The psychic, Sophia, began to describe my spirit guide. “Um, he’s in kind of a nineteenth century garb. Vest coat. Pocket watch. What else is he showing me? He was a professor. He was a teacher. Is there someone around you involved in Theology? Or Philosophy? Were you involved in that? Was that an interest of yours? ‘Cause I see you really learning. And he’s guiding you to the right books to pick up. You may not have to go to school for this, but he’s guiding you in that direction. And I see a strong protection around you. You have a very strong protection. You’re a very interesting personality because there’s a strong part of you that wants to stay like this, and there’s one foot that’s going like this. You know, so I sense in you a kind of duality. It’s not a problem by any means. It’s just trying to combine at the word balance.”
Sophia drew four more cards. “Okay. Let me do this,’ as she takes hold of my wedding ring and closes her eyes. Upon opening them, she continues, “I see books. I see you could write a book right now. But, not a ‘How-To Book’. If that makes any sense. I don’t understand it, but you may make sense of it. The moon plays a strong influence in your life, so watch the cycles’, she said and then laughed. 'Very interesting.’ She drew a fast sixteen cards. ‘Oy! Let’s see what this is. You got one, two, three Kings. Surprises coming up. This card in front of someone usually indicates to me that there’s a search here going on for spiritual enlightenment. I’m sensing some spiritual enlightenment and a search in that direction. And you are going to find it. You have lots of teachers around you.’ Sophia concluded my session by reiterating, ‘I think that you’re gonna write a book. I have no doubt about it."
Sophia was no boardwalk Madame Marie. She did her work in the kitchen of her Cape Cod-style home on a busy residential road in Pequannock, New Jersey. Except for some cliché novelty palm reader my parents made me go into in Greenwich Village back in the late 1970’s, I’d never been to a psychic. It took me three months to get my late March appointment. She was that popular. I had been given her name and number in December by Vinnie, the brother of my best friend Gary, who at just thirty-two years old, had died of a brain tumor earlier that year. One night in November, my wife Chris and I were driving out to the Poconos and we discussed the idea of planting a tree, in Gary’s honor, the following Memorial Day. When Vinnie called me in December, I was surprised to hear from him, but he had to ask me what he thought was a strange question. Vinnie went on to tell me that his wife Donna had just come home from seeing a psychic. The psychic told Donna that Gary had a message for his friend Mike - “Tell him to go ahead and plant the tree.” Vinnie wanted to know if this meant anything to me.
It felt as if I'd just saw a ghost. I got a chill that gave me goosebumps and Chris actually screamed. How was this even possible? Gary had died well over eight months prior and yet he managed to find a means to communicate 'from beyond.' Was his spirit in the car when Chris and I discussed the idea? His spirit knew when and where Donna would be at a psychic, and that this psychic could hear him to relay the message? This level of communication was beyond all rational comprehension and it haunts me to this day. As any good ghost would/should. If it wasn't so true, I wouldn't believe it myself.
Rides of thrill at amusement parks weren't my thing. If I was going to take my life in my own hands, being scared to death was far less nauseating with my feet on the ground, so I found my adrenaline rush on the edge, in The Haunted House. Finding my way through the darkness - unsure of what was around every corner or behind every door - this was where the fun, action, and danger resided. Expecting the unexpected was the experience I sought and finding my way out - escaping into the bright lights, sounds and smells - was like a dopaminergic reward.