How to read my memoirs? Here's how. Imagine you're curious about what I might have to say about my life experiences. Now, imagine that whenever you pick up one of my books (only one out so far), we're sitting across from one another, wherever you'd like. Maybe I'm in a jail cell, and you're on whichever side of the bars you so choose. Or maybe we're at a coffee shop, or at the beach. Wherever. The thing is, I'm just trying to tell you what's in my heart and on my mind. You can listen as hard as you'd like. Or not at all. Now, I try to keep things interesting, but I'm talking more for my sake than for yours, so if you just want to be wooed with words, then maybe, just maybe, you should read some fiction and let me talk to the person waiting for you to leave. And if that person proves imaginary, too, then I suppose the wall will work just as well. Not that readers aren't important. Not that I don't want readers. It's just that I write first and foremost for the sake of writing. The reading is secondary.
Was watching Sense8 just now, the first episode of Season 2. Sense8 proposes the supposedly fictional notion that individuals may share multi-sensory awareness with one another. It's really somewhat of a limited hive-mind concept, á la The Borg from Star Trek. This strikes me as a technical reality. Meaning, I am quite sure that there are groups of people who have experience with shared awareness. I say this, because I have been experiencing the awareness of others within my own particular Dave consciousness/body. It's like hearing voices, only these voices/perceptions are in no way external to my sense of self... beyond the fact I know they are not ME. It's like I'm an actor so practiced at playing various roles that those roles have become living aspects of myself.
Now. Why am I telling you this? Because I believe in the existence of spirit-tech. Technological creations that allow spiritual experiences to be somewhat controlled in a logical (scientific) manner. Think of the ecto-containment system from Ghostbusters. In other words, it is possible for tech to (attempt to) corral spirit. I'm also telling you this because this type of thing will be the subject matter of Infinite Book 7: Rock & Roll.
Since IB7 is part of my memoir cycle, it will be (from my perspective, at least) quite personal. So. That's why I mentioned my own Sense8-like experience of something not unlike spirit attachment. I've yet to fully research spirit attachments, but I'm pretty sure that while what I am experiencing is similar, neither is it the same. Like my earlier experience involving hallucinogenic tech.
What do I mean by Halluco-Tech? Well, all I'm really talking about is clairvoyance. My particular experience along these lines occurred last year in two different types of situations. The first situation involved - while my eyes were open - a secondary visual screen along the top of my field of vision. Through this, I was able to make out lo-rez depictions of various data streams. Now, very briefly, when this tech was first being installed, I saw hi-rez. But, that went all wrong... and I was informed by unknown sources that this was due to the fact I had not been properly prepared... and that my eye surgery had greatly interfered.
The second Halluco-Tech situation I encountered was when I would effectively "hallucinate". Not entire experiences, but I would see individuals (mostly humans) shift shape and magnitude in various ways. This was difficult to interpret, sometimes, because my readings were for a mishmash of reasons hard to decipher. Sometimes all that was being done was a sharing of information, perhaps off-topic of the object in sight. Other times it was a revelation of deeper spiritual levels of the object being observed. And other times is was a result of my personal intentions. But that gets into my own spiritual abilities, which are not up for discussion just yet.
So. (I like that word). What needs to be expressed right now is that lots of people all over the world have had all sorts of unusual experiences (many auditory and/or visual) outside of mainstream ignorance. This begs the question, "Who is lying to whom?" Are those who live "normal" lives the rubes in this cosmological experiment? Is it supposedly a matter of maturation? And who the F determines who's ready for what? Or, perhaps, all these insiders are the ones being duped on a much more advanced level. Because, what if this tech is a trap of sorts? What if there is more spiritual spirit-tech? What if Kali cannot be contained?
