Saturday, March 14, 2009


I must be feeling chatty lately.

This morning when I got to my school building to walk things were weird. For one, lights were on that are never on. There were four cars in the lot that I know by sight... one teacher and three student owned ones. Inside doors were open that are never left open. And absolutely no people inside the building, though that took awhile to figure out.

I read a book sometime ago by a guy named Gavin De Becker called The Gift of Fear. He helped set up the FBI profiling system. Interesting man. In it he talks about many things, like how some people can suffer horrendous abuses and still come out to be normal productive members of society. While others suffer abuse and become abusers themselves. He gave real life examples of the things he spoke of and it was very instructive.

The point of the book was to illustrate how our minds work to help us survive. Particularly our most basic instincts. He went back over interviews with victims of rape and pointed out where their subconscious minds had warned the victims of the danger looming ahead of them, but because we have become a dependent and trusting society, we often ignore our survival signals.

Now, he is the first to say that not all victims of violent crimes are warned by their brains to the danger... no, it's not about blaming the victim. Some folk do bad things to others with no warning, no rhyme or reason at all.

But we need to be aware and to listen to our bells and whistles. We have those instincts for a reason and we need to hear them. You know what I am talking about. We all have those moments where you walk into a room and it feels wrong. You can't quite put your finger on it at first, but your brain has given you a mental tap and the hair on your neck is standing up. That's the time to take a giant step backward and think it through. Unfortunately what we often do is think "That's odd" and keep on moving right into it.

Here is an excellent example of what I mean. I graduated from high school a year earlier than my class... and immediately moved away from home at just barely 17 into the college ghetto.
This was an area between the college and a highway/main street that had been purchased by the college for eventual expansion. You could rent a home, apartment or whatever very cheap.
My rent was only $75 a month. Taco Bell sold tacos a block away once a month for a dime. Cheap living.

I rented a Quonset hut. They are those funny army buildings that are made of corrugated metal and look like long log cakes with curved tops. I painted the end of mine to look like a rainbow. The only one of its kind within miles and miles. It appealed to me by being odd beyond any expectations. I had two living/bedroom rooms, two small kitchens and a hall with two bathrooms in the middle. There was a door in that hall that could be locked to separate the two halves and make for two tiny studio living spaces. My friend, Edd agreed to live in the back section and I took the front or visa versa depending on what end of the hut you showed up at.

I got my brother and dad to leave all my stuff there... including my grandmother's antique brass bed. I had no curtains up yet and you could peek through the windows and see that bed glinting in the sunshine. I came home from a film class in a really great mood and let myself in the door. I looked around and something was not right, but hey... I was glad to be alive and feeling great, so what could be wrong? I scanned the room and saw my table had finger prints all over it. Goodness, my mother would freak at the mess of that, so after years of training to take clean to the level beyond sanitary... I got the Pledge and immediately solved the problem. The disturbance of the force was smoothed out and things felt fine. The table shone, mark free.

I took about two steps away to go plop onto the bed and stopped in my tracks and began to really and truly look at my living/bed room. My bed was gone. I looked around the entire hut, as if a brass bed could get up and move itself. I called Edd at work and had him pulled off the line to ask if he had done anything with my bed. Yeah, right. As if he would take it away! My brain was unwilling to believe that anyone had been in my hut and taken my bed.

The truth wins out. Not only was my bed gone, but so was the best evidence of who took it... the guys who left finger prints all over my table that I had to instantly clean. How totally dumb was that? When I told the cop that I'd cleaned the table he looked at me as if I had an extra boob in the middle of my forehead... with a fascinated horror... that anyone could be so lame brained.

I never got the bed back, though I did get to go to a house and look at a bed that turned out not to be mine with the cute cop and that worked into a nice dating situation for awhile. Having the bed back would have been better. This bed was so cool...

A different roommate might have been better too. Safer anyway. I had a bassett hound named Poppy who lived with us and Edd had a German Shepherd we'll call Bee. Edd cut a doggie door into our door that was big enough for my 6'3" friend, Marty to crawl through easily... so he often did. Edd didn't want Bee to have to crawl to get in, so he cut the hole big enough for the dog to stroll through easily.

