Saving The Dream By Robert Yanez Copyright Robert Yanez, 2012

Table of Content

Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5

Saving The Dream Forgotten Paradise My Forever True Love… Moments to Remember A Third Destiny?

Chapter 1 Saving The Dream

Just like clockwork, I always dread this time in history. For it is a time that has nothing to do with my own life, but for another’s. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Stevie Wonder was in town that day, playing a show at the Oakland Arena. The year was coming to a close; it was December of 1980. I was all of twenty-one that year. There was a girl working at a gas station down the street that caught my eye. We went to the same high school and I’m certain we even had auto shop together, but for the life of me I couldn’t remember her name. It was a Wednesday afternoon when I pulled up to this station and I recognized her. I knew she wouldn’t know my name but she did smile at me when I paid her. To a young man of twenty-one, having a girl you like smile at you for more than one hundredth of a second was reason enough to ask her out. This time around I’m going to be with someone I hardly knew but was anxious to get to know. Stevie Wonder was going to be playing in Oakland so I rushed over to buy two tickets. They cost a grand total of 26.00 dollars, which in 1980 was quite a bit to plop down. I felt proud walking out of the bookstore with tickets in hand. Back in the day, one had to actually venture outside the home in order to purchase items, unless of course if you were well to do. There was one small concern I had driving home that night, when was I going to ask her out? Perhaps I should introduce myself to her first; yeah that’s what I’ll do. Of course she’ll say yes and it will be the beginning of something great. This time when “it” happens I want to be with someone and not be alone. In this life I have chosen a destiny in which Kimberli and I never get together but instead I will try to change not only my love life but more importantly I will NOT try to change the impossible. And so, three days later there we were standing side by side.

Strangers experiencing a moment in time that would last forever. There we stood in the dark with 20,000 others. The music stopped and lighters filled the darkness. Music was replaced with words of disbelief. My date and I held hands and like so many others… we cried. You see, the life before this one was so much different. In that life I saved up all of my money, determined to be at the right place just at the right time. After all, to date my biggest accomplishment was saving my brother’s life. Let’s see, he has now lived twelve years beyond the train accident. I had to try; I had to do my best. I had to save my hero… John Lennon. As I try to change this event in history it actually began some seven years earlier when I began receiving the first of many images foretelling of this tragic event. I was alone in my room, I had my headphones on and I was listening to my favorite band, The Beatles. The precise moment was 2:07 p.m. on July 27, 1974. I went walking into town that day; it was a nice summer weekend. I had a few dollars and wasn’t sure how I’d spend it but was going to have fun trying. I walked into this old-time appliance fix-it shop. Besides selling new and used vacuum cleaners they also had a small collection of albums. They had some new ones I hadn’t seen before and in the batch was John Lennon’s “Imagine” album. I just had to have it. Only $4.95, I couldn’t have been happier. I was home before too long and without a blink I was listening to each and every song. As I listened I began to remember things. Events that hadn’t happened yet. I could see flashes of newspaper headlines. “They loved him Yeah, yeah, yeah” was what I saw. It was just a quick second but I knew it was important. It left me with feelings of sorrow and helplessness that I had not felt before. I felt like crying, I was afraid to admit what I saw but as terrible as it made me feel, I had to remember more. I began listening to the songs again. I saw crowds of people holding candles. I could see them crying. Some were holding signs but I couldn’t make out all the words. Perhaps this was a concert I thought for a moment; no there was something dark about these images, full of sadness. As much as I tried I was unable to receive any more images that

day. The next day I tried again, perhaps listening to a different Beatle song will lead to more images. I had to try. Still nothing! I would have to try again tonight. The images don’t always come as quickly as one wants. A part of me wished it was nothing more than meaningless memories but I knew deep down it was much more. As I walked to a friend’s house I glanced down as I walked over a Time magazine. I didn’t think much of it but when I got to my friend’s house I began seeing flashes of it. With each image it was clearer then the image before. I kept seeing the same headline. Then I was finally able to make out the headline of the magazine and it read… “When the Music Died”. I couldn’t make out the image; I couldn’t make out the face. Then I remembered the magazine I walked over this afternoon. It had to be the same cover that had to be it. I quickly made up some excuse to leave and off I went. The winds had picked up and I soon began to run faster toward the spot. As I approached the spot there was no magazine in sight. The winds must have blown it down the street. I couldn’t just give up; I had to find that damn magazine. I began walking down side streets. Turning over every magazine I saw, but still not the right one. After twenty minutes or so I just started walking home, perhaps the wind had blown it this way and I would find it. I got home with no magazine ever found. I had promised my dad I would do some chores. I could hardly think straight now. I completed my chores, grabbed a quick bite to eat and was in my room with headphones on and ready. For the next week each night began this way, I couldn’t understand why I was not receiving any more images. Was I trying too hard? Did it all really mean nothing? For a week now I’ve been too busy for my friends but each day they keep calling just the same. On this Friday I decided to play some football. There had to be twenty of us. We picked teams and for the next couple hours I just had fun. We played tackle like there was no tomorrow. Being young again was really cool. I no longer have to worry about breaking any bones or waking up sore the next day. No one ever really paid attention to the score; we just kept playing until someone had to go home or when the sun set which made it harder to see the ball. The sun was almost gone and a few of us were

playing the last downs. We had the ball and I was going long on this play. As I began to break down the field the guy covering me was on me like glue. The ball was coming our way and we both went up for it. The ball was just out of our reaches and we both came down pretty hard. We both laid there on the grass clearing out the cobwebs. With the sun already down we all decided to call it a night. I began to walk home. I decided to give myself a break from the images and just have a good night’s sleep. I didn’t listen to music that night and was asleep soon after I came home. The dreams I had that night were exceptionally vivid and what I saw in those dreams was so unbelievable I found it very hard to accept. In one of my dreams I remember I was walking in a crowd. They were holding candles, I remember being in a hurry and I kept asking everyone, “How much time do I have?” and someone in my dream said “It’s almost half-time, you don’t have much time left” The next thing I remember was marching in this huge park, it was right in the middle of a city. The signs were now getting clearer and I could now see a date. 1940 – 1980. It was snowing and I even remember seeing Christmas trees. When I woke up, my head was pounding, and then I remembered the football game from yesterday. At first I tried to convince myself that playing football yesterday must have prompted the “half-time” comment. I also remember getting hit on the head. Just then I flashed on music. That’s right. I thought. There was music playing. The more I focused on the music the clearer I could hear it. The song was “Help”. I also remembered 1940 – 1980. I then went to my Beatles facts book looking to see which one was born in 1940. Both John and Ringo were born that year so my first problem was figuring out which one was going to be in danger. I wasn’t to receive another image for almost a year. It again came to me in the form of a dream, this time I was standing over John himself, he was bleeding and I kept yelling for help. As I looked to my right I saw him! There he was, dressed in a black leather jacket with just a t-shirt underneath. He stood there motionless, pointing a machine gun at us. He had a round face and wearing glasses. He kept laughing; it was then that I knew I had to do

my best to stop this senseless killing. It was an image and laugh I would never forget. Just the same as soon as I awoke, I quickly tried my best to draw everything about him that I could remember. By the time Dec. 1980 came around I knew what needed to be done. Kimberli, my high school sweetheart and my future wife was still in college and we had plans of marriage once she graduated which was still two years away. I once again decided not to attend college but rather to accept a job offer once I graduated from high school. Knowing what needed to be done, I had years to plan my course of action. I tried not to let everyone know of my trip to New York. In fact the only people that knew were my girlfriend, family and my work. As far as everyone was concerned it was just a holiday trip on my own in New York for a week’s stay. Kimberli decided to stay on campus through Thanksgiving holiday but that she would come home for Christmas instead. This would fit right into my plans. It wasn’t long before I had saved up enough to fly to New York for a few days. By the time 1980 had finally rolled around, I had many detailed memories in place but the most important one was still just out of my reach. The dates that I’d seen weren’t always that clear. Sometimes it looked like December 6th and other times it looked like the 8th. Maybe I was completely wrong and it’s neither. Time was running out, it had been a year now since receiving the last image. I simply had to take a chance and be in New York City from December 5th to the 12th. All I knew was that no matter what it took I simply had to be at the right place at just the precise moment. The assassins name was never revealed to me, but I could see his face and it was clear enough for me to recognize him when the time came. But how would I actually prevent any of this? We’re talking about a crazy man with an assault weapon and I might only have literally seconds in order to try and stop him. Two months prior to my trip I began my plan. This timeframe is always a bit terrifying to me because as with any event I try to change once I begin doing things differently it can change a lot more then the event itself. It tends to open some kind of door in which for a very short time, anything at all can happen. I couldn’t chance buying a gun legally because of the time it took for all

