Hi Readers. Sorry it’s been so long since I’ve posted. Thanks for returning to read.
Great news! I’m no longer a nomad living in my truck camper. I inherited enough money to buy myself a small hermit-home in the desert again. More about this later, but I’m very grateful, and life seems to be getting easier. I wonder if I’ve paid some debt and if I might be left alone in my old age.
For now, I want to share the start of my second memoir, updating my understanding of this mystery since I published my first memoir in 2008 (rattlesnakefire.com). It opens when I’m still living in my camper.
I hope you’ll give me your feedback.
She imagines herself from behind, where shoppers are coming and going from the store, maybe seeing her in the dusk, maybe not, in her faded, wrinkled skirt, overshirt, sandals, hair bundled behind her head, as she grabs the camper’s handles and hoists herself up inside, then reaches back to pull the door shut behind her.
Inside, she straps the light thing around her neck, switches it on red, which allows her to sleep better than with typical blue-white LED light. That’s another good thing about this life, she tells herself: good sleep, usually in nature – though not tonight. Clean air, and moving with the seasons, she occasionally explains to others, lets her be outside all year long and get exercise.
She sits at her usual place, facing the door and a window, though she’s closed the blind now, no table before her, removed for ergonomics, just a little empty space there, nice when everything else is so crowded. She stares and thinks about the strange turns life has taken to bring her to this place.
Delusional notations had begun to appear in her medical charts – but not for any true reason. No, they only began after she wrote her memoir and told more truths people don’t want told.
She’d disappointed so many people who had such high hopes for her, then she’d turned against them. They deserved to be rebuffed, she was still certain.
She’d been trained for beauty and duty. She’d even been a beauty queen – against her will. She’d thought it mortifying to say, by entering the pageant, “I deserve to be here, because I’m beautiful.” Mortifying. Everyone else in her world said she was crazy, it was great to be beautiful, they said, and she didn’t know what she was talking about, they said. Nobody saw the world her way. And everyone kept at her. So she did it, and it was “the worst thing I ever did in my life,” she’d say for decades.
Fortunately, she was also intelligent and could take on almost any project and carry it out well or exceptionally well, so she won awards frequently and led an interesting and independent life, first as a journalist, then supporting progressive causes with media relations and organizing, then radical causes, where she stepped on some certain powerful people’s toes with her incisive words published around the world. She also worked for not-radical groups, like the United Way and local food coop.
She used to have homes of her own, homes in the city, one in the country on twenty acres with seven ancient oak trees along an intermittent creek. Her homes were usually funky, but still nice and some very nice. Now she only had this old truck and camper, and she’s accused of being delusional, by doctors who never asked her questions and one who never saw her.
Some of those people whose toes she’d bumped or seriously crushed threatened her explicitly, others with just a glare, but she never took them seriously. “They can’t do that” in a free, democratic society, she thought – despite the history she’d read of activists assassinated, even in the U.S. She just didn’t believe it could happen to her. Maybe rabble-rousers, she thought, but not mild-mannered, polite, well-spoken, well-dressed, former minister’s wife, President of the PTA her.
Sometimes she could be accused of rabble-rousing. Once she was caught on film at a protest and looped repeatedly on one TV channel for the news that night, jumping and punching her fist into the air, but mostly her rabble-rousing was through writing, shining a light where she thought attention needed to be. And so she continued to irritate leaders of corporations and others in power.
Then one week, everything in her life fell apart. It began naturally – with illness. Her 17-year old son was diagnosed with cancer, her health insurance company declared bankruptcy a few days later, her husband acted so cruelly she decided to finally leave him after years of talking about it, her children hated that she was making them move, and she found herself unable to stay conscious at work, waking up repeatedly, wondering when she’d laid her head down.
In one week, she lost her marriage, her job, her ability to work, and the illusion that her children would stay healthy and live, and that they would love her. All the fundamentals of her life were ripped away in a few days.
After leaving her husband, the radical environmental organization to which she’d sacrificed her career and devoted the last seven years was infiltrated by saboteurs who “bad jacketed” her – labeled her a spy – and convinced the movement to ostracize her, costing her also her community. She would soon have a nervous breakdown.
But that’s not how she ended up in her camper.
First, she’d build a hermitage in the desert (with credit cards) and intended to become a hermit, but would first move away and almost marry her high-school crush, a doctor, and become an award-winning real estate agent for a few years before returning to her hermitage – to complete her nervous breakdown.
Then she’d begin a shamanic initiation, experience what seemed to be alien abductions, and realize she’d been followed all her life and still was – as a mind control subject
of the US government.
And her mind control subjection as a child, she thought later, might have even enhanced her psychic skills, as she was left alone so much and under such stressful conditions, her mind couldn’t help but explore other dimensions.
But this was too much information to absorb. It came on her too fast. And it was not imagined. It was real.
She wrote everything down and photographed all evidence. She posited and tested her theories, and wished for other answers than what seemed obvious. She borrowed books from the library. And when she was finally terrorized into selling and leaving her lovely home beside the creek, feeling like a sitting duck for whomever was out there, messing with her, she began to attend conferences to suss out the researchers who presented themselves as having the answers.
Were they credible? Were there really mind control programs still in operation, still overseeing old women like her? Were the alien experiences real, or only made to feel real by the miracles of modern technology? Could someone hit her with a beam and make her think she was having these experiences? Even her governor back in the 80s had accused the FBI of aiming a beam at him to mess with his head. Maybe this stuff was real. Something had to explain the weird things going on. But she didn’t like the answers.
And it wasn’t just her. Others reported very similar experiences. Others saw and heard the UFOs that cruised near her home. And she photographed the burns and bruises and cuts that showed up on her body overnight. Once she woke with a scar on her neck that a medical practitioner asked about five years later: “When did you have your thyroid surgery?”
Yes, it seemed there were people very interested in her health, or she thought they were people. Was she supposed to consider maybe that they were aliens? She didn’t want to consider that possibility.
After fleeing her home, she met a world of people who already believed in stuff like this, both the alien and the government stuff. But even among these people, her life seemed to contain too much weirdness for one person. It was understandable to have alien contact; it was understandable to be a mind control subject; but no one (yet) had claimed to be both. She didn’t want to be the first.
She was exceedingly tired of keeping it all a secret, trying to protect herself from others’ judgement, even protecting others from scary stuff that might disrupt their reality.
Despite trying to ignore it, a few mornings every month, she woke with strange marks on her body. Were these medical tests or procedures? Injections by doctors who were secretly caring for her health? Or by doctors who’re using her as a guinea pig?
Eventually, she met a few shamans, and learned that aliens are commonly seen by them in other dimensions. One shaman had told her she needed to write her story and if she did, he’d write the Foreword. She knew Ralph Metzner had a reputation to consider, so she took his encouragement seriously.
He’d been the non-flamboyant academic and now shaman, after decades of making cultural history as the quiet third pioneer beside Tim Leary and Ram Dass, upsetting the world in their quest for consciousness, to which he’d devoted his life ever after. In his Foreword to her book, he called her a “spiritual warrior.”
She didn’t feel like a spiritual warrior that night, but she didn’t feel like a failure either. She felt suspended, ready, willing, able, but waiting for right conditions. Watching.
“Just perceive,” she’d heard recently.