Monday, August 22, 2016

Three Dreams

Dream #1Devil

Chief Of Staff: Mr. President, how would you like to proceed?

President Of The United States: That's a good question. And I honestly have no idea, at this point. I need more information. First of all, I don't understand how an organic life form is incapable of being, umm, neutralized.  

COS: We don't know either, sir. What I can tell you though is that all sixteen Executive Orders that would have done so resulted in the sudden, unexpected deaths of every agent and "mechanic" involved.

POTUS: But this thing is just a child. How could it have known that its life was in jeopardy?

COS: It must be receiving help and is likely unaware of its own significance. 

POTUS: Help? What kind of help? We have the most sophisticated weapons in the world, don't we? How can a little child wreck this level of havoc upon us? Are you suggesting that God Himself is helping this kid? Or that perhaps it's some sort of an "alien among us?"

COS: It's been tempting for us to think along those lines, Mr. President; but our scientists instead have calculated a 68% chance that it's a time traveler, not an alien..

POTUS: You mean, it's one of us--from the future?

COS: Yes, Mr. President.  

POTUS: Who would send it to be here, and for what reason?

COS: We can only speculate..

POTUS: So then tell me what you think.

COS: I believe we have to think along the lines of "what would be the reasons that WE would send a time-traveler back to a long ago era?" Perhaps, to influence those people in a manner that would benefit us.

Several minutes of silence.

POTUS: You've reported that our weapons appear to have no impact whatsoever on the subject? If we detonated our most lethal weapon right on top of it--it wouldn't do any damage? 

COS: To compare our most sophisticated weapons systems to theirs would be along the lines of comparing an anti-matter bomb with a tree branch, sir. 

POTUS: So then, we're just supposed to sit back and do absolutely nothing while this thing has its way with us?!

COS: There are subtle steps we can take..

POTUS: Such as?

COS: Although the specimen appears to be omnipotent and incomprehensibly intelligent--particularly when compared to any of us--it appears too to have freedom of choice.

POTUS: Please..just say what you mean.

COS: It can be influenced to make poor decisions, bad judgments. We can insure that it's surrounded by people who work for us. We can also make certain that the parents remain among the lower echelons.

POTUS: What about education? Can we make sure that it doesn't receive a quality education?

COS: Absolutely. We'll see to it that it attends the worst possible public schools. Please understand though, sir, that its raw intelligence is estimated to be 100 times greater than that of an average PhD. It's literally "off the chart."

Several minutes of silence. 

POTUS: What will it be able to do--when it becomes an adult?

COS: That's anyone's guess--but imagine if you were sent back to the age of Cro-Magnon, along with modern day technologies, weapons, luxuries, and tools..

POTUS: They'd think I was God.

COS: That's right. They'd conclude that you're able to do what you can do due to a higher power. The concept of "the evolution of mankind" would have not occurred to them; that being said, our current subject is likely capable of acts that are as of yet incomprehensible to any of us.

POTUS: But, what if it is God--or sent from God? What does that make me?

COS: Forgive me, sir, but I don't believe that thinking along those lines is beneficial to our cause.

POTUS: Our cause? What the hell do you mean?

COS: The actions you've taken have been implemented out of concern for the safety of our citizens--the American people. You of course don't harbor any personal hatred for this thing

POTUS: None of that matters, old friend. If God Himself sent us a miracle being and my only response has been to repeatedly try to kill is that "beneficial to our cause?" 

I may have single-handedly brought the ultimate curse upon all inhabitants of this planet--because of my stupidity in listening to the advice of all you devil-worshiping advisors. Me, you, and everyone around here deserves to burn in hell--but what about all the innocents of the world who'll also have to pay for what I've done?

COS: Mr. President..