the paperwork to go thru. So in November of 1980 I began the plan. I had to get a gun, something small. I would then send the gun to myself a few days before I arrive in New York. I could probably hide it in my suitcase and the airport security would never be the wiser, still there was always that one chance in a million that I’d get caught. It was too much of a risk. As far as buying a gun on the black market, let’s just say I knew a friend who knew a friend. Sadly it would be one of the easiest crimes anyone could commit. All it took was $400 and someone I trusted. Two days later I was handed a gun and about 20 bullets. I had a list of items that I felt would come in handy. A hunting knife, bullet proof vest, high-powered binoculars, a thermos, plenty of coffee and warm clothing. Since I still didn’t know the exact date or time my game plan was to wait outside John Lennon’s apartment, locate the assassin and wait for him to make the first move. I had planned on waiting day and night; I had to do whatever it took. My plan was not to kill anyone, just prevent the outcome. I’d aim at his legs, not the head. I had to do this right; I might only have one chance to change this whole thing. As one can imagine the frightening thought of me getting hurt was certainly a reality. So I went to one of those uniform stores that sells items for police, security guards etc. I knew that in a dozen years from now laws having to do with firearms would change dramatically and it would be impossible to buy certain items, but seeing how it’s still 1980 I was able to buy a bullet proof vest. You know even with all the seriousness behind my motive I couldn’t help but laugh at the mere thought of me being able to simply put all of these items in my suitcase. The high-profile security practices were still twenty years away. It was now Monday December 1st, a cold cloudy day. My plane departs from San Francisco on Friday morning. It would take six hours to get there. I’ve been planning my trip with the help of a travel agent. They booked me into a modest hotel for the entire week. I made sure to get something close to The Dakota apartments. Funny thing about the name, it was the last memory I received. About a year ago I remember having a dream about John Lennon being in Dakota. Upon awakening

from it my mind raced trying to add this clue to the big puzzle. I thought for sure John’s death had to have happened in either North or South Dakota. Perhaps touring or just taking some time off there. I didn’t finally figure that part out until a few months ago when I read an article regarding him working on a new album. It mentioned his home life at the Dakota apartments. By now, my friends at work all knew about my trip to New York City. Because none of them knew my real reasons behind this trip they constantly asked of my plans while there. I had to keep making stuff up in order to answer their many inquiries. Here it is, with less than four days to go and I’m scared to death. The realization of standing before someone who had a machine gun and was definitely going to use it… no if’s, ands, or buts made me sick to my stomach. Work that day dragged and I wished like hell that I could tell someone. As I drove home that night, I kept thinking that the very next time I held my gun it would be pointed at another life. My god, what have I gotten myself into? It was now Thursday night and my plane leaves in the morning. I’ve arranged to have a friend drive me to the airport. I sent the gun to myself three days ago so it should be waiting for me at the post office when I get there. I didn’t sleep a wink that night and before I knew it morning had arrived. I had no appetite but I knew I had to keep up my strength, I had to be on top of my game so I forced down a banana, breakfast of hero’s I thought. When I got to the airport I asked my friend to just drop me off at the curb, he had no problem with that. I soon found myself in an airport with thousands of people around me and I had a knife, high-powered binoculars and oh yes… a bullet proof vest in my suitcase. Because of the weight of the vest, I wasn’t able to pack a full week’s worth of clothes otherwise the suitcase might be overweight and therefore cause suspicion. This was one hell of a time to start thinking about causing suspicion. It felt so strange to once again be in an airport in which there was virtually no security at all. In fact their idea of security is a dozen old security guards with batons rather than guns. The most action these folks encounter is at the complaint department. I went up to the counter, purchased my ticket and no bags to check in. I simply got on the plane

with suitcase in hand. I even found myself sitting next to a woman who was a smoker. She smoked and talked the whole time, none stop. I kept wondering what she’d say if she knew of my plans. The plane arrived in New York a little after 2:00 p.m. so I grabbed a cab and rushed to the post office in order to pick up my package. Things were actually going well. No problems picking up the package at all. Not knowing how long it would take I didn’t ask the cabbie to wait. So I hailed another and off to my hotel I went. One might think the prices here in New York were “out of this world” but I keep remembering what the prices will be like in forty years from now. So to pay 65.00 per night at one of the best hotels in the city was a bargain in my book. This particular one was pretty close to central park; as a matter of fact it was only a block away from the Dakota. Just then, things got dark. I again remembered why I was there in the first place. I got to my room and I threw up several times. I was overwhelmed with fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of the unexpected and fear for my own life. You see I must believe that even though I have memories of my future I must always be careful because I believe that there are still no guaranties. I could still die if I happen to be in the line of danger. So there I sat all alone in this strange hotel room. I held my head in my hands at the foot of the bed. I’m not quite sure how long I sat there in that position; finally I had to confront my fears and do it fast. I didn’t have time to be weak, weakness could interfere with focus and losing focus could cause me to loss my life. I then put on another layer of clothing. My plan was to be in front of the Dakota within the next two hours. There was a very nice stereo system in my room so I turned on the radio and the first song playing was the Beatles “We Can Work It Out”. Hearing that song at that particular moment made me feel better about the whole thing. Hearing that song made me remember why I was there and how important it was for me to at least try to stop this senseless death. I was even able to order something to eat. I hadn’t had much of an appetite for well over a month now. I had to be strong, mentally as well as physically. I ordered extra coffee in order to drink some now and fill up my

thermos with the rest. I had to stay awake so as not to miss anything. I think I have a few days until his murder takes place but I’m not 100 percent sure, it could happen tonight or early tomorrow. I just don’t know the exact time or day. It was now a little after 4:00 p.m. Friday night in New York City. It was so cold outside. The sun was shining bright when we landed but just two hours later the clouds covered the skies. There was snow everywhere. You’d think it would keep people home. As I looked down from my window a shiver ran thru my body. Part fear and part coldness. I’ve had a bit to eat, I’ve put on another layer of clothing and now it was finally time to load the gun. I wished I didn’t have to carry a loaded gun but I knew when the time arrived I’d have to be ready to defend John with everything I had. There was no way around it; I simply had to load the gun before I leave my room. I kept thinking about shooting my own foot off. Then another thought came to mind. This was New York City and it’s full of desperate people who might try to rob me. Do I pull the gun out if that happens? Just then I had yet another thought. What if I kill the killer? I know what he’s going to do. I know what he looks like. I also knew one more very important fact. The killer will not be expecting me. They’ll find him dead carrying his own gun. This changes everything!!! My plans of possibly going to the police to let them know of a man I spotted outside the apartments hiding a gun. They’ll take my name down. How can I now do that if I plan on killing him? So many thoughts racing thru my head now. I have to keep calm. I have to keep it together. The only thing important now is to load the gun and ready myself for the cold night ahead. Perhaps the night air will help clear my mind. It was now 6:47 p.m. As I walked down to the street, my first thought was how damn cold it was. It was now snowing at a good pace; there were Christmas lights everywhere and lots of shoppers with packages all moving in every direction. As I turned the last block there it was, as big as a castle. The red bricks and white trim made the Dakota apartments stand out from all of the other buildings around it. There seemed to be a small crowd of about a dozen or so. Some holding

