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Conversations with a St Pete

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When I was around 28 years old, me and my wife at the time – Lisa Gregory (aka Lisa Milot) – went to a pretty luxurious cabin Telluride which her aunt owned – to spend some time with her family and do some skiing.

Her aunt was moderately wealthy, with a husband who was pretty successful in investment banking based out of San Francisco.

She had a good heart, and with that had adopted a little boy with Down’s Syndrome when he was a child – his name I can’t recall at the moment.

When we arrived, I saw the boy – who was now a 22 year old man – but still very much acted like a little child – as ge sat there, literally a foot from the television set – cracking up in laughter at the show featruing featuring the Olsen Twins – Full House.

I remember thinking to myself “How blissful would that be. To find such appreciation for the simple things and to be taken care of just for being you.’

I had been working at Intel making $150 an hour, and was considering opening up a new business, but even at that point I was was stressed out to no end supporting house payments, car payments, a wife, two dogs, a gardener, a man to take care of my pool, and more.

So last night. I was talking to Pete Solis, he’s a billionaire ‘acting’ homeless man who owns Solis Biofuels and as his story goes – he and his company was just selected by the Air Force to supply $3 billion worth of biodiesel to the United States Air Force.

But he got stressed out as he transitioned from Director of a biofuels company to corporate owner and executor, and decided to ‘take a break’, ‘humbling’ himself like Rockefeller once did by spending some time homeless before he ‘dives’ in to corporate ownership and the responsibilities that’s going to take.

Do I believe him? No one believes me about what I have seen because I can’t prove any of it. So using that logic, why should I believe anyone else anymore if they can’t prove what they are saying to me?

So the answer is no, I don’t believe him. Makes for a barely interesting fictional tale that has been repeated by so many reputable figures throughout history such as Rockefeller and Steve Jobs that it’s now sounding ridiculous.

IN ANY Case, He’s someone to talk to who seems to have most of his rational wits about him, a rarity to find when you’re homeless, and last night, while we were talking, in the middle of something completely unrelated – I suddenly burst out in uncontrollable laughter.

“What’s so funny,” he said, I had caught him completely off guard.

“I’m the dumbest man in the room,” I responded.

“What? Why do you say that?,” he replied, it’s bizarre how unphased this man gets when I go on my tangents.

“Pete, When I was young, when playing softball in grade school, not only was I always picked last, but the team who got me regularly sighed in resignation and the team who didn’t get me cheered. Invariably, the team I was on almost always lost,” I explained.

“I was just the opposite. My team always won, and I was great at sports,” he replied.

We’d had similar conversations before, which made me think of the movie “Unbreakable” with Bruce Willis and Samuel L Jackson.

“Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson) is born with Type I osteogenesis imperfecta, a rare disease in which bones break easily. As revealed later in flashbacks, Elijah draws on comic books he has read during his many hospital stays to theorize that, if he is frail at one extreme, then perhaps there is someone “unbreakable” at the opposite extreme. This turns out to be true, with Smauel L Jackson discovering Bruce Willis is this ‘unbreakable’ man.

My life has so frequently paralleled movies, and I explained this Yin/Yang concept to Pete as I laughed. I then told him about my cousin, who was also a best friend, having shot himself 10 years prior who was also great with sports and how I admired him for that.

Pete then said “So why were you laughing?”

“I’m the dumbest man in the room,” I reiterated. “Let me explain.”

I then explained the story of seeing my nephew in the house in Telluride and his weird sense of bliss. From there, I began explaining how inept I had been, physically, my entire life. Utterly breakable.

“When I was 23, the fraternity I was invited to join, Pi Kappa Alpha, a sports fraternity at Arizona State University, at the same time I was being courted by the nerdier fraternity, the Delta Sigs. Now I had spent most of my life trying to ‘escape’ who I was – a physically inept man who was consistently breaking or spraining something – but I fantasized about being more. So when the PIKE house recruited me, I thought ‘hey, i am in the ‘in crowd’, later learning that I was good with women and it was my history with women is why they’d recruited me. “

I breathed. And continued

“So one day, Intramurals arrive. That’s Greek speak for competition between fraternities. I sign up for high jump. Which I’d always been good at. And, I only later learned, as a joke on me – Nick Wolfe, a brother of a man by the name of Mark Wolfe – who I had gone to school with – had signed me up for the 800 meter run,” I said.

“And why was that funny?,” Pete interjected.

