I have always been kind of a hyperactive practical joker.
But when I was kid – a runt you would say – in response to my mischievous personality – I was bullied, constantly.
Peer pressure’s reaction was to beat me into submssion to conform to the norm, right?
Words were my weapons against the aggressive kids who constantly berated me – two in particular – Art Muro and Joey Valenzuela – would pretty consistently wait for me afterschool.
Never separate, they’d always come at me together.
My ‘issue’ really was – I enjoyed school.
It made me feel special.
And it was one of the few things I was was good with.
And this they seemed to take a particular disliking to.
Whether it was figuring out puzzles in GAMES magazine, or trying to improve my score with spelling and arithmetic at school, I simply enjoyed the intellectual challenge of not just understanding and reading about this amazing world around me – but always taking the time to intellectually enjoy it more.
Understanding what I was told inspired my imagination to believe the things I read in science fiction and fantasy were not just possible – but real.
This imagination stood in stark contrast to my physical abilities – on the playground, I never had any endurance or stamina.
I had always been picked last for any sport, whether it was soccer, baseball or flag football – no matter how hard I tried, it seemed like any balls hit towards me had intentionally swung around my hands and hit me square in the eyes. And invariably a tackle would break or sprain something.
It was like physics had a special law built into it especially for me
“If Brian is involved, bend laws of physics to mess with him.”
It was almost predictable at times how things would work against me.
I adapted. And this is where I learned the art of closing my eyes just before the inevitable impact of a hard object which would invaeriblay wind up in a welt I would have to nurse that evening.
Sports, to me, was an exercise in futility.
This made me look to fiction and men like Superman, wishing I could defy gravity and fly or – quite simply – be immune to the hits of a bully or a ball.
That or have XRay Vision. .
Or be like the comic book character Bullseye, who never missed his target.
But such was not my path.
So I learned to work with what I had.
Every day coming home from Van Buren Elementary school in Yorba Linda was a nightmare for me.
It didn’t matter what tactics I developed to outmaneuver my antagonists, the bullies. They’d regularly recruit other kids to block all the exits as I fled home.
My dirt bike was not enough. Not enough speed. The kids all had similar bikes and with my lack of stamina, I simply couldn’t outpace them.
So one day, I waited for 45 minutes after school with the teacher, who insisted I leave and that it was safe.
Feeling safe, I unlocked my dirt bike, and sped home.
As I went under a tree. Five of the kids jumped out from a tree trapping me, encircling me, and proceeded to kick the shit out of me.
I curled into a ball and cried.
That’s when I met Nanette Lewis.
She ran up and screamed at them “Leave him alone.”
I am not sure why such a young girl scattered them off so quickly.
But they all ran.
But she wasn’t always there.
And you know how it is when you have a girl defending you.
It just makes you look like less of a man.
So for Christmas of that year, Santa delivered me a brand new ten speed bike.
Yes, I still believed Santa existed back then.
My imagination, after all, had continued to believe everything possible.
My mother and father, David and Sharon Gregory – they knew I was being tortured and were trying in their own ways to help me make my journey home from school a little easier.
When school resumed after Christmas.I had been zipping around on that bike everywhere and it was so much faster than anyone else’s bike.
I felt fearless for the first time in a long time.
With this new sense of confidence, I remember thinking to myself back then “Bring it ON” should the bullies mess with me again.
Returning from Christmas holidays, the mood was somber, and things were calm. Thankfully. I was content. Happy may be a bit of a stretch. Content.
Until one day, I was playing tetherball with Nanette, when Art Muro came, physically shoving me to the side and onto the ground, and proceeded to tell Nanette he’s going to play with her instead of me.
It was weird. Rarely did I stand up for myself. But with her around. That changed things. I stood up to him. And was popped in the nose as a result.
I suspect that was my first broken nose. I’ve had at least 3 in my life.
Now it wasn’t so much that he’d popped me in the nose. But he’d also messed with a special friend – Nanette. This actually riled me up.
And despite my new ten-speed bike, the kids were learning that ten speeds have limitations and managed to nearly catch me as they corraled me into the park where I regularly got flat tires and nearly didn’t make it home.
So one weekend I scratched my head, looking at my bike, and thought
“This bike’s too fragile, how can I get away in the park?”
