Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Living in the Afterlife

My interest in the paranormal began in the last year or so of my marriage. My ex was disappointed and confused by my fascination with life after death, with the world of spirit, and anything else that wasn't grounded in materialism and atheism. I didn't blame him; in fact, I was embarrassed for myself. I didn't know why I read book after book on a subject that made so little sense to my husband. Nevertheless, I continued my search for evidence of an afterlife.

I think I understand now. One doesn't just die once, but many, many times. The physical death of the body is still far in the future for me (God willing), but I have died before. When my partner of ten years started looking at me as if he despised the very ground I walked on, or worse, with irritated indifference, my time in that life was running short. I didn't know how short.

His departure happened gradually, although I really didn't see it or understand it then. I had grown accustomed to his long absences from home, his all-consuming life at UCLA. I had resigned myself to his rages, his hot anger at me for all the things I did that angered or disappointed him. In the last year of my marriage, the year I lost all control over myself, I was preparing myself for the afterlife.

The death itself was slow and very painful. I hated dying; as I became invisible to the person I loved the most in the world, I realized that there is no going back to your old world. Once you die in that world, you are a corpse. You do not exist. This lesson is still sinking in, since every now and then I attempt to contact the Other Side, in hopes that the person who once created my universe might conjure me up once more, just to prove to me that I really was real.

And yet, he resists and annihilates my spirit every time. I learn, even if slowly, to avoid any contact with a home that is not home, a place that has disappeared, and memories that refer to nothing. He killed me once, and he will do it again, as many times as it takes for me to stay in the tomb.

The parallel universe is infinitely better than the world from which I was ejected. Heaven really is a place, and although I don't believe in perfection, I know I have found the highest of all earthly realities: I am loved, and I love in return. I understand that I inhabit the light now, and that nothing will drag me back to the darkness of a life that expressed itself in pain and constant yearning.

Yet the other world holds its painful attractions, as a place you wish you could claim as real, where you had some dignity; you know that your wishes represent a fantasy, but one you still need.

Dying was hard; becoming a ghost was even worse. Although I know that I am real, that I am loved into this world, sometimes I look in the mirror, and I am still transparent.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

What Does One Write About When One is Feeling Out of Words?

For me, it's odd to have nothing to say. I decided to write anyway. So. Ty is away at Jake's funeral. I didn't know Jake at all; in fact, I don't know any of the family on that side. Hell, I don't even know which side I'm talking about. Ron Supancic's side . . . OK, so I do know that. I didn't go, since I have to work, and also because this isn't the best time to meet all the cousins and such. It's disconcerting to feel disconnected from such raw emotion, to watch everyone depressed and crying and feel nothing but distant sympathy and far away sadness. Ty won't be home until late Wednesday night, and it's lonely without him.

Honestly, I've been feeling really out of it lately. I am really scared about everything, but mostly about my health (as usual). I am dizzy a lot, my head is stuffy, my ears kind of hurt, and I'm exhausted and weak. My heart has been racing for no reason I can discern, and when I turn over on my left side, it skips beats. Just when I am getting better, I relapse and start the whole cycle over again. I feel kind of lightheaded and spacey, just floating along from one fear to the next, from one obligation to the next.

I think this latest round of intense anxiety started when I thought my husband had bone cancer. OK, in my defense, he thought so too. Of course, he didn't have bone cancer. He and I are more alike than I ever thought. It is some relief to me to know that the person I love the most in the whole world is a freak like me. He has some anxieties, too. At least I'm not alone in that.

The weekend, as fun as it was, was overwhelming and not relaxing. Friday, we went out with Ty's old photo buddies. We thought it was to be just four of us, but his old photo buddy invited a ton of people and planned for all of us to watch some friend of his play a show at a run-down club in Reseda. The waiter was rude to Ty, refusing to give him tap water, and I stressed out thinking about the way this was all going to end. We were home by 9:30. This was the same day we found out about Jake's death.