albums, others had pictures of John or The Beatles. They were all waiting for John to make his daily appearance. He was due back from the studio around 8:00 p.m. Was this to be the night of the murder? This was all happening too fast. I began to sweat and it had to be in the low 20’s. As I walked thru the small crowd I began looking for him! I’ve seen his round face and glasses so many times in my dreams and visions. I was glad that I at least knew whom to look for even though I didn’t know exactly when this tragedy was to occur. He was nowhere in sight. I began to calm down a bit. The assassin not being there gave me a chance to think a little more clearly. Still, there was no denying that with a little more than an hour before John arrives that left plenty of time for this madman to make his way here and fire the fatal shoot. As I looked around I began to realize something else I hadn’t thought about. I’ve only been here for fifteen minutes and there was now over thirty people here waiting. By 8:00 there may well be over a hundred people. More people meant more problems. Easier for him to hide in. More people in harm’s way if the murder takes place tonight. Fuck, fuck, fuck!!!! There I stood across the street from the Dakota apartments, palms sweating, and my heart pumping hard again and with every hour that passed I grew less confident in what I was trying to achieve. I stayed a distance from the crowd but still close enough to use the gun if and when I had to. It was now 9:45 p.m. when all at once a car drove up. It must be John and Yoko, I thought. It’s now or never, I had to be quick!!! So I jumped up from the cold bench and ran across the street. The crowd seemed for a moment to rush the car but within seconds the crowd completely disbanded. Seems John and Yoko would not be returning home this cold night and so the crowd was now almost gone. Within a few minutes it was as though no one was ever there. I stayed there just the same for well over an hour. I was now convinced it was safe for me to go back to my hotel room. As I walked back I needed to figure out what to do with the many fans that will surely be back tomorrow. I was now back in my room, relieved for now but still very anxious. With no expectations of slumber I stared at the T.V. Nothing was on but the news, so I sat in front of the

tube. With the news in the background I found myself looking out the grand window with all of New York at my feet. Then it happened, I began what was to be the most important vision to date. I was standing in front of a school. At first nothing was familiar; things were very bright but foggy at the same time. Then the fog cleared up and I was back in 1974 again playing football with my boyhood friends. However this time I wasn’t playing, I was just standing on the sidelines watching. There was a tap on my shoulder and as I turned around I was shocked to see that it was John Lennon. All I could do was stare at him. He looked at me and asked me why I wasn’t playing? I told him I had more important things to worry about now. I told him I had to save his life. He started grinning and said, “I’m not the dream you have to save man, they can never kill the dream”. And then he said a strange thing, he said. “Go play and I’ll see you at half time”. What he said made me extremely sad. As I turned from him to my friends I was now back in my hotel room. With the television still on, I looked at the clock and it was well past midnight. This time my vision had lasted nearly two hours. As always it’s now up to me to try to figure out what it all means and how it can work for me. It’s funny how time doesn’t exist in other dimensions. It felt like I was just gone a few moments. Then I heard a voice coming from the television. The station was about to leave the airwaves and they were just going over the day’s news. Then it makes mention on some of the football games being played on Sunday. The station signed off and I began to hear the National Anthem. As the music played on, that’s when it all hit me. I’m now convinced more than ever that John Lennon would be murdered this Sunday, December 7th. His death would be announced during half time. Games begin at 10:00 a.m. so I had to be ready. Still the vision I had of John and what he said only confused me more. I know I can sometimes change the outcome of events. I kept thinking how I was able to save my brother from an early death. So why not John’s life? John Lennon IS the dream!!! Without him the dream will die. I was not about to let that happen. At that point my mind was now made up. I will kill the assassin in front of the Dakota apartments long before any of Sunday’s games are completed. It will be done

quickly, so quick that by the time it’s over I will have fled back to my room, dispose of the gun and catch the next plane back home. Saturday was a blur. Even though I’m sure nothing will happen today, still I can’t take that chance. So with my gun at my side I began to pick up where I’d left off last night. Upon arriving I noticed a few city workers and a small truck. The manhole was open so I walked over and asked if he’d seen Lennon arrive back yet. He looked at me as if I had two heads. He kind of grunted and then a young girl who overheard my question informed me that John and Yoko would not be returning at all today, perhaps tomorrow. So my hunch was right and I headed back to my room. With hours to kill I went over my plans. I unloaded the gun and began to draw it while standing in front of the mirror. At times it seemed like I had little strength left, but again and again I kept drawing and firing at this demon from hell! I have to become someone I know very little of. It pains my heart to know that in order to destroy this madman I have to become one myself! Dear God in heaven, I’m not a killer. I’m NOT a killer!!! But I have no other choice. Each time I took aim and fired I stared into my own eyes. I needed to see eyes that were empty of any feelings except those of hate and a mission to correct this mistake in history!! I have decided to load the gun with five bullets. I figured that by keeping the first chamber empty, should I drop the gun it won’t go off. As I sat there in the dark I kept going over everything. Like counting sheep, for hours I kept counting the bullets…and that was my last thought for the night. It was now 8:45 a.m. I checked and rechecked the gun. I have to make sure he dies today. My adrenaline was racing as I left my room. The morning was so cold; as soon as I left the hotel the cold air hit me like a ton of bricks. As I turned the corner heading towards the Dakota the first thing I saw was movers getting ready to hoist up a piano and other rather large items. I so wished they would hurry and finish. There were no crowds except for the movers. So I once again sat on the bench across the street and waited. I was there for almost an hour when my heart stopped. There he was!!! This pathetic psychopath in the flesh.

His face was the same one I’ve seen in my visions for years. And finally, there he was! And like my visions; wearing just a black leather jacket and t-shirt underneath. Only I knew there was much more hidden beneath his jacket. Only I knew of his twisted mind and plans. Only I could save John from this madman. Just then there was a disturbance between one of the movers and this lady who kept screaming obscenities at them. Before too long the other two movers joined in for what was nothing more than a four way shouting match. There were now a few more people watching this mess. All eyes were on them except for mine and his. This guy seemed to be in a trance, he wasn’t even looking up. Just then a police car pulled up so as to bring back some sort of order. Just as the police showed up sure enough he began walking away. I thought. “What do I do now?” I began to follow him, he was a good half block in front of me and was walking at a very fast pace. I couldn’t lose him; I had to see where he goes. The hunter has now become the hunted. I followed him for blocks; I had to make my move. As I began to catch up to him I could swear he looked back at me and now began to run. With no other choice I had to run after him. With every step I ran he was getting away. Then it happened… he slipped and fell to the ground. By the time I caught up to him a young couple was helping him up with two children watching. There I was, now standing four feet from this madman. All I had to do was shoot him and run. But I couldn’t. There were so many people around and in this daylight not too many places to run to. As he got up he pointed at me and began screaming for the police. I thought, was this really happening? I had to do something; I couldn’t let him get away. So I yelled as loud as I could that he had a gun. As he began to reach into his jacket I did the only thing I could think of, I tacked him before he could get his gun out. When I fell on him I felt someone on my back. All I could think of was to hold on to his arms therefore preventing him from shooting us all!!! He was now yelling for someone to save him from me. The help that I was hoping for had turned on me. Both he and I were now being held to the ground until the police arrived. It was all

happening so fast I had to think quickly. The police now on the scene had the both of us in handcuffs. All I could do was demand for them to please search him… they had to get his gun. I told police I had seen a gun under his jacket and that was why I was chasing him. As they held us both I pleaded with them to grab his gun. As they searched the both of us they quickly found my gun and within seconds they throw me in the back of the squad car and took the handcuffs off of him. The police were not treating him like a criminal, the words being exchanged I could not make out. Then they asked him something and he shook his head as if to say “yes”. I couldn’t believe my eyes. They were releasing him. I kept shouting “No, no, you all don’t understand”. The police kept telling me to shout up. As they read me my rights I looked up and saw him looking back at me with a grin that I’ll never forget. I was now on my way to the police station. How could I have let this happen? How? I soon found myself being questioned. So many questions, how do I answer them? I couldn’t tell them what I knew. They’d never believe me. I stuck to my story about just seeing this “strange” man standing in front of The Dakota with a gun under his jacket. I pleaded with the police to please watch this man, he was dangerous. I asked them why they didn’t arrest him. I was told the only thing under his jacket was a copy of John Lennon’s latest album Double Fantasy. He was only looking to get an autograph and was not breaking any laws. I on the other hand needed a lawyer and quick. During the brief questioning the detective said that even though the “gentleman” I assaulted was not going to press charges but that the DA probable would hit me with everything. I then refused to answer any more questions until I met with a public defender. I was then booked and charged with a number of offenses. Unlawful position of a firearm, concealing a dangerous weapon as well as having a loaded gun on me, just to name a few. Just then another officer came over to me and led me back to where they booked me. I was finally told that I had the right to make a phone call. “My God, what have I done?” I didn’t know who to call. I kept thinking “whose heart do I break first?” Then a voice said. “Do you have someone to call son?” and with that said I called my dad. It took awhile for me to finally reach him. When I finally heard his voice I