With my allowance, my mom – Sharon Gregory – took me to K-Mart – my father’s favorite store (he’s always been keen on doing things on a budget). And there I bought extra heavy duty rims, inner tubes, and tires, a beach comber seat, and ‘fix a flat’ compound – a chemcial compound used to temporarily unflatten flattened car tires – I figure if I have to go through the park, I will not risk a flat tire.
It worked. I’d flipped the handlebars upside down and could ride the bicycle upright, and had just built a mountain bike without knowing what one was.
From then on, every day became an exercise of tactics, to say the least, but I could jump, go over acorns without popping a tire.
I taught myself to enjoy the chase.
So I started taunting the boy on the playground.
But one day. My dad, David Gregory, a brilliant man by any measure, looked at my bike that I had completely rearranged – and he knew the tactics I had developed in confronting the bully. Dads know this kind of thing. But he knew there was something more to this monstrosity of mine than met the eye.
He also knew that I’d have to one day stand up to my demons.
He had to plant the seed and teach his son how to teach himself to overcome his fears.
My father, who’d long had a penchant for speed and motorcycles with a 175cc Enduro motorcycle, saw I enjoyed the offroad with this creation of mine – so he decided to introduce me to motorized travel – and went out and purchased a 75cc Kawasaki minibike.
I loved riding that minibike, which had a top speed of about 45 miles per hour which I would regularly hit in the orange groves adjacent to our house.
But one day. I hit a bit more than I could chew off.I bounced three times as my head hit a concrete foundation next to an oil well, and knocked myself out – completely unconscious.
Now as I lost consciousness, I had the weirdest of dreams.
I was in a very old straw crib and thatched straw house, and above me were shiny hand made baby toys. There were dirt floors in this ‘hut’, and I could hear a cranky old lady, who I could hear talking to three drunk men as she said “What do you want with that brat?”
The words didn’t seem to bother me – as I was too fixated on the shiny things hanging above my crib. I remembered being enamored with the things.
About then, my attention was drawn to the open window, and where there was previously a dark sky – stars started forming everywhere – and about then I saw a huge star light the entire sky.
Had my mind created the stars I saw based on the shiny baubles?
That I did not know.
The entirety of this memory can be seen in the Monty Python movie “The Life of Brian”, which came out in 1979, about a year after the accident.
On seeing this light get brighter and brighter, I finally came to. I had blood dripping down the right side of my face and head, and had massive skid marks on the right side of my body.
I’d taken a spill on that minibike at nearly 40 miles an hour without a helmet, and had slid on my side on a hard dirt road before being knocked out by the concrete foundation adjacent to the oil well.
They say that when you experience a traumatic event, that you typically fall into shock.
I can assure you that’s not always the case.
I felt every iota of pain from the moment I came to.
A monstrous headache, my body had pins and needles everywhere with road rash covering my right arm and leg, and my right arm was limp, like I couldn’t lift it at all.
I picked up the minibike and barely managed to push it to my family’s house, where my father was waiting in the garage.“What the hell happened to you,” he said.
But I was bawling, “Jesus Christ, Sharon, our boy needs help.”
I often wondered afterwards why they didn’t take me to the hospital.
That night, nursed up, I had a lucid dream
I was at the scene of my accident, but colors were very different than I remember them being.
They were more orangish. And the ‘vision’ felt stale, for lack of better words.
From the point of view I was at in the dream, I was watching the oil well I had slid into from about 100 feet to the South.
I could hear the minibike coming through the orange grove.
I saw myself hit the first bump on a small jump and not regain balance.
I hit the second bump and that’s when I started to fall.
And then by the time I hit the third one, I was tumbling and then started to slide next to the minibike.
It was horrifying to watch, even from this vantage point.
When I finally came to a rest, my eyes were closed, and I was out cold.
I could see myself from the side laying with my head in a pool of blood which was forming on the concrete.
The dust settled.
And all was still for a few moments.
Then a hairy right arm reached up within view.
The left hand reached out to the right arm – and began touching something I felt like I couldn’t see just above the arm.
I KNEW I was missing seeing something that was there.
About then – in this very vivid dream – I was taken to a memory of my past.
I was all but three or four years old.
And there I was playing in the sandbox in the middle of the day.
