Friday, April 29, 2016

FICTION FRIDAYS: MY LIFE AS A PHONE PSYCHIC V NYC 2012 Part Two Chapter Six

Happy Friday, everyone! It's Friday evening and I am just now getting to posting this weeks chapter. It's been a busy week! I booked a fun singing gig, a fun acting gig, and spent the day running around performing errands and doing readings! So forgive my tardiness, and enjoy this week's installment of:

My Life as a Phone Psychic, the novel, written in NYC 2012, based on the play of the same name written in Minneapolis in 2004. Part Two, Chapter Six.

OXOXOO

 

Chapter Six
            Celebration. David walks into the party late. He wanted to pick up some flowers or- something- for Lily- before meeting everyone at the Bungalow Club near where both he and Lily live- but he couldn’t figure out what would be right. Would they be too friendly? Too romantic? Too revealing to the cast?
            Tonight, it’s not just David, Lily, Jones and Phil; it’s also the executives from the production company, from the network, the crew, and, Van.
            The executives think they have a hit show and they smell money.  David is excited.
            He smiles as he enters and Van waves. He runs up to him and gives him a bro hug.
            “Bro!” Van slaps him on the back. They smile at each other. Lily is sitting in between Jones and Van.
            “We were beginning to wonder what happened to you,” she says softly.
            “That’s hardly a psychic thing to say,” Phil pitches in.
            David laughs. He feels very good. Very, very good.
            A waitress walks by with a platter of champagne.
            David shakes his head, “no.” He doesn’t want to drink. Not tonight. He smiles at Lily. She nods.
Albinioni: Adagio in G Minor
            A sedan slumbers along the Pacific Coast Highway, headed south. The driver rolls down his window and feels the wind against his hand. He smiles. He is in no hurry. He thinks of the stars and the moon above, how God made them, and how God made man to have dominion over the earth and he smiles and thanks God in his heart for this glorious earth and this glorious responsibility to be a steward for Jesus.
            Now he has arrived in Malibu, and now he drives into Santa Monica, and now Venice. He drives onto a side street and ignores the parking directions, parking in a “No Parking Zone” right at the ocean. There are no people on the beach that he can see. He is aware that the police sweep the punks and the homeless and the hippies and the skaters and the bohemians from the beach after sunset. He gets out of the car anyway. He has parked near a bar. Venice Ale House. There is a homeless man in a skirt standing outside, alone, watching the driver. The bar is full of people who seem to take no notice of the homeless transvestite who reeks of his own urine and carries the faint smell of booze, a few hours old.
            The homeless man smiles, curtsies.
            “What’s your name?” the driver asks.
            “Calinda, dear sir,” answers the transvestite.
            “Calinda? Isn’t that a woman’s name?”
            Calinda looks offended.
            “Of course,” he answers.
            “So where do you sleep?” the driver asks.
            “Are you tired, sir?” Calinda asks. The driver smiles in wonder.
            “Are you worried for me?” the driver asks.
            “No,” Calinda says, “I never worry.”
            “That’s how you ended up on the street,” the driver says.
            “Perhaps so,” says the transvestite. She smoothes her hair back and smiles. “But if you need help, I can help you, despite my appearance and my odor.”
            The driver nods.
            He turns and walks back to his car.
            “Sir?” Calinda asks after him.
No room at the Inn
            A few hours later, most of the crew is leaving, and the executives are long gone. The party dwindles down to Lily, Jones, Van and David.
            Van rises.
            “Time for me to go,” he says, “Although I have had a lot of fun and I look forward to collecting my money tomorrow night!”
            Lily laughs as he kisses her cheek. He turns to Jones, shakes his hand. Turns to David. Spreads his arms out for a hug.
            “Well,” Lily says. “It’s time for me to go, too.”
            “Do you need a ride?” Van asks, but Jones and David are both rising.
            “No,” Lily announces. “I’ll walk.”
            “Is that okay?” David asks.
            “Yeah,” Lily says, and she means it. And out the door she goes.
            The speechless full moon comes out now…
            Lily is walking home. She lives in the middle of one of the most populous cities in the world. She lives in a city people dream to come to, fight to the death for. There is no one out as she walks home at midnight, not once she has left the lights of Melrose Avenue and the cars and the valets and the girls in silky dresses and cigarettes. No one but for a few cats lurking underneath the cars. Their eyes blaze out at her from beneath the bodies of the massive hulking robots humans drive around, from one worry to the next, one moment to the next, one hope to the next, one disappointment to the next.
            I don’t want to live that way… and while I am definitely different from most everyone I’ve ever met, I don’t live
            free
            either.
            What is this wild hair, life? Why are we here? What secrets are breathed in the wind and why do the Sufis say,
  
The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
    Don’t go back to sleep.
    You must ask for what you really want.
    Don’t go back to sleep.
    People are going back and forth across the doorsill
    Where the two worlds touch.
    The door is round and open.
    Don’t go back to sleep. 