broke down. “Dad, I’m in deep trouble. I need your help”. I told him that I had been arrested and what I was being charged with. He was speechless. I told him about the “man” I saw with a gun. Then a voice interrupted our conversation and informed me that our conversation was being recorded and that I should wait and talk to my public defender about the details of the case. He then said I had a few minutes left. My father asked me when I was to see a defender. I told him it wouldn’t be until sometime tomorrow or perhaps even the next day. He told me everything would be o.k. and not to worry. He would catch the next flight out and soon be with me. He is also going to contact a lawyer once he arrives in New York. Today was Sunday so it wouldn’t be until at least Monday or Tuesday before I could see a public defender. With having such a serious offense on my head the police had no intentions of letting me go anytime soon. The booking process took several hours. With every person I spoke to, I made it a point to ask that they send officers over to keep an eye out for this guy. I kept saying over and over “He has a gun!!” They all pretty much said the same thing… “Save it for your lawyer”. As they led me to my cell all I could think of was how badly I had failed. I’m going to jail and John Lennon will die today. It was now 4:16 est. and half of today’s games are now over. All of the west coast games have just begun. If Lennon is to be killed before half time I only have an hour left before his death!! So there I sat alone. Due to the seriousness of my charges I was put in a holding cell alone. I would not be allowed to see anyone until I met with my defender. Not that it really mattered anyway. I failed and now face everything I tried to avoid. I felt a lot of things that moment. Sadness, devastation, helplessness, scared and tired. Oh so tired. I couldn’t bring myself to rest on that filthy bed. So there I lay on the floor looking up. Waiting for the inevitable. Waiting for the world to cry. For now it was just I. I couldn’t tell you how long it was but I finally fell asleep and was awaken by the sounds of my cell door being opened by the guards’ keys. He brought me what I assume was breakfast. The best part was the coffee. I asked him what time it was. No windows in this cell. He told me 5:00 a.m. Can I get a paper,

sir? He laughed at me and said, “oh sure, can I get you the Times or perhaps maybe the Wall street journal? Where do you think you’re at? “But wait, did anything happen last night?” But my question would go unanswered; I would also not be getting any morning paper. Then around 9:00 a.m. the door opened again. In walked this extremely old man in a wrinkled cheap brown suit. His face simply looked like he’d been to hell and back. He had crocked yellow teeth; I saw them briefly when it looked like he gave his all just to form some sort of a grin. As the door locked behind him he reached to shake my hand. His name is unimportant at this point. It had only been a few seconds but already I had the feeling that he wasn’t going to believe much of what I had to say, just the same I only had one thought… was Lennon killed last night? So I asked. His face was puzzled and said, “Excuse me?” I asked again, “Was John Lennon killed last night?” He said “No. Do you have reason to believe he would be?” And with that I knew I had to convince him that I saw a man lurking in front of The Dakota with a gun, oh and one other small fact, that I’m not a gun carrying lunatic myself. So once the formalities were out of the way he simply asked me to tell him in my own words what happened yesterday morning. I told him it was my hope to spend my vacation in New York and even though I believed it to be a fun place it was also a very dangerous city. So the reason I had the gun was for my own safety. It was but a coincidence that I saw this dark stranger with a gun. He had the report of my arrest in front of him and told me what I already knew. The fact that I was the only one with a gun made my defense extremely weak. But the records of what took place clearly had my statements at the time of my arrest. I didn’t know it then but this would be extremely important in the days to come. Because it clearly explained why I had been chasing this man. This meeting with my counsel was also being recorded. After I said everything I thought made sense and with little incriminations to myself. I was advised that my best option would be to plead temporary insanity. Since I had never been in trouble with the law, also my story of me being on vacation had checked out to be true. It would mean working out a deal so that I would only spend six months in a psyche ward and then be released back

to California with 3 to 5 years probation. Just then there was a knock on the door. The guard spoke softly to my defender. I couldn’t quite make out what was being said. I was then told my dad was waiting to see me. “That’s all for now, your fathers here and you’ll see him shortly. Please talk it over with him, let’s get together around 3:00 and we’ll go over your story again. I expect to meet with the DA once you’ve come to a decision”. And with that said he was gone. I was then taken to the visitor section. The room was cold and gray. I was led to a small desk with a black phone. There would be a 3” glass window between my dad and I, still it didn’t matter I just had to see my dad. Even though my dad was in the next room I still had to wait at least an hour before they let me see him. Then I saw my dad’s face. I cried uncontrollably when I saw him. My dad kept saying, “Everything will be alright”. He then looked at me and said, “Why?” “Why did you have a gun? Why were you chasing someone with it? What’s going on?” At this point I had to be extremely careful. First off, I had to be careful who could be listening to our conversation and secondly, I could only tell my dad what I believed he would be able to accept. There’s no way in hell he’d ever believe the truth. But then again, that always seems to be the one constant dilemma I face. “Dad, I know I’m in deep shit but right now we have to get someone to believe that there is a man with a gun standing outside The Dakota apartments. I believe he is going to shot someone, perhaps even John Lennon.” “Son, you need to understand just how much trouble you’re in right now. The police only found one gun and that was in your procession.” “I know but dad, right now you’re the only one I have. Please listen to me!” And with a heavy sigh my father said. “O.K. my son, I believe you. But what can we do?” “At this point I want you to do two things. First, sit in when my public defender meets with me later today and then I want you to go to The Dakota apartments. Dad I want you to look out for this man. He’s around six feet and is a heavy man, around 250 pounds. His face is round; he wears thick glasses. Yesterday he was wearing a t-shirt and black jacket”. “What do I do if I see him?” my dad asked. “Nothing just look for him and come back in a couple of hours”. My dad agreed and our visit was over. I told him that I wished I could have

hugged him. He looked at me and said, “right now my son I am hugging you”. Our brief visit was a mere 14 minutes. The one good thing about the visitor’s room was that it had a clock. It was now 10:44 a.m. I was led back to my cell and was reminded of my defender seeing me around 2:00. I asked if it would be o.k. if my dad could sit in and the guard said. “You’ll have to ask your defender when he gets here”. And that was that. Being in my cell, hearing the constant sounds that goes on in such a place was no picnic. Every time the guards opened or closed the doors there was a loud echo. Voices were muffled, and every so often I’d hear the screams of someone getting a little excited. I had to concentrate. There was one bright spot in all of this and that was that John Lennon was not killed yesterday. This meant my guess was wrong and that I now had at least another week to try to convince someone of this mad man with a gun. With so many thoughts going through my head, I had to figure out a way to turn everything into my favor. Then a thought occurred. There were still two more weeks of football season left. Was I completely wrong about John Lennon being shot at all? If I’m wrong about all of this I could very well spend the next few years in prison. If I’m right then John dies and there would be nothing more I could do. THEN IT HAPPENED!! I had an epiphany like never before. I then began to think outside of the box as they say. Let’s say John Lennon is murdered. Let’s say everything I’ve been trying to stop from happening happens anyways. The question was simple… what can I do now that will help me if and when John is murdered? For all I know, the police might try to link me to the killer. Perhaps say that this madman and I got into an argument and that’s why I was chasing him. Try to charge me with conspiracy to murder. How can I prove at a later point in time of what I’m trying to prevent from happening now? How can I use this knowledge? I sat there for what seemed like hours but could have been minutes. Just then I wished I had my guitar. I always enjoyed strumming when having a bad day. I don’t know. I’d say this pretty much qualifies. Right now sitting here with a guitar in hand writing a song about all of this doesn’t sound like a bad idea. It might even turn out to be a

good song. I’ll add it to my other originals. Poor man’s copyright, of course! That’s when it finally hit me. That’s when it finally all came together, at least in theory. The poor man’s copyright. For years I have been playing guitar and writing my own songs. Nothing much except for one thing. Years ago I was informed by a friend who also played music of the Poor man’s copyright concept. It was very simple. Once a song is written one simply mails it back to one self. Upon receiving it back, you never open it up. By doing so you now have a certified unopened document (in my case songs) that has a postal date stamped on it. The idea of being able to prove in a court of law that the song had to be written prior to the stamped date. By doing so this proves that a song or document was written by a certain date. What if I used this concept not to prove a song was written but to prove of what I’m trying to prevent and more importantly... who’s not listening. That was it!! I now had a plan and would need my dad to help me carry it off. I figure it’s only been an hour or so since my dad’s visit so that would make it around noon right now. I’m sure my dad would be back by 2:00. It was extremely important to have him on record of being present, statements and all. This would give me some time to work out the details. I knocked on my cell door. The guard walked over. I asked. “Would it be o.k. for me to have a pencil and pad? I want to make notes to discuss with my attorney.” “Sorry, no can do.” Well, I thought so much for that idea. I had to keep my plans simple. Not too many details. I’ll have my dad write a letter about my unsuccessful attempts to get someone to believe me about there being a strange man with a gun outside The Dakota Apartments. People could be killed and because he’s standing right in front of the very same apartments in which a certain living Rock legend lives also brings up the possibility that yes, John Lennon’s life may be in danger as well. The police had an opportunity to at very least bring him in for questioning instead of letting him go. I will have my dad list as many names of those that I’ve already talked to. But this story must have two scenarios. There’s no way in hell my attorney is going to ever believe what I’ve told my dad. For this reason, I will maintain my story of just chasing down a man in which there was no

