It started on on around January 23, 2003. I say I don’t know how it started because it was a migraine, and those were so common for me, even ones that would last weeks, that I don’t know exactly when it started. I only know that whenever I talked to a neurologist about my migraines, they dais, only go to the ER if it’s the worst headache of your life. January 23, 2003 is the first mention I make in my journals prior to my first ER visit for this migraine. It wouldn’t be my last.
By the time I’d called for Shaman’s help, my fiancé had already taken 40 days of leave to nurse me through the worst. I’d been in the hospital for 4 days for an IV DHE infusion. I had 20 hours with no pain, and then right back up to “please, God, kill me now!” levels as soon as the medication crapped out. My savings was gone, I was selling everything I owned just to eat. Neither state disability nor other services could help me. Migraines aren’t listed as a debilitating condition, because for everyone else, migraines END. Mine refused to, and I was desperate.
I can remember how brief it was, considering. He was honest with the bad news that he couldn’t do much, but that I was doing everything right. However one part of his healing struck both of us. There was something he did that only one person before him had done, and that was stare into my eye, face to face, to see what he could see. “Most people can’t look eye to eye for that long…” he mentioned…
“I figured if I want this to work I better be willing. I mean, it’s not the first time someone has done that to me…” (or that I’d done to someone else…. though I didn’t remember I could do such a thing at the time.)
“Yeah…” he began, ” you still were able to look longer than anyone else.”
“What does that mean?” I asked, knowing we’d stumbled on something.
“I don’t know, what does it mean?” and he turned his head away and laughed.
“What was that for?” I asked, somewhat perturbed. I knew when someone was blowing smoke up my ass.
“What?” he asked, genuinely shocked that I’d noticed. “All that…” I noticed, waving to his change in posture, his difference in mood, his pulling away. Even though he was as old as my father, I could tell there was an attraction there. He blushed brightly through his wrinkles. I noticed it made him look younger and older at the same time. Younger because of the blush, older because of how the color darkened the lines on his face.
“Oh,” his voice was lower and softer, “I can see the woman you are to become, and it threw me for a moment. In a different lofetime we were something … else to each other, but that’s not now.”
I remember what made me willing to invite him back to my home and this was it. It wasn’t the admission he was married. There are plenty of men out there to whom a wedding ring means absolutely nothing, so that wasn’t the convincing piece of evidence. No, the convincing piece of evidence came earlier.
We’d decided to meet at a Denny’s half way between his place and mine on Aurora. He was living in Greenlake at the time, managing an apartment complex with his wife, Verity. I would meet her eventually, though it would be years before I could call her friend.
He’d arrived first and grabbed us a booth. I slid in facing him and noticed it was the most protected part of the restaurant. Like something out of a scene from Gross Pointe Blank, he never sat with his back exposed. It was a move I recognized from dating cops in my youth. I noted it, but made no comment.
I had barely sat down and ordered my coffee when he asked, “So! Are we going to sleep together?”
I was shocked by the question and looked at him. I mean, obviously there was the age difference, but that never stopped me when I was younger, why should that be different? So i looked at him honestly, thought about what might happen between he and his wife to make that possible, and nothing I could come up with seemed plausible.
” No…” I said hesitantly, “I don’t think so…” Then he said something that surprised me.
“Wow,” he said with true astonishment, ” You actually thought about it.” I shot him a puzzled look. ” You didn’t just blurt out ‘No!’ you actually though about it and said ‘No.’ You’re different than most folks.”
I beamed, pleased. “I scare normal people to death, and they bore me to tears.” I quipped back.
“Fair enough!” we laughed together.
We talked for a while after that, and he agreed to do the healing ritual, but he warned me that there may be nothing he could do. He warned me that his magick had limits, and that sometimes medicine was the best way to go. I knew then that this wasn’t some charlatan or hippy-tree-hugger who disavowed all modern conveniences.
I told him about the prophetic dreams I had as a child, and even though I’d been raised a scientist, I still couldn’t explain how I was able to know the future like that. That for all science understood, there was still some piece left out, some piece that science wasn’t looking at, a piece I knew was very real, and had personally experienced several times in my life.
He nodded sagely, and then he told me a story to illustrate how he viewed prophecy:
“If I drop a brick off a 20-story building, will it necessarily hit the ground?”
I though about it a moment, and a little confused by the question, I threw out the first thought in my head, “Well, you can chop the distance in half forever, but the brick is going to accelerate at 9.8m/second regardless, so eventually, the beick will hit the ground.”/
“What if someone sticks their head out of a 10th story window? What if there’s a car parked above the ground where it’s going to land?”
“Oh, well you didn’t say that.”
“I didn’t not say it either.”
Oh crap… I thought, my head now spinning… He’s smart and crafty. I’m going to have to be careful. But my mind was still spinning with the example, Of course something can get in the way of the brick, and that’s just like anything else we see heading in a definite direction, but I don’t think he understands…. there’s not once my dreams have been wrong!
I’d kept the journals. I knew. My mother and father knew. it wasn’t every dream that came true, but there were dreams that didn’t feel like dreams. We felt their difference and that difference translated into Truth. We’d correctly predicted deaths, discoveries, unexpected travel… but something told me that he didn’t need to know that part yet, so I kept my mouth shut and let the lesson continue.
“When I get a prophecy,” he continued, “I only get glimpses. It’s only once the brick has hit the ground that I know it’s true.”
Ah, I thought, he’s trying to warn me!
“Oh, believe me,” I reassured him, “Half the time I don’t know what they mean. I only know that it’s true. It’s like when you’re traveling down the highway and you see a road sign, ‘Portland 120 miles. That doesn’t mean it’s a mini-Portland on the sign. It just means I’m heading in the right direction.”
He sat back and laced his fingers, slightly bouncing on the cushioned booth seat. It was body language I would see several times. I had said something that had caused the brick in his mind to move. He was sure that I was going to head the same direction he had seen countless times before. And then I veered right… or left… or stopped short. He had to sit back and re-evaluate me. I was not what he expected. I was different than what he though. I surprised him.
“So…” he said matter-of-factly, “When would you like this healing?”