In August of 1980, I was 10 years old and with a friend – Jason Helton – at his family’s house for an Easter gathering in an unincorporated section of North Peoria on the outskirts of Phoenix, Arizona.
I have always been an explorer.
Which quite frequently has resulted in accidents and injuries.
And in this case. Almost death.
I climbed an old wooden tower with three transformers at the top.
None of it was plugged in.
I remember investigating the wires prior to climbing it.
But as I climbed it. Trying to get some height.
I climbed higher.
Electricity leaped out from a few wires and knocked me unconscious.
When I woke up. My body had 2nd and 3rd degree burns and I was in agony, and right in the middle of my chest just below my sternum there was black, burnt flesh – the exit wound – a third degree burn that was about 4 inches around.
I was told I would carry that physical scar for life, but by the time I was 19, the scar was gone.
Now just today. I got memories back of that day.
I remembered how much I investigated those wires. I had been shocked before, numerous times, and I was well aware of what electricity was and what the transformers were, so I had been sure to check out the wires prior to climbing on the thing. There was absolutely no wires leading to or from the transformer.
But somehow. These transformers were receiving electricity which the results were painfully obvious.
It was years later that I would learn about Tesla.
And his idea of obtaining a never ending supply of energy from a ‘Self-acting engine’ power – pulling power from thin air.
No wires necessary.
Near the end of October of 2011, I was at this location 34°43’27.34″N, 115°57’25.15″W, in California at the edge of the Mojave desert.
Over the course of three days prior, I had had no sleep, and for about six months prior, this was not an unusual occurrence.
I had been taking Bath Salts for the prior 6 months.
Bath Salts were a stimulant drug much like methamphetamine which was legal and could be bought over the counter at any spice shop at the time.
I had been trying to find a way off my addiction to cocaine of four years.
So I sought out a legal substance. Something I wouldn’t get in trouble with the police or companies I contracted to if tested.
Now at the time, there was no real documentation on Bath Salts. Only a description of what they did.
But credible news sources and web sites hadn’t really distributed information about their effect.
But as I stood in the desert that day, seeing black pock marks the size of Meteor Crater in Winslow, Arizona stretching as far as my eyes could see.
As I stood there that day, seeing spires for hills everywhere I looked that resembled the craggy spires at Bryce Canyon only much younger.
As I stood there, seeing face after face of the same man with the half-plastic face as both passenger and occupants of the trucks that looked similar to eachother that passed through this surreal and frightening landscape.
As I stood there. Trying to hitch a ride, receiving thumbs up as responses, bizarre responses to my attempts to hitch a ride out of this god forsaken world.
As I stood off to the side of the road.
Fighting with my own mind.
My own mind telling me: “YOU did this. This is ALL YOUR FAULT. Sacrificing yourself will save this planet. You are stuck here for eternity.“
I believed that voice.
Despite Douglas Adams advice “Do Not Panic”
I was a month shy of 42 years old , after all, the answer to Life, the Universe and Everything.
And as I sliced my wrist and felt something leave my head.
As I sat off the side of the road.
With barely a drop of blood coming from the long cut I had made.
Where there should have been substantially more blood….
I cried out. “I’m a robot. I can’t die,”
As I sat on the side of the road in this eerie terrain, a single drop of blood dripped to the bare desert floor as I sat on the desert sand next to my out of fuel car in the middle of the desert in a world where gas stations didn’t exist and it looked like Terminators were repairing the world after a nuclear strike.
As I sat there.
A thought came to me.
“This is your past. Remember when you were in critical condition. Back when you were 10? What you’re seeing is that, magnified.”
It didn’t make sense.
Had a future version of me come back to this moment in time – and through my own DNA – I sent a message to my past self that day back in 1980 that I didn’t die in the future? Had my mind arranged this ‘coming out’ party to teach me about the nonlinear nature of time and space?
And was I time traveling in my own body and seeing a planet decimated by nuclear war at a sub molecular level and seeing the damage done to my body and the electric shock where my stomach had once been?
It didn’t make a lick of sense at first.
But at the time I didn’t fully understand Expansionism. The Big Bang. Quantum Physics. Temporal Mechanics. Nor did I truly understand Biology, Chemistry, and the interlinkings of human physiology to the body electric. In truth, I was incredibly naïve, there was so much I didn’t understand.
And how my world came to be and how I was getting a grand tour of it all.
About 10 minutes after sitting on the side of the road in this world… A young couple driving a small caravan of a moving truck and car drove up.
My car had run out of fuel, which led to my being in this weird location, and as the man held his hand out the window of the U-Haul truck he was driving – the landscape around me ‘unrolled’ and looked like blocks flipping restoring the landscape to what I had come to remember the desert as being..
You’ve seen the AMC theatre trailer where the digital squares flip over to reveal a message or something?
This was the same.
Blocks of scorched desert flipped over in unison like a wave extending from our truck to as far as the eye could see revealing the desert I had come to know and love.
At about that time. A voice inside my head said “Did you see that?”
It wasn’t my own mind. And wasn’t my own voice. And was most certainly something in me talking to something else in me.
As the young couple handed me over to the police.
The male talked to the police officer, and the female of the couple had me alone and drew an infinity sign on her hand as she talked to me and asked if I had calmed down.
I could feel something wasn’t quite right with her.
As if she was trying to teach me a lesson when the lesson ultimately was going to come to her.
There are infinite potential reasons she could have done it.
But I sensed, deep down inside – that there was something she needed to learn and she intended that gesture as a threat or premonition of what was to come.
And the man.
Who also had me alone shortly after that.
Looked at my wrist and said “Don’t do that again”
Like the woman.
There was infinitely more to his message than those words alone.
What he said in those few words was: “I deep down know why you did this. You had to do it. But you only have to do it that one time.”
There’s a song by System of the Down titled “Chop Suey!”
I don’t think you trust
In my self-righteous suicide
I cry when angels deserve to die
Wake up (wake up)
Grab a brush and put a little make-up
Hide the scars to fade away the shake-up (hide the scars to fade away the…)
Why’d you leave the keys upon the table?
Here you go create another fable
This planet’s history contains my entire life’s history, and this life’s history is both influenced and contained in the media I enjoyed.
Could the same be true for you?