doubt in my mind that he had a gun and must have hidden it by the time the police arrived. I’m sure he will continue to insist I plea bargain temporary insanity. For now, at least today this was not important. What was important was to talk to my dad as soon as possible. When 2:00 came around there was no lawyer or my dad. Given the stress around a place like this the guards were still pretty respectful at least to me. Even though they couldn’t give me the pencil and pad, they were still able to check to see if my dad was in the building waiting to see me. It wasn’t until closer to 3:00 when my lawyer finally arrived. When he came in I asked if my dad was outside and he said “yes”. I asked. “Can I have him sit in with us?” “Of course, I see problems with that.” Because I was being charged with carrying a loaded gun they still had me in leg cuffs. My lawyer talked with the guard and in a few minutes my dad walked in. Once the door was shut behind us, my lawyer allowed my dad and me to hug. My dad arms felt like home again. I was for the moment safe. My dad then sat next to me, my lawyer then began. “Robert, let’s go over all of the facts along with your earlier statements.” I spent the next 15 minutes being asked the same three questions, just asked in different ways. I stuck to my story and then my dad spoke. “Look, I believe my son when he says he saw a man with a gun. Can’t we get the police to patrol that area?” “But Mr. Yanez, you have to understand...” Then my dad said. “I think it’s only a matter of time before this guy shows up and goes nuts!” “Mr. Yanez, the authorities have already searched this guy and found absolutely nothing on him!!” The city doesn’t have the time, money or manpower to stakeout people just because your son says he saw a gun. Now I strongly suggest you convince your son to take my advice. Sir, if this goes to trial your son could very well do 5 to 10 years in prison. The DA will pick your son’s story apart”. “Dad, its o.k.” “The hell if it is!” Shouted my dad. “Robert, Mr. Yanez look we only have about 18 hours until the DA meets with us for an answer. I still don’t know if they’re even going to go along with the plea but as far as I’m concerned it’s your only hope. I’ll be back in the morning and I’ll need an answer by then”. “Can my

dad stay and visit for just a while longer?” “I can get you another ten minutes with him”. “Great, thank you so much”. And then my defender said. “Just think it over”. And so the lawyer with the wrinkled brown suit was gone again. And again, not much help. Once the guard had placed the handcuffs on me we were free to talk. With the guard gone I asked him if he had seen this madman. “No, my son. I saw no one that fit the description you gave me”. “Look dad, we only have a few minutes and so you need to do exactly what I ask, no questions please. I promise you I’ll explain more in the next few days.” “What do you want me to do my son?”. “I need you to write a letter about what’s going on and about how the cops are not listening to me”. “You’re asking me to write a letter?” “Dad just write down a list of the names of the officers’ who’ve been interrogating me. Write down the fact that I’m in custody pleading with the police that I saw a man wearing a black jacket with a gun standing outside The Dakota Apartments!!! You must be sure to say The Dakota Apartments!! Let me hear you say that. So my dad repeated “The Dakota Apartments” “Your doing good dad, now try to remember and list these names. Officers Urbina and Hendrickson. There was also a lieutenant Corden. These are the guys who have been interrogating me. Then describe this man who I saw with the gun as being a white heavyset man wearing a black jacket, round face and wearing thick glasses. Then once you’ve done that make two copies. Send both by Registered Mail. Mail one copy to mom and send the other to yourself at a local PO Box. Now this is very important! Call mom and tell her once she gets this NOT to open it. I can’t stress that more. Don’t open it!! And the same with you, don’t open it!” “O.K. bobby, I’ll let her know. I don’t understand any of this but I’ll do whatever you need me to do”. “Dad, do this today! As soon as you leave this building go directly to the post office. Please promise me you’ll do this now”. “I promise my son, I promise”. “There’s one more thing dad, I love you and I’ll see you tomorrow”. “I love you too my son. Bobby, if we can prove to the police that this guy has a gun then it could clear your name”. “You’re absolutely right. But right now I don’t think anything’s going to happen for another week. You just have to believe me”. Just then the sounds of the guard opening

the door meant our visit was over. Rather than to be led back to my cell, apparently there was some unfinished paperwork that needed to be done so I waited there alone for another hour. There I sat going over everything. The letter my dad would be sending, the fact that John didn’t get gunned down yesterday. But there was something else. I could feel it in my gut; I just couldn’t put my finger on it. Where were my visions now? Please give me a sign. But no signs, no visions, just silence. There I sat with my head in my hands, rocking. Something wasn’t right. Was it my fate in this lifetime to go to prison? After an hour or so I was taken to yet another section. I didn’t see too many others in cuffs, just a lot of big wooden desks all lines up with just as many officers doing paperwork. The phones were constantly ringing. Everyone was talking all at once. I was asked to sit while a few more questions had to be recorded or written down, something to that effect. There was a small black and white television sitting on a wooden table in the middle of all this chaos. I couldn’t make out every word coming from the T.V. but I did have a pretty good view. Commercials were being shown and a quick look at the evening’s news. Little of this, little of that. “And now sports”. That’s when I saw it. The two football teams’logos. Miami Dolphins vs. New England Patriots. Monday Night Football. Oh My God!!! I thought. That was it!! The missing piece. Of course, the assassination would take place Monday night. Now I remember, now I remember! With everything that’s happened in the last 24 hours I’d completely forgotten about tonight’s game. I won’t have another week like I thought. What do I do now? My god, what do I do now? I have to get a hold of my dad. We need to get the cops out there tonight! He’ll be carrying the assault weapon for sure. I had to at least try to get a hold of my defender. Perhaps he could locate my dad. I had to try. “Sir is there any way I can see my defender? I just came to a decision and he wanted me to see him just as soon as my decision was made.” The officer nodded and picked up his phone. Within a few minutes he came over to me and said my defender was not in his office but that a message was left with his secretary. It was now precisely 5:44. “What time does the game start?” “What

game? Oh you mean the football game? Nine, why?” Before I had a chance to answer he then said the most unexpected thing. “You want to watch it?” “Yes, if I could.” “You haven’t given us any problems; I’ll talk to my sergeant. I think something can be worked out. Might have to keep you in cuffs.” “That’s o.k. I won’t mind, thanks!” My hands were now trembling and hard to control but I don’t think anyone there noticed. I was now totally convinced that the murder would take place tonight. I had to make sure my dad was out of danger and I had to try one last time to get the police to at very least send more patrol cars in the area. It was my only hope that one of the officers would see him garnishing an assault weapon. “May I please see lieutenant Corden?” “He’s out on a case now. Might not be back until late if at all”. “I need to talk to someone in charge”. Just then a few plain clothes office walked in. “Captain, this is R. Yanez. He’s the one who claims to have seen someone suspicious at the Dakota. He’s looking to talk to someone In Charge”. Then I asked. “Sir, can I please talk to you in private?” The captain pointed to the guard and then back to me. He then looked at me and said “sure”. I was taken to a very small room with a small table and two chairs. Within a few minutes in walked the Captain. He had a folder in his hands, I’m sure it was all the information pertaining to my arrest. “Captain, I have cause to believe that there is a man with an assault weapon hanging around the Dakota”. “Yes, I’ve read that in your arrest sheet. It says here you saw a heavy set man wearing a black jacket and what looked to you as if he was trying to hide a gun. You’re now saying it was an assault weapon? Which was it Mr. Yanez? Did you ever see a gun at all? Was there anything else you wanted to say?” I looked up at him and it was at that very moment when I lost all hope to save John Lennon. Today no one is going to listen to me, perhaps tomorrow… but not today. So I looked up at the captain and said “I believe I saw a gun under his jacket”. He then left the tiny room and I was led back to my cell. The guard said he was still working on me being able to see tonight’s game. The game was less than three hours away. Still, there was no word from my lawyer. I had to get a hold of my dad.