I gathered my breath.

“Well, as Mark quite likely figured out and I suspect he had let his younger brother, Nick know, from our years together in high school, I had absolutely no endurance. I had sharp shooting pains rip inside my body when I ran, could last no longer than about 200 meters before having to stop before cramping so badly, often resulting in puking if I pushed too far. So they’d done it as a joke.  But I tried. And not only did I end up dead last. But they asked me to leave the track before I could finish. They were all laughing.”

“I was so much different than that, I never had problems with athletics,” Pete responded, “But why was that funny?”

“Pete, I have learned to look back on my life with a sense of levity. That kid watching “Full House” in Telluride (a story I had told him before), I was THAT downs kid when it came to physical activity,” I said

I looked up and pointed at the stars.

“I’ve always wanted to be ANYONE but who I was. I often wished and dreamed I was Superman – and dreamed of flying, because levitation seemed preferable to prevent falling and breaking or spraining something.”

Pete yawned. I had a propoensity to go on like this with him. In the short amount of time I have gotten to know him, I know this was his cue to me to add something of relevance to him.

“And of course I always loved the idea of seeing through women’s clothes with his Xray vision”

He chuckled.

“But it was downright weird. I swear gravity had something against me at times. I broke my ankle one time on a church outing as I was playing basketball going up for a jump shot. Another time, I was climbing a tree in a park and went to reach for a higher branch and the tree bent, and I fell three stories knocking myself out as I landed. Another time, i was running – and besides cats – who does that – runs on a wall, and i slipped, nailed my chin on the concrete wall, sliced my wrist and – wouldn’t you know it – knocked myself out again. I still have scars from that happening at 8 years old. Another time, I was learning to ride on my handlebars backwards on my bike, and guess what, kaplow, I hit a curb, fall straight back on the concrete, and wouldn’t you know it, knocked myself out again. Again. Heck, when I was about 11, on the playground at Foothills Elementary, i went to kick a ball, and in that moment I would have sworn someone was messing with the cosmic controls of gravity, because it was about then I go completely vertical, fall straight down hitting – you know it  – my head again –  this time NOT knocking myself out, but completely knocking the wind out of myself.”

I went on.

“And it didn’t stop when I got older. “At 26, I went skiing, hit some rocks, and kaplow, my head goes diving for the first rock and I knock myself out. When I joined the military at 32, I was runnning in Basic training at Fort Knox, and  my ankle snaps as we’re running down a ravine. Given the option to ‘turnover and stay in basic training longer due to heal the broken ankle, I chose to continue running on it and acting like nothing was wrong to get the hell out.”.

Pete’s a good listener, I will give him that. And usually, I know when I have lost him when he talks about the mansion he’s going to get for $13.5 million in Arizona at 6240 East Cholla Ln in Scottsdale, Arizona where I can apply my ‘talents’ in computers and computer programming to work on the 3d art and holodeck that I have been dreaming up, which serves to benefit him because of his estranged daughter he would like to reintroduce into his life who’s a 3d artist in Oregon. It’s a gorgeous house which was just recently removed from listing, check it out here..

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That or Pete will talk about his favorite yacht that he wants to purchase when he gets off the streets, Cakewalk, an absolutely gorgeous Yacht, here.

MyCakeWalk

But this time, I for some reason have Pete’s attention.

Or is he just snoozing. I don’t know. But I go on.

“I once had dreams of being a rock star, performing David Lee Roth flying highwire antics, I had a support crew which would keep me from injuring myself and I could fly across the damn stage on wires like superman”

david-lee-roth-jumping[1].

Pete said, “Similar thing here, I was hoping to be professionally recruited for major league baseball. But instead I went to work.”

“So you asked what was funny,” I said, it’s the whole facade, “One time, my parents had enrolled me in soccer. I got knocked around when the ball came to me one time, and got up and starting running, running running with the ball.”

I got up out of my tent and exclaimed “HE shoots. He Scores!”

I sat back down. .

“The whole time I didn’t hear the parents and other kids on my team screaming at me that I was going the wrong way and had just scored one for the other team. I was asked not to come back after that.”

He chuckled. “That happens to kids all the time!”

I am convinced Pete’s a projection of my own insane imagination that’s trying to pretend it’s not me.I pretend back, it’s something I do on occasion to keep myself entertained. That’s why I continue like I do with him.