            I have been asleep and I have been awake, I have been both simultaneously all my life, and yet as far as the men in white robes go, I am asleep, and I know it, but I do not know what it means to be awake, or what to do with what gifts I do have, or how to live, let alone how not to die, how to stop what I know is coming and yet knowingly I can create and recreate new, I do time and time again and then forget that I created and recreated and trip myself up, and that makes me the same as all other humans,
            I am them and they are me.
            And then there’s love…
            I mean, of the romantic sort…
            I want it, I do.
            She pauses now to stroke a tree trunk in the lawn where she has paused.
            The rest of it, I don’t know what I want or don’t want, and it’s not up to me anyway. I suppose it’s the same with romance. I must surrender to the whims and whimpers of the universe, I suppose, for there is my creation and my recreation and then there is the deeper root of all, that wild unfair seed of existence of life that says, it is not your ego, it is not your will, it is that and not that, so get back in your heart and out of your asshole and then enjoy falling in line and enjoy falling
            falling….

Monday, April 25, 2016

Music Mondays: YOU GO TO MY HEAD

Here is a video from my Genghis Cohen performance of "You Go To My Head" ...


Friday, April 22, 2016

FICTION FRIDAYS: MY LIFE AS A PHONE PSYCHIC V NYC 2012 Part Two Chapter Five

Quick note:
If you haven't been following along, you can start with
PART ONE, CHAPTER ONE, HERE.