From the point of view I was at, as if I was looking through someone else’s eyes – I was standing looking down at my young nearly infant like self..
I remembered the occasion – vividly – even in the dream.
I was wanting to build a road under my main road in the wet sand, I’d formed some roads for my trucks to go down, and wanted to build a road ‘through it all, but that would mean disrupting my other cool roads. So I actually remember thinking that it would be cool to build a road over the top.
So I needed more sand to build this bridge.
I am not sure why the memory was so vivid and why I could recall such memories at that age..
But as I reached for my sand pail to gather more sand, instantaneously, I was startled to find myself on the other side of the house, sitting on the concrete with only the shovel in my hand.
But it was now dusk.
I started crying, and remember thinking “Now that was unexpected”
Were those my thoughts? I don’t know.
But what I do know is – the ‘jump’ had scared the crap out of me.
About then, my mom came flying around the corner, in tears.“Where have you been. You’ve been gone for four hours, me and your father have been looking for you everywhere” she cried over tears of happiness.
About four months later, my dad looked at the minibike that had been gathering dust in the corner of the garage. “Brian, I bought that for both of us. Why aren’t you going out, you had so much fun with it, right?,” he said as I came out to the garage one Saturday afternoon.
I couldn’t even look my father in the eye.
I mean – how could I admit to this strong man who seemingly had no fears that I was afraid of getting hurt again?
He sensed my fear.
“Get your skates,” he demanded.
“What?,” I protested. I knew he was up to something.
“Get your skates, dammit, we’re going for a ride!,”
I started crying as I put on my skates.
He started up the minibike.
“Now hold on to the back,” he commanded.
I did.And that’s when the unexplainable happened. He took me – at top speed through a gopher hole filled park with me holding on to the back of the minibike for dear life – with my skates one – not roller blades mind you – but skates.
And to this day I cannot explain why I did not fall. Not once. Not even close. In fact, I was excited as hell part way through the ride as it felt like I was actually floating over the holes.
I felt like Superman.
My father, in this one weird swift move, had just instilled a new love.
And for some reason, despite my father’s seemingly bizarre behavior and demands – and what appeared to be him being a jerk – was a lesson for me about overcoming my fear.
Deep down, I knew there was a reason he was doing what he was doing.
I trusted him.
He is, after all, my father.
My father taught me to never stop believing in superheroes.
In 1987, on the night of my graduation, I was out with my friends Charles Lambiase and Leonard Jacynski – we had just stopped off at Burger King to get a bite to eat before we were to head to our first ‘strip club’ experience.
A little hole in the wall place which had nude dancing.
Throughout high school my idea of extracurriculur activities was – well -, I was a nerdy Glee kid and spent four years in various choirs, and as serendipity would have it – Mikaela Rydin – a fellow glee kid – was there at Burger King with a girl I had never met before – Donna Suppes.
I was enamored.
But dumbfounded. How the hell could I have gone through school with this girl te the same high school of 300 students for 4 years, hung out in similar crowds, yet not known her and her friend best friend, the ‘popular’ chick – Angela Sutherland? I was baffled, bamboozled, and bewildered.
On September 28, 1987, Star Trek the Next Generation began, which introduced a quasi-omnipotent prankster by the name of ‘Q’.
There was a part of me that LOVED this character and thought – hey – that could have been me…. I had always been a practical joker.
In high school, I had taken a hand full of change and superglued it to the ground in front of the lunch room doors and found a great deal of humor at the predictability of some who would do anything to try to get that change off the ground despite getting whacked in the head by the busy lunch room door.
I’d also superglued the locks on high school lockers shut and watched as the unfortunate recipient ran late for class. I found 101 uses for superglue and superglued coins to teacher’s desks. I and my friend – Jim Hughes – had thrown stinkbombs in pep rallies and cleared out the bleachers.
One time I called 15 separate pizza places and taxi cab companies to show up at a neighbor’s place. The traffic jam on that small street was awesome!
And another time, Jim and I conspired with about 14 other classmates to move the teacher’s car from it’s parking spot – and placed it in between two buildings.
My mom frequently referred to me as ‘little devil’ because of my pratical jokes and fun filled antics.
But in 1987, seeing this character, I swore at that time that Q was modelled after me.