POTUS: And who exactly are you? Why are you tormenting me? Do you think you know better than God Himself? Dear God, please remove me from this burdensome life: I want to be a little child again. I'm sorry for all the

Dream #2: Ancient Egypt

I know I'm in ancient Egypt, because the peaks and golden luster of her famous pyramids are visible in the faraway distance. I'm inside a cave, looking out, as the absolute blackness of night becomes suddenly sprinkled with the first rays of dawn. A little girl (of about ten years old) is sitting nearby, on the ground, holding a large off-white colored, sparkling rock. She begins to speak, but I see no one else around. I don't recognize the language, yet I understand every word..

"If I tell grandfather what you want me to tell him--about this rock--he'll just think I'm making the whole story up. He won't take me seriously."

A long silence ensues, then a youthful, friendly-sounding voice--apparently emanating from thin air--answers back, "That's OK, little one. Just tell your grandfather that I said: 

'Out of the eater comes forth meat. And out of the strong comes forth sweetness.'"

"What does that mean? Are you a God? Which God are you? Are you Ra?" asks the child..

"The rock which you now hold was placed here by One even greater than Ra. It is a gift from the Creator of all things. Tell your grandfather to share it with the wise men of your tribe, and they will discover some of the many healing properties of which it possesses. Many thousands more of your descendants will discover thousands more of its uses--for thousands of generations to come." 

"But I have only this one rock, Holy One. How will there be enough for all the people to prosper from this wonderful gift?"

Suddenly, the ominous cavern becomes fully illuminated as the powerful sun overwhelms its fading darkness. A seemingly endless supply of the sparkling white rocks are now visibly seen throughout. 

"In, around, and beneath this cave exists an everlasting reserve of these stones. Make use of their wonderment for the benefit of all humanity."

"Do these rocks have a name?"

"Yes, my child: Natron."

Dream #3: Hospital 

The bright white glare of nothingness transforms into an even softer white, sterile, minimalist hospital room. I've been here for a long time: sick, spent, and blue. 

"I'm glad mom is not alive to see this," I say to myself. "It would break her heart to see her baby child as diseased as I am." 

I cry loudly, uncontrollably--as would one who is paying penance for his sins. I exhume so much effort in doing so that I become exhausted, and quickly fall asleep. 

I awaken and see a beautiful physician, wearing a bright white lab coat, who is desperately trying to get my attention:


I stare at her, forlornly, half-asleep as she continues with her urgency, even shaking me:






Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Memories Of Ken White (High School Band Director)

Ken White was an interesting fellow: urbane, intellectual, overly-serious, insecure yet stern, pseudo-sophisticated, and at times even arrogant. He spoke with a unique speech impediment which simultaneously caused him to both stutter and to pronounce vowels with an omnipresent (and noticeably weak) Spanish accent.  

His personal style was anachronistic: although he was only about 30 years old, he behaved more like a 60 year old. 

He was not a particularly talented musician, but he excelled at marching band preparation and performance. He was more concerned with his students living the experience of marching band than he was with teaching the fundamentals of music. 

Most of the girls loved him; most of us guys couldn't stand him.

I once asked him, "So, Mr. White, did you go to De Anza College?" He sarcastically snickered, "I attended Deh-Awnza College, thank you very much. Where is this interesting-sounding 'Dee-Anza' College of which you speak located?"

Another time I asked, "Mr. White, do you play keys?" to which he snapped back "I play pee-awno, and I have no idea what these 'keys' are to which you refer."

When spring jazz band season came along (and the class had yet to commence), I inquired, "Mr. White, are we going to have jazz band class this year?" to which he replied "We are most certainly going to offer 'JAWS BOND CLOSS' this year!"

Whenever he lost his patience with one of us students, he would typically show his frustration by referring to us by our real names (to which of course, he had access)--even at times "calling us out," right there in front of the entire band. For example, when angry with me, he would call me David (rather than my preferred "Dave"); "Bean" would be called Abinadab, and "Trino" was referred to as Ruben, etc.