Otherwise, may I present, PART TWO, CHAPTER FIVE, BELOW:
-->

O
Chapter Five
Hustle, bustle, pudding pops and coffee.
Lily sits in the makeup chair.
            Her new personal stylist, Harley, shows her clothes she has picked out for her while the makeup artist and hair stylist, Emily, plays with possible hair options in the mirror.
Harley is a funky girl with spiky red hair and piercings that feel hipster- appropriate. She’s wearing a brocade jacket and torn jeans. She’s probably closer to 40 years old, but she’s so teeny tiny as a person and she has the tiniest little lines on her face that she looks young… who can say, anyway. What is age?
            “So then what’s up with Boston?” Lily asks, thoughtlessly, but riding on the impulse of information in the moment. “Are you going to take that job?”
            Emily stops moving strands of Lily’s hair around into a prom-night updo. She looks up sharply at Harley.
Lily is confused for a moment… They had all just been talking about her moving to Boston to start a styling and costume company for all the film production that happens there… Emily looks as if she has not been paying attention… she is totally shocked…. They had just been talking about this, though, and how Harley was considering it because she’s from there and she has a long lost love who just found her on facebook and they’ve been emailing and…
            Harley turns and looks at Lily.
            “What? What are you talking about?”
            “I… did we not… the guy? From college? And, the company… Okay...” Uh oh, thinks Lily. “Okay,” she continues, “Sometimes I have conversations psychically. Were we just talking out loud about how you are from Boston and you just reconnected with an old boyfriend on Facebook and so you are considering moving there and starting up a company to service the film industry there?”
            Harley is turning white.
            She shakes her head no.
            “No, no, what are you talking about? No one can know about that. Emily, promise me you won’t say anything.” Harley is practically hyperventilating. And yet… she is looking at Lily with excitement, too.
            Emily nods her head.
            “My lips are sealed,” she says.
            “I am so sorry,” Lily says, “I didn’t know. I mean, when we were talking about it…”
            “We haven’t talked about it,” Harley says, “I haven’t said anything to anyone yet.”
            Lily nods her head.
            “I’m having a psychic conversation with your higher self, then,” she says to Harley. Harley puts down the wardrobe pieces and pulls a chair around to face Lily. She sits down in it.
            “You are gifted, for real,” Harley whispers, staring into Lily’s eyes.
Suddenly, seven beams of light burst forth from Harley’s third eye. To Lily, they unfurl into visions, each beam of light its own vision of a pathway in Harley’s life. In less than one moment, Lily registers what each life path means and brings to Harley’s life. The light beams are now connecting to Lily’s third eye and Harley reaches over to touch Lily’s heart suddenly with a gentle, petite hand, and she is scared and excited so Lily must rise above any fear held by all three of them, each woman in this room, and expand her being so as to not be scared so Harley and Emily can learn from her to have courage.
            And Lily finds herself back in her chair and Emily is curling her hair and Harley is holding her hand, telling Lily about the love of her life, her long lost love, Michael O’Malley, who found her online.
            “I said it before. But really. You really are psychic,” Harley finishes.
            “Yes,” Lily nods.
            Lily wants to tell her what she sees as a visionary, of the ten unfolding pathways, about all the things coming up in her life, all the different paths and choices and from those paths and choices where those lifetimes of possibility could go, but… instead…
            “You will have a very nice life,” she says, smiling, patting her hand.
            “I will?” The hope in Harley’s heart at hearing this possibility is warming, but even beyond that, her colors shift and Lily sees the extrapolation of better choices for herself.
            “Just remember some things aren’t what they are cracked up to be,” Lily says, “But there are no mistakes, just choices, and you can’t make a wrong move because it is all for growth and all for learning.”
            “Sometimes…” Lily has a sense of dread in her heart as Harley speaks, and knows that it is the dread of Harley’s heart, not her own… and she know this kind of dread to be a venomous lie of the mind, as opposed to true…
            “Sometimes?” Lily prompts. Might as well confront the dread.
            “Sometimes I do not know if I have what it takes…”
            “What do you mean?” There is more that Harley has to say about it.
            “I mean, to be human,” she explains, “…to be alive. Sometimes it’s all so hard…”
            Lily nods. She knows that feeling very well.
            “You were already born, though, and that’s all the proof you need that you have what it takes to be human.” A being other than Lily is now speaking through her, using her as a channel: an angel, full of light and wisdom. Lily has the sensation of leaving her body and hovering next to Harley, listening. She looks at Harley and wonders if she can sense that this woman in front of her who she thinks is Lily has actually left her body and allowed another being to enter into her body and speak through her. The being looks directly into her eyes and obliterates her ego, just for a moment.
            This is for you, too.
            The being is not human. Lily does not know if it is an angel but either it comforts her to believe so or it is so or that is the closest language there is to describe it. It, this being, whatever it may be, comes often to Lily, not just when doing psychic work but more and more and perhaps always. It is warm and full of love of the deepest sort and Lily comprehends very little about it other than she must accept it and allow it and that is all she needs to know for now.
            “Why are you on earth?” the being in the body of Lily is asking Harley.
            “I… that’s what I am struggling with.”