Bullets would ring out tonight and I needed to make sure he wasn’t in the area. I was now back in my cell alone and more upset than ever. Where is my dad? Why isn’t my lawyer calling me back? The guard came back but not of news of either one but simply to drop off my dinner. The game was now an hour away. The guard came back and informed me that my lawyer left me a message telling me he would see me first thing in the morning. His wife was ill and had to be taken to New York General. There I sat feeling completely helpless. I sat staring into space. Then I heard a voice repeating itself. “So how about it?” “What?” I replied. “I was asking, do you still want to watch the game?” “Oh yeah, I mean yes. By the way, have you seen my dad hanging around the station?” “He wouldn’t be on this floor even if it were visiting hours. I’ll be back in an hour. I’ll take you to a room that has a T.V.; I was told that someone has to be there with you even though you’ll still be cuffed. So it looks like you have a fellow football buddy”. “Yeah, that’s great”. I was doing my best to not show that I was at the end of my rope. Sure enough, with just under two minutes until kick-off, I was brought to a room just a little larger than the one the captain and I were in. Game time was just about to start. The guard was sitting a few feet from me and even offered me a soft drink. “A man can’t watch a game without something in his hands, even if they are cuffed”. He laughed at his own jokes. “Did you see my dad out there?” “No, I did not see your dad out there. What’s the big deal? You’ll see him tomorrow”. The game was now under way. It felt so strange to know that in the next two hours the world would lose a good friend. A hero to millions. I had failed miserably. With nothing more to do now other than to pretend to be watching this meaningless game I began to work out my plan for tomorrow. By tomorrow at this time the world will be mourning the death of John Lennon. I will on the other hand have the letters my dad sent to prove I was correct about this killer. Yes, by tomorrow my dad and I will be holding all of the cards. I’ll tell the DA if they don’t release me unconditionally my dad will take the letters to The New York Times, Newsweek, People, every television station, anyone and everyone who

will listen to him. The world lost a hero and New York’s finest sat here and did nothing about it. The first quarter was almost over, still no important newsbreaks. The guards name was Henry and he was a big Patriot fan. I owed him. If not for him I wouldn’t have been able to watch the game at all. It’s now 9:35 p.m. I wished I could believe that nothing is going to happen tonight; I’ve been trying my best to convince myself. But “that” feeling has taken root. That same feeling I get whenever I try to change something and fall short. The feeling of being extremely anxious and at the same time feeling helpless. These feelings are like two raging rivers heading toward each other. With each play of the game being called, the voices got louder and louder. I kept thinking, how could I have screwed this thing up? With a little less than seven minutes until the end of the first quarter my cell door opened and a note was given to Henry. “Here you go” he said. As he placed it in my hands he said, “Note from your pops”. At that precise moment I felt joy and relief. Just getting his note made me feel better. The note read… “Both letters have been mailed off. Your mom and everyone else send their love. Very worried. PO Box 4080. See you first thing tomorrow, love dad”. Suddenly my mind was at ease. I still felt terrible to know that John Lennon would be fatally shot tonight but at least I had a plan of action when it happens. At precisely 9:45 p.m. the only gunshots heard came from the referee’s gun at the end of the first quarter. I thought. I know that if we can go the whole game without any newsbreaks we’ll have more time to catch this guy before he can get to John. Hank left to grab a soda for us. It was now 10:03 p.m. With just under six minutes into the second quarter breaking news interrupted the game. “An attempt on the life of ex-Beatle John Lennon has just taken place in front of The Dakota”. Reports of gunfire. As the news report went live to the scene I was now trembling almost uncontrollably. I thought an attempt on his life? The reporter stood across the street from The Dakota. Almost in the very spot that I sat at while waiting for him. She went on to say, “Here’s what we have so far. At approximately 9:54 tonight John Lennon along with two

bystanders were shot at close range by an unidentified man wearing a black jacket. The apparent gunman shot off a total of four shots. John Lennon and two others have been rushed to New York General. No word yet as to the conditions and or the names of the two people that had also been shot. We now take you to the scene at the hospital”. The next reporter was able to add a few more details. “We are here in front of New York General and are waiting to hear from one of the doctors and or hospital representative”. Just then Hank came back with our sodas. “What’s going on?” I said. “There’s been a shooting”. “Someone tried to kill John Lennon”. The reporter said a few more things that I couldn’t make out because Hank was taking. “How did you know this was going to happen? He asked. “I have been trying to tell everyone about this lunatic”. Hank just shook his head in disbelief as the newscast ended. “More details at 11:00. We now rejoin the game in progress”. The next voice was that of the great Howard Cosell. “As you all know, I am not only a fan of John Lennon but I consider John to be one of my closest friends. On behalf of the entire staff here at ABC we offer our prayers in the safe recovery of all of those involved in tonight’s senseless act of violence. We will now continue with this game that at this point has very little meaning to the bigger things going on”. I asked Hank if we could change the channel so we could try to get more information. Just then the door opened, this time there were several officers and the sergeant on duty. The sergeant instructed Hank and the others to bring me to the interrogating room for what was the fifth time. Once there, they again cuffed me to the chair and without saying a word left me there by myself. One hour passed, then another and yet another. I must have waited for a good four hours. Then in the wee hours of Tuesday morning “they” all began to enter the room. I recognized the police sergeant as well as the detective that had been working on the case. There were also two others that I hadn’t seen before. Another detective as well as the chief of police. The chief of police was very nice to me and asked if I would like anything. “A cup of coffee perhaps?” I thanked him but said “No thanks”. My heart was beating a mile a minute; I didn’t like the feel of this at all. I asked if they could

undo the cuffs and in a very polite way was told that was not possible at this time. One of the detectives had been holding a tape recorder and placed it on the table. The police chief then said “We need to ask you some more questions, would that be alright? Since I had no reason to change anything about what I had already told them I said “o.k.” With the recorder now running the questions began. “Have you now or at any time ever heard the name Mark David Chapman?” “No sir” I replied. I thought, Mark Chapman. That must be the lunatic’s name. I thought, sure enough their trying to pin this on me. “Have you ever seen this man before?” They showed me a mug shoot of Chapman. This fuck was actually smiling at the camera. I replied. “This is the guy I saw with a gun. This is him. You all believe me now? Huh! John Lennon is either dying or he’s already dead… which is it! And then lieutenant Corden said. “Shut up! We’re asking the questions”. Believe it or not those were the only questions they had. I then asked to see both my lawyer and my dad when he comes in today. “Your lawyer will be here soon”. With that said the recorder was turned off and I was escorted back to my cell. Ever since I was first brought in two days ago I was always waiting to be locked up with others but that never happened, they always put me in the cell by myself. Once I was back in my cell my hands began to shake uncontrollably. Holding my hands together as tight as I could was my only option. It didn’t help. So there I sat alone with nothing to do but let my imagination run wild. I thought. Why did they ask those questions? It was obvious to me that they now had Mark Chapman in custody but there were so many questions running thru my head. By this time John Lennon in all honesty should be dead. The world as we all knew it was now a very different one. Our hero was now gone…. right? And where’s my dad? I wasn’t exactly sure what time it was but I can’t understand why he’s not here. Never the less, he and I will hold all of the cards and if they want to pin this on me I’ll have my dad hand deliver the letters to the New York Times. We’ll expose this city police force for what they didn’t do while they still had

time. Even if John Lennon wasn’t killed I was still correct in that he had a gun and therefore dangerous. And that my friends, was the bottom line. I was exhausted like never before and even though I knew I couldn’t, I wish I could fall asleep. The only thought that kept me going was that I knew this nightmare would be over soon. By this time next week my dad and I would be back home and I would have the satisfaction in knowing that I did everything possible to change the course of history. Just the fact that at least at this point one thing remained certain. John Lennon had not been killed. I began to believe that even though I was locked up that perhaps just me being here and all that I tried to do was enough to install some sort of curve within the destiny. It was all starting to make sense now. I was here in New York when I shouldn’t have been. Perhaps that alone was enough to change tonight’s outcome. For the first time in what seemed like a lifetime I finally started to feel like I finally made a difference. John Lennon wasn’t dead. That’s what I wanted from the beginning. Even though my plan failed at first maybe just maybe I had achieved what I wanted. When everything is said and done I would become the hero, the savior. It was around noon when my cell door opened and it was Hank. “Robert, you have a visitor”. As I was being lead to yet another location I asked Hank how long had my dad been waiting for me. Hank said nothing this time. In fact he was just looking straight ahead, wouldn’t even look at me. As I entered the room there sat my public defender. There were also two additional guards standing behind him. The only thing separating us was a long wooden table. I knew something wasn’t right I could see it in not only the defenders face but on Hanks as well. I was also cuffed to the table, usually at this point is when they would take the cuffs off but they didn’t do that this time. My defender then asked the guards to leave so he could speak to me alone. I had so many questions running thru my mind. What exactly happened last night? Had John Lennon died? Did he happen to see my dad out there? I then began to tell him about my last interrogation and that I wanted to set up another meeting with them but this time with him