If a student used no nickname--but nevertheless fell temporarily under Mr. White's wrath--he would simply use that person's full name instead: For example, "Donald Hostetler" would become Donald Dean Hostetler and "John Cordova" was referred to as John Roberto Cordova.

And when he taught a new piece of music, he typically did so with such flare and bombast, that we couldn't help but become immediately motivated to perform it. For example, when he introduced us to "Russian Sailor's Dance (from The Red Poppy)" he did so by delivering the following speech to the entire marching ensemble:

"I have personally selected (and arranged) this rigorous piece of music--not because it is easy to learn--but for the opposite reason: It's extremely 'demawnding,' powerful, and difficult to learn. Upon learning this chart--and learn it well, you shall--you will then be on a par with the most elite high school marching 'bonds' in the entire state. Spend the necessary hours to memorize it, 'mawster' it, live it, and perform it. I wish you all the very best."

Like I mentioned, Ken White was an interesting fellow.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Three Ghosts

As a typical Virgo--that is, a "practical" person--I'm naturally skeptical about those matters relating to the supernatural, ghosts, psychic ability, and essentially all unexplainable phenomena. Tell me a ghost story, and I'll come up with a logical explanation as to what really happened.

Therein lies the dilemma, though, because at three distinct times during my life (as a child, young adult, and at middle-age), I've had encounters--rather terrifying ones--with beings that were certainly not human, animal, nor belonging to any other species of which I'm familiar.

However, I consider the question of whether or not these encounters actually involved ghosts to be irrelevant, as their occurrences were all unquestionably real to me. 

Ghost #1: Demon
It was summertime in Sunnyvale, California, and I was about 12 or 13 years old. On the cusp of adolescence, I had recently developed a penchant for staying up late: I typically lounged alone on the living room sofa, while my parents slept in their room, and my older brother spent time out with friends.

On one such night, our home's front door (adjacent to the living room) was open, and the screen door was locked. Then seemingly out of nowhere--from outside the home--appeared an indescribably fast-moving, red, small in stature (about 25 cm tall), animated demon, right there in the living room. 

I was terrified. So much so, that I was unable to react, other than to just sit there, transfixed, and to stare at this thing as it bounced off each of the room's walls and ceiling: spinning all around in a possessed, out-of-control manner. It menacingly looked back at me, smiling and grimacing at the same time. Although its color was flaming red--its speed, height, and size reminded me of the old animated cartoon, The Tasmanian Devil.

After approximately forty-five seconds of continuous mayhem, this thing stared at me one last time as it then careened back out and through the front screen door, gone forever. At this point I was finally able to utter a response by loudly yelling out for my parents..

I described (to both my mother and father) all that had just transpired; and though they appeared to show concern, I could sense that they didn't believe my sensational story. Dad suggested that it was "probably the neighbor's car headlights," and took a quick stroll outside to search for any clues or evidence. None was found.

Mom, a person much more in-tuned with supernatural phenomena, remained uncharacteristically quiet. Thinking back, she was most likely markedly spooked, and unable to render the expected "motherly" response. The evening ended with my quickly fading off into a restless sleep, right there onto that cursed living room's sofa.

For history's sake, I'll mention that, years after this event, I discovered that Westinghouse Corporations's Marine Division--located only 400 meters to the west of this house--was possibly concurrently involved with experiments involving the potential applications of controlled flame. I suppose it's possible (albeit, highly unlikely) that one of those experiments could have gone awry, and made it's way into my home. A photo of one such experiment--as found in a "History of Sunnyvale" book--conjured up memories of that dreadful, fiery demon.

Further, my hyperactive pre-adolescent mind may have somehow internally interpreted this wild, rampant "flame" as being instead a terrifying, demonic mass. 

In the mid-2000's, a couple years before her passing, I asked my mother: "What do you suppose it was?" 

"El Diablo," she calmly replied.

Ghost #2: The Hat Man
The Hat Man is real. He and his "associates" visited me while in my 20's: at a time when I was at my most exhausted, most stressed, and most assuredly burnt-out.