Even though I was taking my medication as prescribed, I was still reading signs and otherwise dipping my toes in the supernatural. And Isabella, with her own skill-set in that domain, simply added fuel to the fire: a fire that eventually forged my will, but not before burning away nearly all my fear. Or, to use another metaphor, I stood on a precipice. If my footing remained firm, I’d still be me. You know, Dave. But if my footing faltered, if I heeded the demons tugging away inside of me, I’d fall, and become something truly hideous.
With signs pointing every which way, I was far from anchored. After all, I was living in a dilapidated house, in a small yet dangerous town, with a girlfriend who’s husband was plotting who knew what. Plus, my girlfriend suffered from a number of conditions, conditions she tried to self-medicate with alcohol. This didn’t make for a stable relationship. But I was determined to win this damsel in distress, so I took my meds and otherwise battened down my mental hatches. I would withstand whatever came my way.
The names of past lovers spelled out something strange. Can’t really explain it here, but the thrust was my donning “The Mantle of Christ”. Not that this makes sense in retrospect - especially to readers outside me head - but I began to believe if I had sex with (i.e. raped) any of Isabella’s alters (or lost souls or whatever), I’d turn evil.
First it was Courtney. We were walking back to my truck in a supermarket parking lot, when Isabella abruptly stopped and turned on me. “What - who are you?”
“What do you mean, who am I? I’m David. Who are you?”
“Did you, did you drug me? Where’re you planning on taking me in your car?”
“Home. You’re Isabella. I mean…” but I didn’t feel right saying, “you’re in someone else’s body,” so I didn’t.
“What have you been giving me?” She stepped back a few feet. She almost stumbled. “What’s wrong with my ankle?”
“Uh. I dunno. Isabella said she broke it when she was a kid. She has to be careful walking on it.”
“Well, I’m going home. My home. What city are we in?”
I told her.
“Well, I’m gonna find a bus stop.” Then she bolted. Not a full run, but fast enough.
I put the small bag of groceries I was carrying in the back of my pickup truck and then opened the door and just sat in the driver’s seat. Didn’t turn the ignition. With no idea what to do, I waited.
After maybe fifteen minutes, Isabella approached my open car door. Puzzled and sad, she asked me, “What happened?”
“You changed and took off.”
I got up and gave her a hug.
She explained to me how disorienting it was to come to on the street. The last thing she remembered was shopping at the grocery store and then following me to the car. Then - in a flash - she was on the sidewalk looking at the traffic whizzing through the intersection near the gas station in the southwest corner of the lot. Confused, she walked back to where she remembered we’d parked the car.
“Oh, God, David. I love you.” She returned my hug. Tenfold.
I didn’t know at the time it was Courtney who’d paid a visit. I learned her name later, when she showed at the house. Convinced I was a rapist keeping her in drugged captivity, she threatened to scream if I got too close. Had to manually cover her mouth to prevent her from alarming the neighbors, and even then she almost bit my hand.
This brought to mind my previous experience with Jess. Because it seemed to me Jess did her best to get me to rape her. I wrote about it in IB3, and only now do I understand its importance. While rape is legally perilous and morally reprehensible, I needed to engage that energy. I did not wish to be evil. Or at least, what I considered evil. But my spirit needed me to explore the possibility of rape for a multitude of reasons. At the top of the list were both a need for understanding and a need to define my own moral code. Both needs had to be addressed not just in general, but in specific terms. Which is why the theme of rape would sporadically recur throughout the course of my spiritual awakening. But I’ll speak more of this later, particularly in IB5 and IB7.
In that situation, Courtney knew I was no threat. Still, she feared my intentions. And, if she was a lost soul, she’d probably been drugged and raped and later died within the confines of an unknown city… at the hands of an unknown stranger… for unknown reasons.
I gave her the space she needed.
When she calmed down enough to hold a more sensible conversation, I asked her point blank how she’d get home if she didn’t know where she was. It was this question that snapped Bella’s body free of Courtney’s ghost.
So, with Isabella back in control, we spent another night in a house whose future was just as uncertain as our own.
[Here's a rough excerpt from a section entitled COLLEGE from Infinite Book 4: Recovered Dreams].