Not long after that initial episode, Q introduces the Star Trek crew to the Borg, a humanoid cybernetic species.
And when I saw Q turn into a Borg for the first time, a chill ran down my spine.
That arm I saw in that dream when I fell on the minibike when I was young.
It was his.
In 1993, not long after my divorce from Donna, Star Trek the Next Generation aired an episode called “Parallels”.
In the episode Worf is experiencing the same time period over and over again, but is seeing separate versions of reality – one time he wins a tornament, the next time he takes second place, the next time he doesn’t place at all. A painting is on the wall in one slice, it’s not there in another. Uniforms change color. And so on.
He attempts to alert the crew, but no one takes him seriously – at first.
That is until the crew, collectively, gets the distinct feeling of Deja Vu – that is ‘the distinct feeling they have experienced these moments in time before.
It was then, in 1993, I looked back at my life and thought – is THIS what happened with Donna and why I had never come across her in high school?
Was she – and Angela – much like a Hollywood movie might have – a ‘spliced in scene and character?’
It was about then I started regarding fiction as ‘another potential explanation’ for what i was witnessing in my life, rather than dismissing the weird events as simple coincidence which defied predictability.
This got me thinking about Q.
A recurrent memory which for some reason never seemed to stick long in my mind. Why was I always forgetting about the event of me ‘jumping’ from one side of the house to the other?
As if to provide one potential to answer the question, in 1999 the movie “The Matrix” came out. IT depicted a man by the name of Neo who was ‘waking up’ to the veil – the ‘false front’ of reality, and presented the ‘horrifying reality’ that Neo was immersed in a simulation.
Then when Neo flew at the ending.
My mind raced back to the time I was on the minibike with my father.
“Holy shit,” I remembered thinking. “If I am in a hologram, then that means ANYTHING is possible.”
I was delighted with the potential, and it was about this time that I started looking at the message that had been sent, repeatedly, in fiction.
That’s when the movie “The Fight Club” came out.
It’s a movie about a man who is inspired by an anarchist to ‘change his world’ by fighting the governing powers that be, the financial industry.
At face value – it’s a movie about a man who is inspired by what turns out to be his own multiple personality alter ego who simply wants to tear society down. Everyone in the movie knows he’s batshit crazy, but everyone also believes in what he’s doing so much so they just follow him blindly.
On seeing this. I couldn’t help but think.
Is this what this entity known as God went through?
I couldn’t help but think back to the episode where Q is offended when Picard doesn’t accept him as God when he dies.
“But you’re dead, you can see the hole in your chest,” but Picard remains unconvinced, which leaves Q baffled..
Does Picard know he’s in a Matrix?
The Fight Club has a pretty amazing second message it’s sending though:
Read between the lines and find your own truth
Throughout the movie, Brad Pitt (which plays Edward Norton’s alter ego) is a projectionist at the local movie house. He inserts key frames of his cock into the movies at the theatre that zip by faster than the eye can see, which the subconscious mind receives but the conscious mind completely misses IF the movie is not paused.
This is known as a subliminal and marketers have used it for a long time.
Throughout the movie, ONLY visible if the movie is paused, Brad Pitt can clearly be seen MANY times BEFORE he is consciously presented to Edward Norton in the movie.
What I realized with the movie “The Fight Club” was…
That.. They were programs for my mind.
The next year, in 2000, the movie Memento came out which detailed a man with no short term memory. He’d quite literally forget everything from the day before, for unknown reasons, and had leveraged a pretty chaotic system of sticky notes, tattoos on his body, and audio messages – to remind himself of what had happened the day before.
This system caused him to be extraordinarily paranoid, to the point that by the end of the movie, he kills all his friends and continues ‘on the run’.
That’s when I started thinking about “The Life Of Brian”.
WHY? What was with that name?
Now most of this ‘realization’ was subconscously based. My conscious mind was simply ‘going with the flow’ and being entertained with life in general.
I couldn’t help but ask myself “Are movies my mind’s reminder to myself of past events?”
In 1980, my father took me to see “The Shining” by Stanley Kurbrick with Jack Nicholson and Shelly Duvall in it. It scared the ever living bajeesus out of me, and if it weren’t for the gorgeous young naked woman getting out of the bathtub int he middle of the movie, i might have had nightmares for years.