It was summertime during the 1990's, around 9:30 PM. After working yet another consecutive 12-hour shift (I was a bonafide workaholic), I wearily made my way home to the small San Jose, California apartment which I then called home. It consisted of the entire upstairs of an old Victorian home, built in the early 20th century. Although a young man, I struggled that night to even make my way up the stairs, due to sheer exhaustion.

Once in my room, I poured a cold soft drink and then virtually collapsed onto my recliner, never even taking a sip of the fizzy, sweet beverage. I quickly nodded off for a brief (maybe 10 minute long) nap; then slowly woke up, propped myself up from the chair, turned off the lights, and dropped heavily down onto my bed--this time fading away into a much deeper slumber.

At precisely 3:33 AM, I awakened. Looking straight ahead (while lying on my back), I realized I was physically paralyzed. My fear of having been afflicted with a serious medical condition quickly transformed into terror when I saw a clearly-defined "shadow man" standing at the foot of my bed, looking down upon me. My instincts demanded that I get up, run away, yell, panic--but I continued to lie there, transfixed and unable to move.

This black mass of a shadow man had no facial features, was silent, tall, thin, and wore an old-fashioned wide-brimmed fedora style hat--along with a formal-looking, solid black trench coat. I strongly felt as if he somehow pitied me, gazing at me as a concerned physician might upon a bedridden patient, prior to his death.

This Hat Man moved closer, just to the right side of my bed. He then glanced back towards the room's window, where at least two other shadow people stood, apparently waiting for this "leader" to join them. It felt as if the Hat Man then signaled to the others that their time with me was coming to an end. 

At that moment, I knew I was able to get up: at last, no longer paralyzed--and not particularly scared--but instead desperately curious to find out exactly what these things were. So I sat up and lifted myself out of the bed as the Hat Man calmly walked over to his associates, for what seemed to be a brief meeting. I then flicked on the nearest lamp--and, with the first glimmer of light, they immediately vanished.

The Hat Man came to visit me twice more at that same home, having existed perhaps only as a figment of my exhausted (and sleep-deprived) imagination--or maybe as a ghostly resident of that 90-year old dwelling. Outside of that ancient house, though, I never again had another encounter with The Hat Man.

Ghost #3: Hugged By A Ghost
Eleven months after my mother died (in the mid-2000's), I experienced a ghostly visitation from, who I think, was she.

Living in Las Vegas, Nevada, it was summertime, and I was still mourning her loss. We had grown closest during the final six years of her life; and, although we lived some 300 miles apart (she had moved back to her native Northern Arizona the same year I moved to Nevada, in 2001), we made the time to visit each another at least twice per year.

Waking up in the middle of another hot desert night (at exactly 3:33 AM), my bedroom lamp was still lit as I felt--out of nowhere--two arms and a torso tenderly hugging me from behind, as I lay on my right side.

I wasn't scared, and I was definitely wide awake; but I chose to just lie there for a minute or two--and contemplate a possible "plan of action"--just in case this happening was instead the result of some mentally unstable person who had broken into my home.

Finally, I turned around, quickly, only to find that nobody was there. I immediately checked all possible entrances into the house, but they were all intact and secured. Still though, I wasn't scared, and knew that I had been visited by something not of this earth. Our eyes can play tricks on us (e.g., hallucinations are quite common), but the sensation of human touch is something genuine, and certainly difficult--if not impossible--to replicate.

Going back eleven months prior to this haunting, just a few days before my mother's passing, I asked her (while she lay in her deathbed): "Mom, come visit me from the other side."

She looked deeply into and seemingly through my eyes, and replied: "No, David. I don't want to frighten you."



Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Three Deaths

Although not necessarily a religious person, I maintain a child-like faith in God. This faith was an integral part of my persona from toddler age until around age 12--and has been again from about age 27 to the present day.