and my dad sitting in. “Robert, I know about last night’s questioning. You need to tell me everything”. “But I’ve already told you everything. I told you this guy had a gun? I told you and everybody here that this guy was dangerous”. “How did you know about last night?” “The guard and I were watching the game last night when they made the announcement on the attempt on Lennon’s life”. “Robert, you need to be straight with me, you need to tell me everything you know about what happened last night”. “I don’t know anything more than I’ve already said!!” I shouted. “I want to see my dad now”. “Robert, that’s not possible. You need to tell me about the gun and what roll your father played in all of this”. “All of what?” Again I demanded to see my dad. Then there was a silent moment short of like “Quite before the storm”. “Robert, I have something I need to tell you. Your father was involved in last night shooting. I need to know what part he played”. “My dad? I asked. Last night’s shooting? Where is he now?” At this point my heart was racing so fast I could barely catch my breath. “Robert, last night John Lennon was shot twice. He’s in critical condition now along with another bystander”. “Look, I’m not interested in bystanders or any other questions. You’re supposed to be on my side. Besides, why are you trying to involve my dad? He came to New York because I’m his son. He came here to help me, now I want to see my dad now! Is he alright? Take me to him now!! I demanded. “Robert, the bystander was not your father”. “But you just said my father was at the scene last night”. “Robert, last night’s assassination attempt on Lennon was halted by your father”. “By my dad?” “God damn it, what are you saying!!” “Robert, from all of the reports so far indicates that your father pushed Lennon out of the way and tacked the man we now have in custody.” Robert, I’m very sorry but your father was shot trying to save Lennon’s life”. “So he’s in the hospital now… right? I pleaded. He’ll be o.k. right? He’s doing good, right?” “Robert, your father was taken to the hospital. He didn’t make it”. “NO!! NO!! NO!! Don’t tell me that God Damn it, you don’t dare tell me he’s dead”. “Robert, I’m very sorry, he’s gone”. “Take me to him”. “Robert, that’s not possible, he’s gone son”. “Don’t call me son!” I remember shouting, my words were racing past my lips and then the tears opened up like a broken

dam. By this time the guards had entered the room asking my defender if he needed their help. There I was, cuffed to the table and had just gotten the worse news I could have imagined. I looked up at the guards with disgust and wondered why they were asking such a stupid question; I mean damn I was cuffed to the table!! My defender informed them he wasn’t done and that he had everything under control. I don’t know how long I sat there crying in front of him. Strange how time stands still at moments like this. Now in one brief second my life had changed. I remember thinking how nothing mattered now… nothing. At that precise moment I didn’t even care what any of them thought or what was to happen to me. Fuck it all, let them lock me up. I really didn’t care anymore. My defender had been talking to me but I’m not sure for how long. I could see his lips move but I swear I couldn’t hear his voice. Little did I know but the media was all over the place. News of the attempt on John Lennons life spread like wildfire. John was still in ICU and thousands of loyal fans had now descended around the hospital. Everyone was praying for John’s recovery. The media wanted to know every detail. Who was this insane person who tried to do the unthinkable? And who was this brave man who gave his life to save John’s? So many questions swirling like a tornado, everyone wanted to know what exactly happened. As my defender left the room I remember he put his hand on my shoulder and said he’d be back soon. Once gone I think Hank and another guard walked in and Hank asked me if I was o.k.? My head was pounding. Hank did his best to make eye contact with me and then said, “Robert, I’m so sorry about your dad. Look, I want to take these cuffs off but you have to promise me there won’t be any trouble”. I finally looked up at him and agreed. With the cuffs now off I was finally able to put my head in my hands and I cried. Hank then instructed the other guard to get me some coffee. At first the guard hesitated but Hank told him to just go and do it. I don’t know how long I sat there with Hank. He was being so nice to me. Hank didn’t say much, perhaps he was instructed not to or maybe he just didn’t know what to say. And then I

finally said the only thing I could think of, I said, “For what it’s worth, thank you Hank. You have a big heart and I won’t soon forget everything you’ve done for me”. Just then the sounds of the heavy keys as my cell door opened. It was my defender again. As he entered the room Hank and the other guard left. My defender asked how I was doing and I think I nodded as if to say I was doing better. “Robert, very shortly we’re going to meet with the DA. They’re going to try to pin this on you as well as the shooter. This is your last chance to tell me everything you know. I can’t help you if you don’t tell me everything”. And then it hit me like the bullet that hit my dad. The hell with everybody!!! And I said. “If I’m going down then I’m taking everybody with me”. “What exactly do you mean by that?” “I mean, I’m sticking to my story. You tell the DA that they better pray to god that John makes a recovery because if he dies I intend to expose the entire New York Police department for not capturing this guy while they still had a chance. And one more thing, you let them know I have the means to a hand written letter that is post marked Saturday December 6th that will prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that I tried to get the cops to arrest this guy. My dad is now dead because unlike the cops, he believed me and did what he did in order to prove my innocents”. “Robert even if there is such a letter this could also prove that you were somehow involved in the attempt to kill John Lennon”. And then I said. “Look you son of a bitch if you’re not going to believe me and tell the DA everything I just told you word for word then I’m now requesting to have someone else represent me. Now for the last time I’m sticking to my story because it’s the truth. You tell the DA I’m willing to take my chances, if they intend to throw the book at me let them! Only I know where the letter was sent to. With one simple phone call I will have the letter sent directly to the editor at the New York Times. No better than that, I’ll have a dozen copies made and send it to as many news stations. You tell them I’m not fucking around anymore! So are you going to defend me? Or do I have to request that you be replaced?” My defender said. “Alright Robert, so be it. I’ll give them your message. They’re still going to want to speak with you directly”. “I’m not afraid of them, let’s get it

on!” Then he said. “There is one more matter at hand”. “What?” I asked. “The coroner needs to have your father Identified. If you don’t want to we can have another family member be called in”. “No, don’t call anyone, I’ll do it”. “Robert, are you sure you can do this? We can always call….” “No, I have to go see my dad”. “Alright, I’ll make the arrangements and then once that’s done we’ll sit down with the DA”. Within minutes I was again cuffed and lead to a patty wagon parked in the back of the police station. There were only two small windows and both tinted so that I could see out but no one could see in. As we drove around to the front of the station I couldn’t help but notice all of the news media being held back by a dozen or so officers. It was my guess that they were all waiting to get information about the shooter Mark David Chapman, who but a mere day before was unknown to the world. The identifying process was quick and heartless. I was brought into a room along with four guards. I was then asked to stand next to a glass-plated window and then it happened. The drapes had opened and there was my dad lying on a gurney. A gray blanket covered him up to his neck; if not for the blood stains around his chest area one would think he was just asleep. I wanted so much to be in the same room, I wanted to hold him. Whisper in his ear how sorry I was. Dad, why? This wasn’t supposed to happen. Then one of the officers asked me to identify him. I said. “Yes, this is my dad”. With that said the curtains closed and I was lead back down the hallway. For reasons unknown to me at the time the patty wagon had been moved from the back of the building to the side. The officers were now rushing me back to the wagon. As the door opened we were met with a dozen or so photographers all shouting and pushing at one another. I heard one of the officers tell them “No comment!”. I was then rushed back to the station where I was met with my defender. “Robert, we’re going to be talking to the DA in a few minutes. Are you sure you know what you’re doing?” “Let’s do this”. I replied. “All right”. He said. The room was much bigger than the ones I’d been in before and more light. The DA soon joined us. There were a total of four people from the DA’s office. They all sat across from my defender and me. Once the introductions