            “Well, I believe you are on earth, biologically speaking, to perpetuate the species. Your species is human. You are here to perpetuate life. Human life has specific and random aspects, including belief systems, emotions, intellect, thoughts and feelings, the belief in good and evil. Whether or not any of these aspects of human life are true or not is irrelevant to your human life because it is part of the human life you are living. If the purpose of your life is to perpetuate the species, whether or not you have children and literally perpetuate life is also irrelevant. On an individual level, perpetuating life, not the species, is what is relevant. And I ask you, what perpetuates life: darkness? hiding? suicide? no. Suicide perpetuates a lie. Whether or not you are here to make the planet better when you leave it than how you found it is barely even an issue, because the perpetuation of human life includes the evolution of the human spirit, which includes the increasing of joy, because joy increases life. War does not increase joy. War does not perpetuate life. War comes from darkness. That does not mean all war is wrong. From a higher perspective, which you are not yet ready to live within without and stand in, all negativity is positivity. But on an individual level, you are here to perpetuate life: your life. And therefore you must do what is within your heart and within your integrity to do. But if you search your heart truly, fully, you will find that darkness, lying, hiding, acts of disintegrity, suicide, moping, self pity, self loathing; these are all lies and darkness, acts which do not perpetuate life. They do not perpetuate your life. Therefore, to believe in suicide as a possibility or the idea that you are not cut out to maintain a human existence is a lie, and one that must be eradicated from the fibers of your being, so that you can continue to fulfill your existence on earth. This is so, whether we are speaking biologically or integrally or emotionally or shallowly. You are peace. You are peaceful. Enjoy the beauty of each moment and perpetuate life. Yours, and soon, another’s.”
And spontaneously, Lily finds herself in her body, touching her belly. She smiles.
            “Thank you,” Harley says.
            Emily the makeup artist is not so moved. She is annoyed.
            “Why are you upset?” the being asks. It has not left Lily’s body.
            “I’m not upset,” Emily lies.
            “Well, that’s fine. I will say only this, then. When you are lying to others, you are really only ever lying to yourself. You might as well get on with life and say yes to all honesty and truth now, for eventually you will. Why not do it in life rather than wait until death?”
            Emily drops the curling iron a little and it burns Lily’s neck. Lily gasps.
            “Oh my god, I am so sorry,” Emily exclaims.
            “Five minutes,” says David, walking into the makeup room. He surveys the scene. Emily is running to get a can of cold Diet Coke to put on the burn. Harley is crying in the corner. Lily is not dressed.
            “What’s going on?” he asks… He senses the sense of worry in the room.
             Lily smiles.
            “We’re all good here,” she answers. “Is Jones here yet?”
            No use worrying everyone else, too, she thinks.
            “Yeah, he just rolled in,” David says. “Well. Okay. If you say everything is okay….” He smiles, and his dimples pop out, but behind his eyes there is a question. Lily can practically hear his worry…
            Nothing can go wrong today… his heart reverberates. Lily regrets that he walked into an atmosphere of fear.
            “It is,” she reassures him, smiling with her eyes, extending a loving energy form her heart.
            David nods.
            “Four and a half minutes.”
            He leaves and Emily hands her the can of soda. Lily puts it against the burn. It feels so cold it is burning.
            “I’m really sorry,” she says.
            “It’s fine.” Lily smiles at her. Emily looks away.
Shall We Gather At the River?
            Lily sits alone in her dressing room. She is dressed, coiffed, made up, and ready. And nervous. Five minutes has turned into fifteen and no one seems to notice or care. Finally…. There is a knock on the door.
            Jones pokes his head in.
            “Can I come in?”
            Lily nods, relieved. Smiles. Wow…He looks really good.
            “You look great,” she says…
            He smiles. Laconic. Sexy. Brushes his hand through his hair. Just the tiniest bit of greys on the sides.
I bet he colors it that way specifically, she thinks. But she has never asked.
            “Love is the, love is the, love is the… law!” he sings softly, sidling up next to her.
            “Suburbs!” she smiles. “You’re in a good mood… Do you have a new girlfriend or something?”
            He looks at me quizzically. Laughs.
            He kisses her cheek.
            Oh… Uh oh.
            Lily feels guilty over her tryst with David now. She is sure Jones knows but is stuffing it away somewhere in a dark, shadowy corner of his soul called “denial.”
            Then she checks herself. Is she that egotistical?
            Or is he believing she is his new girlfriend?
            Come on, girl, you’re the psychic, she says to herself. And this is why I never intuit or analyze my own life, she answers herself back.
            Jones hugs her, holds her a while, rocking back and forth. Kisses her forehead. Lily feels lost. Is he drunk? Does he think they are together? Does she think they’re together? She begins to wonder if her date with David really happened, too.
            “Ready?” he asks.
            “Yeah,” she says. She looks in the mirror. “Boy, life is a trip,” she announces.
            Normally, in a moment like this, Jones is completely self-centered. Either he is throwing sexual energy at her, or yelling at her for doing something wrong or for a personality trait he will call a flaw, or he is avoiding her altogether… and vice versa. Lily will do all those same things back to him, except she will not yell. She never yells.
But now, they are acting lovey dovey for no apparent reason and she is so very confused, and yet nervous about the show and doesn’t have time to get into it anyway.
            He takes her hand and walks her to the door. He puts his other hand on the door itself, turns her to face him, and kisses her, deeply and full of longing.
            Oh.
            She lets him… feeling guilty… but she lets him… and then she…
            She kisses back, and swirling swirling swirling he is beautiful.
            He pulls back.
            “Just checking,” he says.
            “Checking?”
            “Checking.” He smiles. Opens the door. Leads her to the stage.
            There is David, waiting for her, beaming brightly, but nervous. Awkward. Or not.
            He’s not psychic, she thinks, he does not know.
            She walks on stage.
            But I do. She smiles.
            There, before her, in a huge TV studio, is a full audience and they clap and clap and clap. She smiles, feeling her cheeks warm, her ears burn, her fingers tingle.
            “We’re going live in five… four…” a producer says…
            LIVE? Lily smiles broader. How did I miss this part of the conversation?
            She looks out into the audience, seeking out Jones. David is on stage, near her, but not too near. She scans the crowd, feeling immense energy reverberating against her heart. She breathes deeply. She wants to faint. Beads of sweat along her forehead. The back of her head feels on fire and she feels kundalini rising and pauses her own body… now is not a good time for yogic ecstasy.
            “Hi, I’m David Farrar, and I’d love to welcome you to the inauguration of ‘My Life as a Phone Psychic,’ a new show starring a true to life phone psychic, Lily Moore.”
            The audience claps.