I spent freshman year living in an on-campus freshman dorm. Those first couple of weeks, everyone was feeling each other out in terms of social-sexual status. Determining who would be spending what kind of time with whom, it was like we were all self-evaluating specimens in a taxonomy lab. Sorting, labelling and placing ourselves according to competing theories of classification.
I was so socially incompetent, however, these proceedings might as well have taken place in my absence. Even my dorm/class t-shirt insulted me. It felt like a personal attack, and may very well have been. On the shirt was the twinned profile of a young couple kissing. The slogan read, “Some People Just Don’t Get It.” And me being one of these people who “just don’t get it”, my so-called friends made sure I knew about the t-shirt.
Playing dumb, I bought a t-shirt. Wore it a number of times. Then found it missing from my laundry. Probably because someone stole it to keep me from wearing it. Not sure who was more embarrassed. Me, or the people hoping to humiliate me. If it even was a prank at my expense. But, whatever. I shrugged it off. After all, there were classes to attend to and papers to write, right? In short, I was busy with my own version of college non-life.
For four years, I functioned as a student. Nothing more. And even as a student, I was mostly unremarkable. Still, I felt personally superior to just about everyone and everything. Because I was figuring stuff out. You know, important stuff. I was a delicious cupcake of wisdom with Christian frosting and Pagan sprinkles on top. I knew right from wrong and was always teaching my favorite class. “How Things Ought To Be - 101”. I tolerated gays, but wanted a wife. I rarely drank to excess, but if I got drunk (or even just tipsy), I was a “happy drunk”. I drew the line at drugs, though. Never felt the need to do drugs.
Until I did. Feel the need. It was my senior year. As I surveyed life after college, all my options seemed empty. So, I turned to drugs to shine a light on my future, to maybe reveal a new direction worth taking. First, I did pot. Not a lot, but enough. After that, it was mushrooms (once) and acid (twice).
The mushrooms and acid sharpened my visual acuity and put me in low-grade states of slightly elevated awareness. That was all. Pot, on the other hand, fractured my sense of time, and that was engaging. Still, although I loved my time highs more than either laughter or body highs (and body highs made me pretty uncomfortable anyway), I never experienced anything like what I wanted, which was to feel better after the drug wore off. I ached for something lasting and transformative. Something to leave me thinking, years later, “Hey, that was a turning point.”
According to a drug dealing friend of mine, what I wanted was a drug called ecstasy (MDMA - methylenedioxy-methylamphetamine).
Ecstasy was big in ‘92. After graduating, I attended a vaguely off-campus party. An enemy of mine - who knew my drug dealing friend - handed me my pill personally. Individually wrapped in crumpled tinfoil, it was supposed to be ecstasy, but probably wasn’t. Because, instead of sinking me down into a calm lake of liquid purrs, it netted me with needles of anxiety. Majorly uncomfortable, I ducked out of the X party and rejoined the ranks of the beer drinkers. Thoughts and perceptions of self and other battled within and around me. Deep Distrust, my base camp, launched me behind enemy lines before I realized I’d been conscripted. A fresh recruit in The Royal Army of Paranoia (TRAP), I’d no idea who we were fighting, or why.
All I knew for sure was this. The drug I’d been given had damaged my ability to feel either safe or secure. It magnified my personal sense of anxiety, and this lasted well into the morning. In fact, it lasted even longer than that, but how long is difficult to gage when the sources and modifiers of my fear have been multiple. Regardless, before my “ecstasy” trip, I’d fretted in private. Now, I felt cornered and forced to monitor in real time whatever was said around me, even if I couldn’t quite make out the words.
Having been chemically prepped for a breakdown, it was only a matter of time before I’d have one.
As you may recall, Infinite Book 3: My Truest Fiction ended with my rapid engagement to a woman with secrets named Isabella. Born a witch and intrinsically selfish, she told lies really well. She also valued the pleasures of truth, which pleasures she clutched tightly to her chest. On account of my honesty, she clutched me in just the same way.