But I could never have traded Edd... he was such a character. The only guy I know who wore nightgowns with pride and asked if he could sleep in my half of the hut when the transformer blew up above our house... it scared the bee-bop out of both of us when that thing exploded. No, he was not nancy... he was manly-man farm boy open to new ideas like soft flannel nightgowns that feel so good against your skin. If someone brought me candy as a gift, Edd ate it before I could get a piece. He drove a Gremlin! He was funny and kind and generous despite how it sounds. Always willing to wake me up at 3:00 a.m. to make him stroganoff if the mood struck. But just as likely to decide it was a good day to take me for a long drive to the snow or out to feed the ducks at the lake. Edd was a hoot.

Anyway, there you have it. We need to listen to what our subconscience tells us instead of grabbing the Pledge. If something feels wrong, it probably is wrong somehow. This morning at the school I entered with caution. The building looked odd but felt okay. I still did my walk with caution and my headphones down low so that I could hear other noises. Eventually I decided that they had been doing some painting and that was why some of the doors that were always locked were open. The cars belong to students and a staff member who have gone to do something... a competition of some kind likely and they met there before taking off in a school van... sure enough one van is missing. All was right in my world, but it never hurts to be careful.

Tonight Max and I go to K.M.R.I.A. and I am tickled pink about that.

dmarks-- By the way K.M.I.R.A. is from James Joyce's Ulysses "Will you tell him he can kiss my arse..." and Myles Crawford's "He can kiss my royal Irish arse... Any time he likes, tell him". It's a play on M.R.I.A. Member of the Royal Irish Academy. The Pogues used it too... you are right about that. The Irish phrase I think "Pogues" comes from is pog mo thon (the o is long in all... sounding like pog moe ho-n as the t falls silent) that means kiss my arse. You can see how that would sound very much like Pogues Mahone. Very clever folk!

All--Have the best day today that you can! Remember what's not going right for you is probably not as bad as what's not going right for someone else. It can always be worse, be thankful in spirit.



  1. I am a big believer in instinct, gut feeling, or, as I call it, "Spidey Sense." I've always had it in spades and I listen to it.

    Since I'm feeling chatty as well, I'll relate an example of "Spidey Sense" that happened to me. I was pregnant with my second child and strapping my first into her car seat. I noticed a car with 4 african-american youths drive past my house.

    It was the middle of the day and it struck me as very odd. Let me tell you, my spidey senses were tingling up a storm.

    I drove off, but couldn't shake the feeling of wrongness, so I drove around the block and came back home. Sure enough, the car was parked in my drive way. Once they noticed me taking down their license plate number, they pulled out of my drive way just smiling and jiving all the way.

    I always listened to my spidey sense before that day and I'm not about to stop now.

  2. Oh I am so glad you drove around the block!

    I had a similar experience way back in the early 70s. I'd just come home from a movie with friends and was home alone in our big old house. I was 16. Someone knocked on our door, which had a big glass window in it. I peeked out at a guy dressed like Grizzly Adams... Mr.Mountain Icky Guy. I could see his car behind him with it's hood up. But he didn't look right at all. He asked to use the phone and I told him we didn't have one... which could have been a bad idea. But the phone chose that moment to ring and I ran to the phone. It was my friend, Annie who told me to sneak out and see if he was still there. I crab-walked back to the window and sure enough, he and his car were gone!
    Annie told me to stay put, stuck a steak knife in the bib of her overalls and drug her neighbor boy all the way to my house to make sure that I was safe. (What a friend! And we are still very close friends now 38 years later.)

    But isn't that creepy?

  3. I got into my car once in the parking garage and had the weird sense that something was amiss. Then I saw black dust al over the dash and a note from the cops telilng me to call them. Only then did I look around and see that my window had been smashed out. Apparently the police had had already been by to dust for prints.

  4. It can really make you feel silly when you miss stuff like that, after the initial shock wears off. And then if you're like me, you get pissed off to think that someone would do that to you. It's such a personal thing. Maybe not for the criminal, but it is to the victim.

    Glad you dropped in.

  5. I always try to listen to my gut. Sometimes I second guess myself, but my gut is usually right.