            “In the coming weeks we will learn a lot about Lily. What her life is like. What she does day to day. And most importantly, she will be telling you all the information you have been longing to hear about your own hopes and dreams.”
            As David is speaking, Lily stops checking on herself.
Who cares if this is live? Who cares if they are following me around with a camera for the next few weeks and making a reality show. I barely exist anymore anyway… existed… until… well.
            David... Jones… everything is kind of a mess…
            I’m an idiot. What have I gotten myself into!?
            Maybe this is what God wants for me.
            Am I good enough for this?
            Can I help people? These are questions I should have looked at more closely before saying yes, I guess….
            Who cares. You are here. Do it.
            Lily nods. Smiles. She will be okay.
            “Love, romance, career, money…” David is still talking. He’s reading from a teleprompter. Lily looks at him and feels a support coming from him. She thinks about how handsome he is. She decides not to feel guilty about kissing him OR Jones. It’s all unfolding as it should. “And we’ll watch Lily read people both live and on the phone… so let’s begin right away!”
            David motions to Lily.
            “Hello, America,” Lily says. The audience claps. “And across the world. I guess we’re live online as well. So thank you for tuning in, and I invite you to call in via telephone or Skype. I can’t wait to be of service to healing, to your highest good, and to the highest good of all humanity.”
            I pray that god speaks through me. God, please, let me be of some use to these people. Please be of service to these people.
            “Our first guest? Brie Witherspoon!” David smiles broadly, then claps along with the audience.
            A very pretty blonde with cat green eyes walks up to the stage. She is nervous. Lily is no longer nervous but cannot but help feeling the nervous energy of David, the producers, and Brie Witherspoon. She does not see Jones but Lily senses him. He is freaked the fuck out. And not because of the show.
Gather With The Saints At The River
            there are times we float in and out of realities. most people apparently are not aware of this occurrence, or perhaps it isn’t the case that most people actually get to do this, but that somehow there are a few special few in this universe so blessed and accursed.
            it seems as though there are wormholes or mobius strips of reality or some sort of highway system for the soul to connect these realities and
yet
            truly, it is all here
            for here is all there is
            it is possible to bifurcate the beingmindbody and exist with in two, then four, then 16, and on and on;
            it is not possible for the totality of the soul to be anywhere other than here
            because truly
            here is all there is
            truly
            it is all here
That Flows
            Lily blinks and wakes up. She is still on stage and Brie is talking.
Shit. What’d I miss? she wonders. And yet, she knows something will speak through her. She didn’t need to be available for the last second or nanosecond or thirteen hours (for she has no idea) of speech and yet, out of respect for the show and the audience, makes a conscious effort to pull herself present as Brie is speaking. She is, honestly, very uninteresting. So many people who seek psychic advice are so dull. Lily has never known how to tell them that the problem is that they are in fear, or that they will not engage in their own life’s possibilities and so remain dull and lifeless…
Really, in Lily’s experience, all souls are beautiful, but most personalities abide in fear. Brie is no different. It’s clear she’s dating a guy who is cheating on her; that she places too much value in the appearance of a steady relationship instead of a soul mate who grows her; that although she is doing her best at any given moment she is really caught up in lies about the nature of human existence and is so malintended that it is all about her and that has led her to become addicted to love and obsessed with finding “the one” without even knowing what or who that might look like because she hasn’t even yet looked  at her own heart to see the reflection of self;
…most modern American women share this malady…
            …still, there is something entirely wonderful and lovable about all her humanity…
            …and…
            Lily desires deeply, deeply, DEEPLY to be of service to her, through the best use of her talents, so:
            “Brie, I welcome you to my show. It is my aim that I am of service to you, that I ask to be the channel of communication for information that will lead you toward your highest good as a beautiful child of god.”
            Brie smiles. She misinterprets Lily’s esoteric description of her for a physical description and boy, does she like being told she is beautiful.
Well, who doesn’t?
            “Thank you,” she says.
            “I have many things to say but first I know you want to tell me a thing or two,” Lily continues.
            Brie laughs and blushes.
            “Well, I have a few questions,” she begins. “The first is, well, alright. So, I believe I am psychic, too. I have been psychic all my life….”
            The sound of waves crashing against a shore begins to drown out whatever her words are. Lily strain to hear her over the thundering sound of the sea but quickly gives up, realizing that is futile. The waves are louder and louder until it sounds like as though Lily is completely submerged in water and although she knows that Brie is talking, it sounds like it is filtered through the strange density of an ocean. She seems to talk endlessly and Lily wonders why they, the production crew of the show, let her go on.
            “You know?” Brie finishes.
            ‘Til human voices wake us…
            “Brie,” Lily begins, deciding to go with honesty, “I honestly didn’t hear almost any of what you just said except to know that you are addicted to the sound of your own voice talking.”
            The audience laughs. David is nervous, though. He smiles at me as if he is Charlie Brown. For a brief moment, Lily bristles at what she perceives as a lack of faith…
            I am good at this, Lily fumes…
            Until the universe slides into nothingness and Lily is struck blind, but the smell of hyacinth is overwhelming.
…And I Need you now…
            She is not blind… She walks through an apartment, looking at photos of Brie. Graduation photos, pictures from Disneyland, engagement photos. As she moves through the apartment she hears people making love. She walks to the bedroom  door and stands there where a couple is having sex. It is definitely the man in the engagement photos, but the girl is not Brie.
To Wake Up
            “Brie,” she says, in the apartment and on stage at once. She is fully aware of the studio audience and the incendiary nature of what she is about to say. “I hate to tell you this, but your fiancé is cheating on you. I am really sorry because I know you want to marry him. And while normally I would say that it’s okay, that that doesn’t mean the relationship can’t work out, I mean, sometimes it still can, but not in this instance. Your fiancé is very dark, very dark, and you must leave him immediately.”