“We’re split-parts,” she said.
Our minds matched. Our hearts matched. Our bodies did, too. We dreamed big and worked small, which is how we managed to extract so much from so little.
Isabella had a tattoo. It meant Mercury and Taurus to her. It meant Aries and Ua En Sen to me. We shared these things, and in so doing offered one another both grounding and direction. Having payed attention to our surroundings our entire lives, we knew many things.
The most important of these was this. If our paths could align, healing would happen.
But first, on that fateful day in 2009, we needed to meet and fall in love…
Okay. It's been so long since I published Infinite Books 1-3, and the notion of jumping to Infinite Book 5 (sans 4 & 6) has kinda lost its luster, that I've decided to number each volume of the Infinite Book Series in a straight-forward, sequential manner. So, slated are Infinite Books 1-8. Plus, due to the troubles I'm having with Amazon.com regarding the Kindle versions of Infinite Books 1-3, I've also decided to stick with paperbound books exclusively. I'll probably still publish through CreateSpace, but even that's not yet decided.
In honor of this re-envisioning, I've whipped together (through Pixelmator, a terrific little program for the Mac platform) eight covers. They may not be stellar, but I think I like them enough they've a good shot at being part of the final books put up for sale through online - and even offline - distribution.
A lot happened there, in that house. I mean, a lot was revealed. About Isabella and her mental condition. About Isabella and her love of alcohol. Forgive me for not building this up with careful foreshadowing and well-timed reveals. It would have been a more interesting read, I suppose. But it’s not.
One thing I need to relate, though, is the first room on Isabella’s cleaning list was the bathroom. She gathered cleaning supplies and asked me to handle the toilet. Almost breaking into tears, she excused herself to her (our) bedroom. I called through the door just to check on her. She said she was okay, so I thought it best not to press on the subject. After making the toilet presentable, I started in on the tub. Isabella came back. At first, she boxed and organized all the soaps and other bathroom essentials. Then she really got to work on the sink. She didn’t say much, but when she had to ask me to make room because I was in her way, I noticed a southern drawl in her voice.
Concerned, I asked, “Are you alright?”
“Why, of course darlin’. You must be David. My name’s Alice.”
“I’ve heard nothin’ but good things ‘bout you, David. Happy to meet your acquaintance. I’m sorry. It must be terribly disorientin’ for you to hear me speakin’ outta Bella’s mouth. How do I look?”
That’s how I met Alice. Turned out, when Alice looked at herself in the bathroom mirror, she saw a pretty 5’7” redhead. Isabella was 5’10” and a brunette. A caretaker personality, Alice helped fill me in on some of Isabella’s history. She didn’t stay long after finishing the sink, but said she’d return. Then she did a kind of double-take with her eyes and pressed a hand to the bathroom wall.
Suddenly, Isabella was back. Clearly shaken, she darted into the bedroom once more.
I followed cautiously and spoke with her at length about what happened. I carefully explained what I’d just witnessed. Giving her plenty of time and space to sort through her divergent realities, I mapped out my experience of things as best I could.
There was more than just one other consciousness in Isabella’s head. Later, we’d learn Isabella suffered from DID - Dissociative Identity Disorder (what used to be called Multiple Personality Disorder). This meant certain alternate personalities (“alters” for short) would step in at any given moment to protect her core personality from potentially traumatic events and/or thoughts. Usually. Unfortunately, not all her alters were interested in Isabella’s welfare. Also, whenever her awareness switched over, Isabella wound up with holes in her memory. She called these perceptual blackouts “lost time”. These holes in her memory lasted anywhere from fifteen minutes to several hours, although sometimes a particular hole might last up to a few days or more.