I cleaned house Saturday morning like a fiend. I scrubbed out Gracie's cage, making a monstrous soup of soap and bird crap, and then I scoured the floors, vacuumed the carpets, washed the dishes, and put away clothes. I packed, prepared for my ghost hunting weekend at the Glen Tavern Inn, and when Grant and Layla showed up, I was already exhausted. We had fun in Santa Paula until the hotel started playing games with us about available rooms, the cost of said rooms, and other issues. The general rudeness of their staff cast a pall over the weekend ghost hunt. Layla was miserable, she hated her room, Grant was upset because he couldn't fix the situation, I was willing to leave, and when everything was finally taken care of, the rest of the stay was pretty good. We had a great dinner in Ojai, explored a weird, new Catholic university that I've never heard of (Thomas Aquinas), hunted ghosts in the lobby of the Glen Tavern and room 303, and eventually I slept around 2:00 AM. Grant and Layla slept very little, for their new room--one that miraculously became available when we complained and threatened to leave--was right above the tavern, where the music blared way too late and people smoked like chimneys right below their window.

We were all completely wiped out by the time we met up the next morning. I had dog allergies, since the damn place allows pets, and we had to race back to Woodland Hills since we (Ty, Imanya and me) had a brunch date with Marc and Anette. We enjoyed hanging out with them and baby Mila (so adorable that I can't even begin to describe how much), and we had fun wandering around a hippy estate for sale near their house. They had a dog. I felt even worse. By the time we arrived back home, I was so thoroughly trashed that I did NOTHING for school, even though I am buried in essays. I still have to pay some bills, but I'm out of checks.

There was much drama at school yesterday. My loud, undisciplined group of middle school students (even though they're 20 years old)were particularly unsavory and hysterical, pushing me to the point of tears (although not in front of them). Then there was the big Academic Senate Meeting, where I was so nervous I was shaking since they were about the debate MY resolution about the SLO Coordinator position going full time. They passed it with no debate. WTF??????? I wasn't expecting that at all. I had been living on so much caffeine the last few days that I couldn't sleep AGAIN last night, and as Ty was pulling out of the driveway at 6:15 AM, I realized that if I didn't stay home and sleep today, I'd be really sick by tomorrow.

I stayed home. I feel crappy. My head is congested, and I'm dizzy. I keep thinking something is REALLY WRONG WITH ME, and I AM GOING TO DIE. Of course, I have and ear/sinus infection and I just don't want to take antibiotics, because they make me really, really sick. Sicker than the original infection. I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow. Maybe I'll finally get over this. This cold started weeks ago, and just when you think it's gone, it returns with a vengeance. I am very unhappy about this, because I don't get to really have a life when I'm sick.

I had something to write, but it wasn't very interesting, and I suppose it would be better for me to wait until I can actually say something that doesn't sound like a whiny screed.

What I want to know is this: when did life stop being fun, and start being so much damn work?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


This means: this is not a real post, just a reminder to my four readers that I am still alive, just waiting for a moment to breathe before I can ACTUALLY WRITE SOMETHING. I wake up at 6:15. I arrive at school at 7:20. I make photocopies. I run off to class and set up the tea caddy, fill the huge tea boiler thingy with water, plug it in, and then run outside to a bench to do relaxation exercises. Then I walk into class, and proceed to teach three classes over the next 4.5 hours. Then, I either run home and collapse for an hour, or I join Ty for lunch and then run home and collapse for an hour. I get up, run back to school, attend meetings, deal with multitudes of student issues, try to be the SLO COORDINATOR (don't ask) for a couple more hours, and then it's back home. Maybe I get to watch American Idol, or perhaps an episode of "The Haunted," and then I'm on the Internet attempting to work on LAPA, or the Los Angeles Paranormal Association web sites. I answer some email, fantasize about a trip to Madrid in June, and . . .

I clean up bird shit. Cat vomit. Hairballs. I make sure somehow the members of the family are fed. I forgot to mention that above. I make dinner almost every night. I am not complaining. Really. I attempt to keep the floors clean and bring a semblance of order to the huge pile of papers on the kitchen table.

I have dizzy spells, and I'm sick. Again.

I forget to pay the bills. Bad things start happening. I get "notices" and "warnings". I still haven't paid those bills. I don't know when I can write. All I want to do is sleep.

So, good night. You will hear from me again, between the cat vomit and the bird shit and the LA DWP bill that has turned from a nice pink to a fire-engine red.

Tomorrow, as they say, is another day.