The following is essentially the story of how God Himself chose to save me (on three different occasions) from certain death. Although He knows how much I appreciate these "Miracles of Intervention," documenting them here is intended to serve as "proof" of that appreciation.

Death #1
I was approximately 19 years old, and driving my vehicle eastbound and down a Highway 9 hill (in the nearby Santa Cruz, California mountains), at around 11pm, along with three friends. 

Speeding too fast, the front-end of my car (a 2-door sports coupe) "locked-up" on a particularly treacherous section of road. I then lost control of the vehicle, and we shot off the the edge of the hill. I braced myself for the inevitable crash that would soon occur at the far-away bottom of the slope..

A powerful, unseen force though boomeranged the car back onto the road, and I instead plowed into the side of the foothill.

The car was damaged, but my friends and I walked away from the wreckage unscathed. Shortly thereafter, a pleasant middle-aged couple--Good Samaritans, for certain--gave us a ride to the base of the road (in their newer model sports car), some 15 kilometers away, into the town of Los Gatos.

My three friends made exclamations such as "WHOAAA!" and "THAT WAS COOL!"--but I remained silent, still in awe of the invisible power that saved us. They had no clue as to how close we all came to dying that night.

Death #2
During my early 40's, I slipped into an apparent coma. It was broad daylight--on a day off from work--and I was busy passing the afternoon in my Las Vegas, Nevada home office, doing leisurely work on the internet.

Suddenly, my left hand began to rise and shake--seemingly all on its own. The shaking quickly became violent and uncontrollable, and I blacked-out.

Luckily, my roommate (a man close to my age, who rented the upstairs room) was home and immediately called paramedics, who then transported me to the nearest hospital. This roommate later told me that he was made aware of my dire condition when he heard a loud bang (the sound of my body falling to the floor) and saw that I was unconscious.

FOUR DAYS LATER...a nurse held me close and repeatedly whispered, "You're at the hospital, you're OK now. You were unconscious for a few days." I felt extremely well-rested, peaceful, and somewhat "reborn." My last memory was that of my shaking hand.. 

No physician was ever able to explain what exactly happened to me on that sunny, dry, and otherwise peaceful afternoon. But that wasn't at all surprising: The causes of most illnesses (along with their accompanying cures) remain elusive to medical doctors of my era.

During my "blackout period," a close friend (a devout member of the Church of Latter Day Saints)--and members of his local prayer group--offered me a "Deathbed Blessing:" the LDS equivalent of having been read the Last Rites of the Roman Catholic Church, so hopeless was considered my fate.

By the next day, I considered myself to be fully recovered, and was eager to leave the hospital. My life then resumed as if the event had never occurred.

Death #3
I was in my mid-40's--just a few years ago--and found myself having to traverse a rather large (about 20 meters around) patch of parking lot black ice, during a particularly cold (about -2 degrees celsius) Las Vegas winter morning. Having grown up and lived (for over 30 years) in the comparatively moderate San Jose, California area, black ice and below-freezing temperatures had never presented themselves even once during my early years.

Having no option but to walk across the frozen blacktop, I lost control of my footing, slipped, flew mid-air for a second, and fell hard--right on the back of my head. I just knew in my heart that I'd soon be dead, as I was certain that my head was cracked and that its organic, bloody debris was spread all across the icy pavement. Despite this anguish, I felt a profound sense of peace and calm.

However, there was not a drop of blood to be seen, and (after the longest two or three seconds of my life) I somehow got up, composed myself, and went about my way. A nearby dry cleaners worker saw what had occurred, and asked if I was OK. I politely nodded "yes" and proceeded to ever so slowly walk back towards my vehicle, which was parked on a nearby street. 

God has chosen to save me on many other occasions, but a day has rarely passed when I didn't think about at least one of these occurrences. 

It wouldn't surprise me much if one day an angel appeared to me, took my hand, and explained that my physical life ended on one of these three dreadful days: And everything that has transpired ever since has simply been the result of my lingering, wandering, and over-active imagination.