Daytime talk shows are akin to nighttime reality shows to me; it puts writers, and people’s imagination, out of work.  But this one was a tad different.

My first clue was that Eddie had actually paused on his rapid-fire quest for the ultimate programming.
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  College graduate, fire captain, king of the house, his interest gave the show immediate credibility for me.  (Much like how I take on an academic look when I don my eyeglasses!)  My second came during the first commercial break and Eddie, in a rush of conversation completely unlike him, told me he had heard this guy on his favorite morning radio show, which had given the host credibility for him.  I pulled the TV guide only to find that the show we were now glued to was titled, “Crossing Over with John Edward”.  And it was about just that: reaching someone from beyond, shall we say, past their prime?

It immediately gave me the creeps.  This was not something I was entirely unfamiliar with and Eddie knew it.  Eddie switched channels abruptly when he caught me crying over an especially poignant “cross over” from a young girl, presumably taken off life support due to an inoperable head injury.  She wanted to acknowledge the ribbons, flowers and the rock her best friend buried at the root of a tree.  The rock had had both of their names written on it.  Her mother and father appeared shaken but comforted.

Many, many moons ago I had my own encounter with a man with a “sixth sense”.  He could bend spoons, in the next room.  He could stack things around my room, without getting up.  He could increase the flame of a candle, without a match.  He could play music in his car, without a radio.  Creepy enough for you?

I met “Steve” when he followed me into the retail store I worked for one afternoon.  He would later say that I was a vision in white that he had to get a closer look at.  I regretted wearing the white head to toe ensemble months later, but for the moment I was bemused.  My distaste for his pockmarked and pimpled face, Rod Stewart hair and purple leopard skin shirt kept me at bay.  I tried to palm him off on one of my salesgirls to help.  But no, this band’s drummer, albeit an explanation for his strange dress, wanted my opinion on what women’s clothes I thought he could get away with on stage.  I was still not interested.

His continued visits coincided with my exact work schedule.  His roadies came when he couldn’t to try and charm me into dating Steve.  They hung out every night at the Denny’s between my store and my apartment.  They were there all night and wouldn’t it be easy just to stop by, on my way home from clubbing with my friends, alone some time?  I couldn’t believe it the first time I did that very thing.  Within a month Steve announced he wanted to marry me.

My friends of course hadn’t met him.  Neither had my family.  I barely had the nerve to tell my closest friends about Steve’s special little abilities.  As Steve grew more relaxed with me he shared a little more.  He grew up immersed in a group of half a dozen or so others like him.  The bending spoon ritual they all practiced gave way to darker rituals.  He left the group and delved into even blacker arenas.  I told him I didn’t want to know about it.

He said that it was hard for him growing up different from everyone else.  He had changed his hair color on a monthly basis, needed drumming to keep him busy and had had several different types of girlfriends.  (When I saw the movie The Sixth Sense and heard the now famously over recited phrase, “I see dead people”.  I wanted outta there.  Steve talked about seeing spirits all of the time.  And all of the time, back then, was in my apartment.)

Before he blew out my life as fast as he had entered it he told me that my mind was “accepting”.  That, not too far later, led me to realize that I came pretty darn close to being very caught up in something I could neither understand or control.  I felt foolish and embarrassed.  Having an “accepting” mind made me feel like I had a screw loose, or was missing the common sense chromosome every one else that escaped Steve had.  I felt incredibly lucky, a few months later, to meet Eddie.

John Edwards “crossed over” on the science fiction channel Monday through Thursday for thirty minutes at 8PM this entire past week.  I don’t know if he plans doing this every week or if the SCI FI people have a vote in it.  (How accepting are they?)  I do know that the families he worked with were not running outta there.  They were comforted.  They were in tears.  They had found some hope.  And they last thing they seemed to be was afraid.

Edwards goes on to explain that these “spirits” just want to get their messages across, they are not lingering around us, and that they have better things to do.  Like what?