            Brie falls into panic.
            “Bring Brie to me,” some otherworldly, angelic being speaks through these lips, this tongue, these vocal folds, this body, this breath, everyone’s breath, everyone’s beating heart. This consciousness is everyone’s consciousness. There is healing that must occur in this room, now.
            Brie walks toward her. Lily places her hand on her forehead and takes her hands in hers.
            “Brie,” she says, “Are you with me?”
            Brie’s cultural personality, the lovely perfect self-involved judgmental socialite… is gone. Present only is a preverbal child.
            “Yes,” she whispers.
            Lily whispers in her ear, some words in a language she neither understands nor normally speaks.
            “You know in your heart he is not the one.”
            The cameras are close in on the two women now, and have picked up not only what Lily just said, but also her speaking in tongues.
Lily looks to David, who stares in awe.
            “You know in your heart he is not the one,” she says, louder. “There is another one, but you must have courage and leave this man. He is not the one for you… he is very sick. And his sickness makes you sick. You live in denial of your true self out of the presentation of perfect love.”
Brie bursts into tears and melts into Lily’s arms, who rocks her back and forth, kissing her tear stained cheek.
            “It’s okay,” she says.
            “I know he cheated on me once,” Brie says…
            “Look,” Lily says, definitely herself once again, “you can do what you want. It is up to you. But I saw very clearly that he was a dark man addicted to sex. It would be okay if it was just that he was addicted to sex but it’s the darkness. THAT is what concerns me.”
            Brie sniffles, nods.
            “No, I know you are right,” she says.
            “Brie, I want you to give yourself a weekend away to rejuvenate. And I want you to begin to meditate every day and get in touch with the true heart of you. And then, once you grow into self-love and self-acceptance, then you will see the gift that he was in your life, because he brought you to a place of awareness. But that does not mean he is your husband.” Brie nods.
            “In fact,” David says, walking over, “We’re about to take a break, sponsored by Marriot Hotels, and they have just generously offered Brie a two night stay in any of their hotels across the United States and Canada.”
            The audience claps. Brie’s face crumples into tears.
            “And we’ll be back in just a few minutes!” David puts his arm around Brie, and a PA runs up with a tissue as the houselights go up.
             A loud beeping. Makeup artists, lighting crew.
            Brie is ushered off stage.
            David mutes his mic.
            “Doing okay?” he asks.
            Lily nods.
            “I hope that was okay,” she says, “I really have to apologize. I had no idea, really, what I was in for or what you wanted me to do for this show and I just figured it would all work itself out. I should really have done some work ahead of time…”
            “No, no. I mean, to that end, we all should have. That’s what I was supposed to be doing with you at Swingers anyway,” he says.
            Oh…
            Her heart drops.
            He squeezes her shoulder.
            “But I like the way it worked out much better,” he says.
            “So the way we are doing the show is okay?” Lily whispers.
            “Oh, that too. I meant… I like what happened between you and me much better than if we had a meeting planning all this. Besides, you’re a natural.”
            “Thanks.”
            “Do you need anything? Water? A cookie?”
            “No.” Lily laughs.
            Just for a moment… one light-hearted moment. Then, Lily feels a pang of longing and desire, the residue of Jones in her heart, his energy, his fear, his betrayal, his anger, his hope. She has never felt him so strongly as this before, even in the times they seemed to have been closer than close and even during the times she has been IN him. She is in him and he is in her. She scans the studio, looking for him.
            “Where’s Jones?” she asks.
            “Not sure…” David listens in to something on his earphone. “One more minute,” he says.
            She takes a deep breath, one that lasts a thousand years…
            “And we’re back!” David smiles.
Lily smiles. How is someone so scruffy in normal every day life so charming and clean-cut looking on camera?
            Years of practice, Lily is sure she hears David say. The answer is in her heart. She looks at him and he looks at her and a beam of light connects them from third eye to third eye.
And…
            Lily drives very fast in a luxury car. She careens too fast down Sunset Boulevard in Beverly Hills. This car… It is not any car she has ever driven and there is a woman screaming next to her in the passenger seat. The woman is out of her mind. Drugs, emotional instability. A life without any tools for coping aside from distract, distract, distract. Diets, pills, alcohol, relationships. Her son. She claws at Lily’s shoulders and Lily reaches across to restrain her with her right arm. She pushes the woman down so hard against her car seat until she relaxes with a whimper. Lily, shocked. She looks over to see why she has stopped fighting so suddenly and at that moment she loses control of the car
We’re back!
            Lily stands on stage, staring into the lights. David smiles sadly at her, but only for the briefest of moments, so fast in fact that no one, perhaps not even David, notices.
            “Let’s hear Brie’s reaction to her amazing reading,” he says.
            Huge screens are unveiled on all sides of the studio. Brie is in a room backstage, and even though her cheeks are tear-stained, she still looks beautiful.
            “I always knew he was cheating on me,” Brie says.
            A gorgeous model in a long dark green summer dress interviews her. She nods consolingly, fake, and puts her arm around her.
            “Brie, can you hear us?” David says. Brie looks up into the camera.
            “Yes, I can,” she says.
            “We love and support you, Brie,” David says.
Lily almost laughs aloud and then wants to vomit.
That was sooo phony.
David turns around and glances at Lily, as if he has heard her thoughts.
Perhaps he has.
He means it, in a universal humanitarian sort of sense.
“And we wanted to let you know your boyfriend is actually on the phone.  Are you ready to talk to him?”
            Brie nods. She wipes her tears away and takes a warrior queen stance.
            “Hello?” through crackly wires, a voice, a discombobulated voice.
            Oh, god, cramping, cramping…. Lily strokes her lower abdomen, then clutches it.
STATIC STATIC STATIC
