As my friends would quit the acting thing and move away, I suddenly had friends all over the place—San Francisco, Taos, Boulder, even Fayetteville, Arkansas. I met a guy from Kansas once who told me that feisty Kansans pronounce one of the rivers that runs through their beloved state the Ar-KAN-sas River, to keep the respect in the name.
I needed a good…something. Colorado sounded like a good something. So off I went to visit my friend there. The Denver airport smells like the tent we camped in when I was a kid; the top of the terminal—designed to look like the mountain peaks to the west as well as teepees that were on the Great Plains to the east—is made of something that smells very much like canvas, like a tent. There’s also a blue bronco statue, with a diabolical-looking red eye, which killed its sculptor by falling on him. That’s so not nice—to kill one’s creator like that. I think that eye had something to do with it.
The strangest thing about Denver is that the streets are empty by nine PM because everyone wakes up at five to go climb a mountain, jump on their bikes, or run a marathon. When I got back to LA and was driving home from the airport at midnight, it was a shock to see so many cars on the road. What in the world are all these people doing up so late, I thought. We humans certainly can adjust fairly quickly to new surroundings, and then it takes a day or two to snap back.
My friend Gwen, who was Colorado pretty before she even moved here, lived in Boulder. She wanted to take me to see a psychic medium who talks to dead people.
“I think it’ll be good for you,” Gwen urged. “Maybe Cyndi will say something.”
I’d wanted to leave LA to get away from Cyndi (and Jeff) for a weekend. But I agreed to go, intrigued at the possibilities.
I saw a book once where the title was something like Can Ghosts Watch You Shower? Ewwwww! The thought gave me chills. The older you get, the more people in your life die, so the more crowded it’d be in there. Actually I doubt they’d be all that interested.
Other than that batty book title, I didn’t think about ghosts very often, and I definitely didn’t have a whole lot of experience communicating with the afterlife. Maybe Cyndi did speak to me that time on the beach and that other time in her bedroom when the curtain moved, but I attributed both of those events more to my very overactive imagination. Yeah, yeah—that’s what it was.
Gwen and I sat through a bunch of dead folks wanting to talk to an aunt, a daughter, a spouse. There was even one ghost who was pestering the medium.
“There’s a young woman, about nineteen or so,” the medium said.
A number of people stood up, scattered around the large auditorium.
“She committed suicide,” the medium continued, “and she wants to talk to her parents.”
All of the people standing sat down except for a man and woman near the back. They held each other tightly.
The medium addressed her comments to the couple. “She wants to say that she loves you and that there was nothing you could’ve done. Not a single thing.”
The couple burst into tears. I’m sure everyone present had tears in their eyes. Their relief was palpable, even in that large room.
Gwen took me to a small kirtan in Boulder the next night…and that’s where the young woman’s words hit me. As the lovely older woman in the front of the room sang and played her harmonium, and the audience members chanted with her or responded to her calls, I dissolved into a puddle of tears. They wouldn’t stop. My friend put her arm around me, and my tears flowed and flowed.
These were different tears, though…not of loss as much as relief. “There was nothing you could have done,” the young woman had said through the medium. “Not a single thing.”
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