“You know, one time my parents and I went to Smitty’s in Phoenix on Peoria and 35th or 43rd avenue when I was about 12 years old. For some reason I didn’t want to go. Not letting me stay in the car, my parents told me to wait out in front of the store. So I did. And chose to hang out alongside a mortar pillar. in front of the store. About five minutes go by, and three kids who looked similar to kids who’d bullied me before come by. One bigger than me, the other two kind of small. I looked the other way, I had long since learned not to invite trouble my way. But this time, it didn’t work. The bigger kid, swung around and plowed his fist as hard as he could into my chest. I doubled over. He’d totally knocked the wind out of me.”

“Don’t look at me again,” he said, and walked off.

Pete shook his head in disgust.

“You know, to this day I have no clue what set him off. But about 6 years ago, I went to the Doctor, I had long been experiencing pain in the chest in the location he’d hit me in, having always been afraid of admitting to my parent’s I was picked on that much.

I had an endoscopy and learned I had an ulcer which had developed along a herniated tear next to my heart, a tear which had been caused by a sharp blow to the chest by a young boy at Smitty’s one day. My doctor was trying to help me control my blood pressure and this seeming snipe hunt ultimately led to a very real physical find. He somberly told me I wasn’t expected to survive surgery because of the tear’s proximity to my heart, and wasn’t expected to live more than five years because it was expanding and affecting my esophagus causing horrible pain on a monthly basis now, something I have experienced since I was about 17. I have learned to live with it.”

Pete leaned in “Jesus”

“Pete, I’m homeless because I don’t have a place in this world. I wanted to be a spy, an actor, a singer, a stuntmaqn- but having spent time in Hollywood, one thing has become infinitely clear. This world’s a lie which spits on dreams and seems to enjoy torturing those who might contribute creatively. THIS HAS to change. And the one thing I love and have enjoyed – computers – this country’s made it a fact to hire people from outside this country to replace me,” I said.

“We do have Arizona, or at least I do, I don’t know about you if you don’t want to join me,” Pete’s typical response not comprehending I can’t make his desires come true, that’s his job.

“Have you ever heard of the movie Office Space?”

“No”

I got out of my tent, pulled over a chair, sat back in it, and said to him “Ask me what I did today.”

He smirked. “What did you do?”

I put my hand down my pants. Fondled myself a bit.

And then said:“What did I do today? What did I do you ask? I did absolutely nothing today, and it was everything I could ever imagine it to be.”

He laughed.

“Pete, IF you happen to get a place in Arizona. Then I will be there. Otherwise, I plan on doing absolutely nothing,” I said.

“Well that’s pessimistic!” he retorted.

“No, Pete, as Obama would say, I just do not have the Audacity to believe that there’s Hope for me in this life anymore. The hope was never there to begin with, anytime It started to arise I’d get my ass handed to me, or be told I was wrong for exploring life and doing things on my terms, so why would it change now?,”

Pete shook his head. “Well, it may not happen for you, but for me it is.”

“Good for you, Pete, Good for you,” I responded.

“Pete, if I told you I was God, what would you say,” I said to him.

“Prove it,” he responded.

“So you have just met a man who says he’s God. And the first thing you say to him is perform stupid human tricks to prove himself to you?”

He said nothing.

It was in that moment I pondered what I was going to do for what seemed like an eternity.

“I was God, Pete. But I am not anymore. I can no longer be that man, and am moving on to become something – not just for you – but more importantly – for me – which provides me hope for my own future. If you want to be there and be a part of it, you’ll find me. You can now refer to me as Q.”

And with that, I patted Pete on the back, stood back, in plain view of the man, snapped my fingers and in a brilliant flash of light and woosh of sound, I promptly disappeared.


 

That was nearly 2000 years ago.

And in a semi-deja-vu experience, it started to occur, again, last evening.

“Pete, if I told you I was God, what would you say,” I said to him.

“Prove it,” he responded.

“So you have just met a man who says he’s God. And the first thing you say to him is perform stupid human tricks to prove himself to you?”

He said nothing.

It was in that moment I pondered what I was going to do for what seemed like an eternity.

I smiled. I had learned something since the last time I had been here.

“Pete, Do you remember what happened the last time God took the time to prove himself to humans?”

What was that?

“He was crucified. So why in anyone’s right mind would they repeat that?”

“If you say so”

“I do. And Pete?” I said.

“What?”, he responded

“Good night, St Peter,” I said, smirking.

“Good night, Q,” He responded.

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