Bella was Isabella’s core. The “innocent” one, so to speak. The one who thought the world might actually be an okay enough place despite itself. Isabella, on the outside, was feisty. Bella, on the inside, had too much to lose. Together, they were closely intertwined. They blurred into each other and shared most memories equally. While Isabella and Bella were facets of one central core, the other personalities I interacted with were manifold not only in name, but in essence as well. Here’s a short list, loosely ordered chronologically according to when I learned their names:
1. Alice (alter)
2. Isabel (spirit ancestor)
3. Vivienne (past incarnation)
4. Courtney (lost soul)
5. Heather (alter)
6. Chelsea (alter)
7. Brad (lost soul)
8. Catherine (alter)
Alice I’ve already described. Isabel was a German witch from Isabella’s matriarchal family line, going back seven generations. Vivienne was a flapper from San Francisco (roaring ‘20s and all that). Courtney was a runaway teenager. Heather was a man-hating drinker who liked to scrap. Chelsea was a timid little girl fearful of family abuse. Brad was a young black man who promised to help me keep Chelsea safe. And Catherine was a vindictive Trojan Horse of a personality. More on her later. Much later.
All of this was as exciting as it was frightening. But, if you understand anything I wrote in IB3: My Truest Fiction, then you should have a semi-decent notion regarding my level of preparedness when it comes to navigating the weird and unknown. In fact, I kinda almost get off on it. Kinda. Almost.
I'm sad to say the writing process of Infinite Book 4: Recovered Dreams has been remarkably belabored. Mostly on account of my life since 2013 being filled with work and relationship issues, and especially on account of my life taking a serious nosedive over the course of 2016. So, all I have to show right now is the following word count:
I'm still banking on a 2017 publication date, however, due to my life being so derailed right now that I've nothing to do but write.
Infinite Book 3: My Truest Fiction clocks in at only 63,213. Considering the ocean of experience this follow-up volume is set to cover, I'd estimate its word count will be well over 150,000.
-- What follows is what will most likely be the final words of Infinite Book 5: Recovered Dreams (2017):
A Letter Never Sent
I can't. I couldn't. And for that I am truly sorry. I was never the father to A or E they needed. Nor was I the husband to Bella she required. I thought I could have been. Might have been. But I simply was never enough. Not strong enough. Not patient enough. Not even demanding enough to finally become what I needed to become.
And then there was Caroline.
How could I?
That question is as pure as it is accusatory. It points sharp fingers at Bella and me. Fingers I'd rather not acknowledge at all.
And, honestly, right now (on this subject at least), I have... no... more... words.
So. 2016 was one seriously pathetic year for moi. After my girlfriend/would-be wife (once upon a time) passed away in Lompoc (while I was living in Santa Maria), I wept and carried on as best I could. Attended a symposium (of sorts) in Ojai on Spiritual Emergence in February (?) and did my best to keep working in the recovery field. However, my employer was unable to give me enough hours or enough pay to maintain my apartment, so I moved back south, only to discover one incredibly weird series of events. People might say (and perhaps rightfully so) that I came unhinged. Still, I would (and still do) adamantly disagree in terms of who (or what) might be on first base in this here particular baseball game of reality. So. Had an apartment for a while. Got kicked out (for unsubstantiated reasons - but let's not worry about that). Oh, and before I was forced into homelessness, I was "arrested" by the cops right in front of my apartment door. Never read any rights. Never officially arrested. But, still, after I was thrown on the ground, questioned a bit and then "allowed" to get in the cop car, I found myself incarcerated for three ridiculous weeks. First at Wells and Etiwanda (West Valley, SB). Then carted around from jail to jail... i.e. San Bernardino, West Valley and Victorville (or someplace in the desert north of Mt. Baldy). What-effing-evs. Fun times. And, if you don't know this by now, I tend not to like the word "fun". Kinda annoys me in various ways. And now I'm in Long Beach. WTF? Considering Long Beach is associated in my mind with "friendly" betrayal... can anyone say drugged for a night of... huh? (2002) - I think... and also a previous civic residence of the parents of my now-deceased gf/w-bw. Nifty. Not.