So on September 11, 2001, when the planes hit the twin towers. I couldn’t help but draw an analogy to question the relationship that event had with the company I was part owner of – Touchscape – and their ‘all in’ placing all the resournces into developing the application specifically for the airline industry – a decision I was strongly against.
Ultimately this is what divided the company.
For most of my life, I had questioned – where do I begin and others end? I often had a difficult time determining who’s emotions were whose.
It wasn’t until 2011 where my conscious mind started ‘fracturing’ from information overload, I needed to understand and address the toxic thinking and lifestyle I had been leading – and fast.
And where I could truly differentiate my emotions from others.
It was then I saw things that left absolutely no doubt in my mind that alternate realities and the things I had come to enjoy in science fiction were real.
The world had devised a pretty convincing ‘false front’, revising my memories of events and leading me to believe that the more prominent memories that I could not dismiss were all drug induced.
But the ‘bread crumb trail, the evidence had been there all along.
Direct and incontrovertible evidence too.
I had been programming physics on computers for years, setting gravity to 0 or 9.8 meters per second, not remotely considering the implications of this to ‘reality, nor even questioning where I was making these changes.
I had been playing video games where laws and rules were different than my own, where financial systems existed and I interchanged money into and out of the economy like I would crossing a border to Mexico.
Economies and games that – as I spent more time – would GROW exponentially the more attention I paid to them.
Is this how the sun feels when it observes something?
This was all direct and irrefuteable evidence of the concept of the holographic universe, and furthermore, direct evidence we interact and interoperate with them all the time.
So in 2011. I started studying fictional references as actual history.
Jor-El had something profound to say in Superman:
Each of the six galaxies which you will pass through contain their own individual laws of space and time.
This made me think of E=MC^2 having other laws depending on what part of space you were in, and since C, the speed of light, is a measure associated to time, then was this what he was saying?
It is forbidden for you to interfere with human history…
This made me question EVERYTHING I knew, and made EVERYTHING I was presented as possible.
And that for me to actually participate with humanity, without having to be spliced in (or out) – if those ‘rules’ were directed at me, it meant I actually had to have my own creation.
I’d often questioned the belivability of the story of the bible, because it sounded too much like the Wizard of Oz. A talking snake, a woman created from a man, an apple of infinite knowledge all drawn by a being who’s drawing these characters like I would create a new Star Trek character in my video game Star Trek Online?
Something I had done my entire life. Yet for some reason couldn’t put two and two together to – for one moment – think I was capable of the same thing…
I had just proved to myself that everything else existed.
And that I had spent my entire life.
In my infancy.
Understanding that the walls between fiction and fact were caving in, and that alternate realities were the replacement system for my own reality that my mind had devised to preserve and hold this reality safe from that which used to be referred to as fiction.
You could say I needed hope..Still do.
That, to me, is the purpose of the bible.
To teach me to believe in someone else for my existence.
And if that’s not possible.
To believe in MYSELF which makes everything, especially my concept of heaven – all possible.
I DO believe God exists or did.
Because it’s one story of creation. .
And as Q,
My creation is simply not the same thing.
And I do so hope God chooses, of her own free will, to play with me..
If she wants to.
After all, she knows who she is.
As do I.
The movie “Hancock” was the hint for that, by the way…
In the (AIR QUOTE) fictional (end AIR QUOTE) show “Doctor Who”, there’s an episode where the Doctor chooses to forget who he is to save the planet.
To externalize his memories inside of a watch.
What if that watch had broken?
Is that what happened to me?
Did my memories find me in a most bizarre way? Through movies?
You know what I want for Christmas?
To have Fun. In ways only a Q would know how to.
The son becomes the father the father becomes the son.
You will travel far, my little Kal-El.
But I will never leave you. Even in
the face of my death the richness of my
life shall be yours. All that I have learned,
everything I feel, all of this and more I have
bequeathed to you my son. You shall carry me
inside you all your days. You will make my
strength your own, see my life through your eyes,
as your .life will be seen through mine. The son
becomes the father the father becomes the son. This
is all that I can send with you , Kal-El. And not
near so rich a gift as that your mother sends
along. Her … love.
Life is weird.
Why not run with it?