            Lily watches Brie’s young man and he is angry, in the pit of his stomach there is dark black oozing mud and it streams forth from his pores and he breathes fire his anger his anger and as he breathes nasty demons flying from his mouth he whispers
            “Lily…”
            Lily, in his arms now- and he is trying to kiss my mouth- with those putrid demon lips and- I don’t want to turn my face toward him for to kiss him is the kiss of death but I must look into his eyes and show him the angel that is within me the angel must look into his eyes must must must I turn and look and-
01010101010101010
            Inhale. Breathing.
The crew is standing around Lily, cameras on her.
“What?” Lily says, sitting up.
            David reaches down and holds her up as she struggles to sit. Jones has appeared from seemingly nowhere. He stands not far off, and the cameras are rolling, they are rolling.
            “The cameras are rolling?” she whispers, feeling like a wee little girl.
            “You were speaking in tongues, and then you were speaking to Brie’s boyfriend, and he was speaking back, both of you speaking some bizarre language none of us have ever heard.” Jones moves in closer.
            “This is live?” Lily asks.
            David looks to his producer.
            “Clear the way, let’s let her stand!” he shouts.
            Lily stands, and the audience claps.
            She shakes her head, no….
            “What just happened?” she asks, again and again.
            Brie is still in the video screen, white faced.
            “Lily,” she says into the camera, the model still standing next to her, big eyed.
            “Yes?”
            “Lily, you just spoke in tongues with my- now- ex fiancé… then you told him he was a good boy and it was time to get the demon out of him- then he said, there is no demon, but you are the demonness, and he told me to come get my things, well, I am going to send my dad over…”
            “Yes, let’s be safe,” David says.
            “Brie,” Lily says, and all eyes are rapt. “It is very important that you have no contact with this man. He is very sick. The truth of his being is a beautiful young boy who is carrying around some lie about religion and god and he lives a double life. Until he gets rehabilitated, do not have any contact with him. Send your father over, and three other men to get your things. You do not have to live in fear of this man, he will only send flowers and love notes. But you must ignore these things, they are the attempt at the opening to communication that you must not have.”
            Brie nods.
            “Okay, Brie, we’ll be following up with you,” David says….  “But for now, let’s take another break!”
            And the red blinking light is off.
            The entire audience sighs.
            Lily, too.
            Jones walks over and grabs her shoulders. He is awed, scared, proud, and excited.
            “Are you okay?”
            Lily smiles and looks down shyly. Jones has never seen her do psychic work in person. She nods, yes.
            “Really? I am not sure it’s okay for you to just- go away like that…”
            “It happens all the time, Jones,” she whispers.
            She wants so desperately to crawl into his arms, for him to cradle her and hold her and… and… she wants her mother… and her father. But she knows those days are over. She will never, never be cradled and held like that. Never. And a sadness enters her heart over her own situation. But there is no time for self-pity. If she looks too closely, she will kill herself, out of her ego’s desire to be anything other than this strange creature she is. It is so weird, who she is, in the eyes of everyone, even those she helps. Well, in her mind, she supposes, and that is all she can really say for certain. But that’s bad enough.
Jones loves her but is scared of her. David is scared of her. Her mother is just like her but has squashed that part of herself down very deeply and is afraid that what happened to Lily’s father will happen to her. She cannot go looking at all this strange human unwillingness to live, to bloom, to be oneself. The voice of God, silent, has told her through silence… for Lily, such things as suicide and self-pity are not allowed.
            And so Lily denies this strain of thought. She refuses to live in fear. And she refuses to lie, whether to herself or anyone else.
            She hears the sound of waves crashing and another knowing enters her heart, anyway.
I am just a poor boy, though my story’s seldom told
            “And we’re back!”  
            The audience is riveted. The show is online as well as on television live, and they now are about to tape their last segment.
Lily feels a sort of nothingness, and yet a pain in her heart as it expands so far out into the universe, loving each cell it encounters. She has all but lost herself. She may have done only one official reading but it turned into two readings, and it was a channel for the entire live audience and the entire television and internet viewing audience, and as well as this, Lily feels the energy of future watchers of this episode in the present moment. And she feels the wonder, and the doubt, and the hope, the blame, the shame, the anger, the fear, the what if, the sin, the faith, love glory everlasting.
The show producers have tried hard to keep with their agenda, too. They showed a montage of famous psychics past, ending with Lily. Lily thought it was, well, rather cheesy. Then, they aired a crazy interview with Jones in which he spoke about how they met, and then finished with a montage of photos of Lily from the photo shoot. In the photos, she looks very sexy.  It seems completely incongruous to the strange spiritual ecstasy she displayed on camera. Nuns, mystics, religious zealots… none of these roles are known for being sexy in a Hollywood sort of way.
Leave it to Hollywood to sexualize speaking in tongues, Lily thinks.
            “Our little Lily is the most beautiful psychic I’ve ever met,” David says, smiling.
            Oh.
That sends a girl’s heart a flutter. Lily leaves her ecstatic reverie and enters the world of the modern single girl. She blushes. The audience claps.
            “And look at her blush.” David smiles. Dimples everywhere.
            “Oh, guys, let’s just get on with the reading,” Lily says.
            “Great. Because we have another special treat,” David says. “A mystery celebrity guest.”
            A wall slides to one side on the far side of the studio and there is a man hiding behind a scrim.
            “Behind this screen is a fabulous celebrity. We have masked his voice through the use of the Avnex Voice Changer Software…. and we are going to have Lily give him a reading!”
            The audience claps.
            “Oh, man, now I’m nervous,” Lily says, noticing the teleprompter for the first time. She almost laughs at the dialogue.
            “Hello, Lily,” a strange voice says from behind the screen. “Don’t be nervous. I’m a big fan after what I just saw.”
            Lily smiles. She knows who it is already. Something in the cadence of his voice.
 “I have to say,” Lily begins, “Yours was on one of the few TV shows I ever watched in high school.”
The gentleman behind the scrim laughs.
            “How’s your wife and her three children?” Lily asks.
            David smiles.
            “Oh come on, wait a second,” he says. “We have to verify that you had no idea that we were doing this, that you have no idea who is behind the screen.”
            “I had no idea you were going to do this,” Lily says, “But I can tell already from the cadence of his speech who he is. He was on the one TV show I watched in high school.”
            The man laughs.
            “Remember,” Lily says, “I may talk on the phone for a living, but that also means, I listen for a living.”
            The audience claps.
            “Well, don’t I still get a psychic reading?” asks the man behind the scrim.
            “Shall I reveal who I believe you are first?”
            “Let’s ask the audience,” David says.
            “No!” “Yes!” the audience shouts conflicting answers.
            “Look,” Lily says, “The reading has nothing to do with whether you are famous or not. Even Ronald Reagan used to work with an astrologist.”
            “Okay. As one of the executive producers,” David begins, “I want you to give him a reading, and then we will reveal who it is. But I wanted you to not know who he was so that we could show the audience your true talent.”
            “We already saw that with the last girl and her boyfriend,” says the man behind the screen.
            “David. How’d you get someone so good looking and famous?” Lily asks. The audience laughs. David turns red.
            “We’re long time friends,” says the man behind the screen. “From when I first moved here before I was famous.”
            “From Iowa?”
            The man laughs.
            “Okay. I’ll take my reading,” he says. Lily touches her heart in connection to his heart and feels his excitement. He likes what he has seen. He seeks the extraordinary.
            “You have always done everything that you were told couldn’t be done. You do the extraordinary, albeit sometime pointless acts. But even the pointless acts are not pointless, because they teach you how to act beyond your thinking, intellectual mind. You have no bounds not because you are famous, or handsome, or rich, but because you have no bounds. You are a man of compassion and so this bodes well for you in life, as you will not use your limitless energy in negative ways. You like everything you saw me do today because you seek truth, freedom, expansion, liberation. And now there is only life in front of you, endless, streaming. You must be careful not to be bored, for that is where you may create problems for yourself. Ah uh uh, I know you want to say that you never get bored, that you are so blessed and now your life is just about service. But I am telling you the times are coming on this planet that will test every man. The times are coming which will ask us what our true life is about, our true human values. We all know that and we all know they are always coming. You have a unique gift of being a leader. But don’t force the universe to humble you. Humble yourself or you will have a slew of terrible movies and a nasty divorce. I hate saying this because it isn’t actually true. You are so evolutionary, so energetically frenetically mobile as a being that you can shift in to any mode at any time. But now that you know you are always doing things that cannot be done, you must give back even more. It’s the game you’ve been playing and know how to play. Now. I know you want specific details. Okay. So first of all, your girlfriend that was murdered. I am really sorry you carry so much of a feeling of burden surrounding that. I know you just shifted your energy into protection mode when I mentioned that murder… because of the nature of being a public man. She, well, she’s here. She wants me to tell you that there was nothing you could have done, that she is energetically remaining on earth until her murderer is sent to prison and until the people who miss her no longer mourn. I ask of you, Van….”
            A gasp rips through the audience as Lily accidentally reveals his name.
            “…sorry, audience, but this is more important… I ask of you to release sorrow, guilt, or remorse as soon as possibly, even immediately, to help set her free. I know your work with kabbalah has helped. I know it has even sent you mostly free except up until a man was accused of being the killer. Look, here’s the deal. You know that the game of life begets more life, yes? And you have learned to be here, eternally here. Then you go make plans and something comes up and reminds you of things that bring guilt and remorse. Well, it’s important for you to make plans, of course. But it’s even more important that you keep your awareness HERE. That you continuously practice the game of HERE because there is nothing else, and HERE is where you are of service, HERE is where you are in love, HERE is where you are free.”
            The audience is silent, David is silent. Van comes out from behind the screen. No one claps as he walks up to Lily and hugs her. He nods. Then the audience begins to clap. Then they really clap, deep, true. No one really knows what Lily just said, not really. Not even Lily…. possibly Van truly heard it. But no one else, except for a monk or two, living in a cave off the cliffs of Moher in Ireland, or perhaps in a cottage in the Pyrenees, who heard the reverberation of a moment of peace as it was carried along in the breeze. All humanity exists at once, peace, Om Mani Padme Hum.
            Van rocks her and rocks her and rocks her back and forth as the audience applauses.
            “Thanks, girl. But I have one more question.”
            “Yes?” Lily smiles, pulling out of the hug.
            “Who’s gonna win in the Cubs game tomorrow? And what’s the point spread?”
            Lily laughs, heartily. She feels good. This man makes her feel so good. No wonder he is a star. The audience titters. Van Lawson is a man who likes to play.
            “It doesn’t really work that way,” Lily begins… but the waves are already crashing.
            Lily is underwater now.
I am dead, I am dead, I am dead. Yet through the filter of the water she hears the audience clapping, David speaking, Van Lawson speaking. She hears herself, too, her own voice, a strange lyrical cadence, almost affected but not quite. She hears herself speak. She says, “The Cubs play the Brewers and win it, 5 to 2. All the way to the 9th inning, no upsets.” 
            Through an explosion of nothingness but the presence of all water and then the presence of nothingness and then the sound of all angels and then the inside of her eyes and then the presence of god Lily is obliterated almost entirely again until she
            inhales
            here
            and Van Lawson is smiling and shaking her hand. He has seen what just happened to me. Strange. A movie star who is an awakened being. His eyes look from behind looking and he knows.
            “Then it’s a wager. I can’t wait to collect my $500,” he says.
            Lily laughs. Once again, she has not a clue what just happened.
            No one ever really does, though.