were out of the way they began asking me questions. At first they wanted to know why I was in New York and what I was doing with a load gun in my procession. To my surprise my defender was quick to remind them that I had already answered that in my sworn testimony. “Mr. Bellwood, we’ve read your client’s answers but just for the record we’d still like your client to answer the questions”. I did what I intended to do and stuck to my story word for word. With every question they had I gave them my same answers. Then they asked me how I knew Mark Chapman. I told them I didn’t. I had seen him with a gun standing outside the Dakota apartments and felt he was up to no good. They had a list of twenty or so questions. Most I had already answered several times before. It took around forty minutes answering all the questions on their list. However once the last question was asked they simply started asking me the same ones only this time in a different order. I could see it in their eyes, the frustration. Then my defender finally interrupted them and said, “Look, my client has answered every question and has been more then cooperative with you. As you already know the man that was killed last night in an attempt to save the life of John Lennon was my client’s father. And then he looked at me as if to say, “Do you still want to do this?” I nodded as if to say “yes”. “Here’s the deal. The only charge you have on my client is the fact that he had a loaded gun on him when arrested. All of the reports clearly indicate that the man he was chasing is now in custody and being charged in the murder of his father as well as attempted murder to kill Lennon. Which by the way also coincides with what my client had been telling the police. In addition if John Lennon doesn’t pull thru millions of people are going to want to know what happened. Call it what you will but we intend to go to the media and my client is willing to let the chips fall where they land”. “What exactly are you saying?” “We’re saying the New York Police department screwed this one up! By the polices own reports we have more than enough evidence to prove that, as well as suing the entire city for the death of his father, whom by the way is now a hero. In a nutshell, you either charge my client now with conspiring with Mark Chapman to assassinate John Lennon or release him. Gentleman, if your quit thru with my client we will await your

decision”. Little did my defender and I realize it but while we were talking to the DA, Mark Chapman was being interrogated just a few doors down. I was once again brought back to my cell and my defender said we’d now have to wait to see what they wanted to do. Hours passed, I was sure we’d hear something from them but before I knew it I was being served my evening meal. I couldn’t eat a thing but at least I had some idea as to the timeframe. By my calculations it had now been at least six hours since we sat down with the DA. I remember finally asking to see my defender, it was getting late and I needed to know what was going on if anything. I was informed that my defender wouldn’t be back until tomorrow. My mind began to wonder. I had so many emotions. Too many to count. I thought, what was taking the DA so long? What were they waiting for? Were they waiting to see if Lennon pulls thru? Was I right in my decision to basically black mail them? Was this all going to blow up in my face? Then the unexpected happened… I feel asleep. My mind was in overdrive, my body was numb. I had a dream that night. I was on stage with The Beatles and my dad was in the audience. There I was playing music with my heroes with my biggest hero in the crowd. I remember that it all felt so real, so detailed, down to the clothes everyone was wearing. Then in my dream it all hit me that it was in fact just a dream and the realization that my dad was now dead made me cry. I remember walking off stage in the middle of a song and John turned to me and said, “Where are you going? We’re not done yet”. I told him “I want my dad”. As I walked off the stage and into the crowd I couldn’t find him. My dad was nowhere in sight. I began to panic. The music turned to silence and suddenly the crowd had vanished. There I stood alone, feeling helpless. The sky was filled with clouds and it began to rain. I could feel the raindrops running down my face. It was at that point when I finally woke up. My blanket was soaking wet with sweat. Upon waking up I soon realized that the raindrops that I had felt were actually my own tears. It was early sunrise the next day. There was still no word from anyone. Then I heard the keys turning the lock and there was Hank! I

was glad to see him. He was delivering my afternoon meal. There was no way in hell I could even think of eating. “You need to eat something; you need to keep up your strength”. He said. “I’ll just leave this here on the table”. So many questions I thought perhaps Hank might have some answers. “Hank, what’s happening with John Lennon?” “Right now that seems to be the million dollar question, as far as anyone knows he’s still hanging on. Robert, I can’t say anymore than that. I’m sorry my friend”. And just like that he was gone. I just kept thinking, “What’s going on?” And where’s my defender? I was finally taken to get cleaned up; about an hour later my defender was waiting for me. As I was lead in to see him, I noticed he was alone. Just he and his old brown suit. “Well?” I asked. “When will we be meeting with the DA again?” “Robert, we’re not. I’ve already spoken to them about an hour ago. Robert, things are good and it looks like the DA wants to settle this, as they put it “Unusual dilemma” as quickly as possible. “What did they say?” I continued to ask. “It all comes down to three things. First off Mark Chapman did in fact prove to be a very dangerous man and the fact that even the police records confirmed you tried to warn them. The second fact is that Mark Chapman basically believes he is the real John Lennon and he was trying to kill the “impostor”. He says he’s never heard of you or your father. He’s telling the police he was instructed by god and the voices. Psychosis, Schizophrenia, they’re still evaluating him but based on what they’ve seen so far the man is insane. The DA says you can walk out today but they want you to stay away from the press. Your father will be hailed as a hero, the man who saved the life of John Lennon. Robert, they know you tried to stop things and their extremely sorry for the loss of your father but your story must not leave this building. They wanted to extend to you their heartfelt condolences and they want you to accept this from the state of New York. They understand there are now expenses and they want to make sure you have this”. I looked down and on the table was a letter that they wanted me to sign along with a check for $50,000. “They also want to make all of the arrangements in getting your father properly back home. Robert, you won.” “Yeah, I won alright”. I said. “Robert, it’s the best we’re going

to do. I’ll need to give them your answer soon”. I kept hearing those two words over and over. “You won”. What did I win? I thought. A gift to the world my father and I gave. We gave back a hero to a world in which they never knew they lost in the first place. Everything was wrong, everything felt backward. I finally agreed and signed the documents. All I wanted to do now was take my dad home. I wanted to leave this horrible city and never come back. Six hours later I was on a red eye flight heading back home. Back to what used to be home. As I stared into the black night skies I wondered if I could ever go home again. Everything was different now. My dad was gone and it was my fault. Three days later I buried my dad. He was only 49. In some ways he was the lucky one, he became to be known as the man who saved “The Beatles”. John Lennon did in fact make a full recovery and in the spring of 1984 he held a concert and I was told that he dedicated the night’s music to my dad. It took me years before I could once again enjoy the music of my once favorite group. And even though a reunion of The Beatles never took place, John Lennon did go on to create his magic in both music and the arts. As for me, all aspects in my life would change. Once the press found out where I lived things became rough. I found a small but nice place a few towns away and pretty much kept a low profile. My girlfriend Kimberli couldn’t handle things and left me. The media was hard to avoid, I must have changed my phone number a dozen times. After a year or so the press finally gave up. I never went back to New York. December 8th, 1980 will forever be known as “The day the music died.” I have come to realize that this event will happen and more importantly must happen! So here I am, amidst the sounds of 20,000 broken hearted fans of John Lennon. Stevie Wonder just broke the news and before he plays his rendition of “We can work it out”. He asked for a moment of silence and prayer. My decision not to alter this tragic event was made based on my previous life’s story. Although I always have hope that perhaps this night would end up differently but again I was wrong and at precisely 9:54 p.m. est., my hero and the hero of millions will senselessly be gunned down in cold blooded murder. And

even though I cried before, I still cry every time it happens. For obvious reasons the concert abruptly ended. The drive home with the girl I hardly knew was a quiet one. After dropping her off I rushed home. It was now just after midnight when I gave my dad a call. As usual he had no clue why I was calling so late. Still groggy he asked if everything was all right. And I said. “Dad, everything’s fine, I just wanted to hear your voice and tell you that I love you very much”. As I hung up the phone I could still hear the cries from the thousands at the concert. Tomorrow it would be a fact that the world had once again lost their hero John Lennon, the hero of millions. But on this night I went to sleep knowing that I still had my hero. I still had my dad!

Chapter 2 Forgotten Paradise At first the only thing I remembered of my life on earth was the
very last moment. I was driving home from yet another ho-hum day at the office. I remember I was on highway 101 and there wasn’t all that much traffic that day. I’ve never enjoyed driving all that much, but driving next to the ocean made it bearable. The smell of the ocean, I just couldn’t get enough of. Living in Oceanside always made me feel special. Sun almost year round, who could ask for more? I remember for some reason I couldn’t keep my eyes off the rear view mirror, as if I was expecting some fool to come roaring from behind me out of nowhere. To be totally honest I hated driving! I always said, “Humans were not meant to go faster than one could run”. I think I heard that from some professional on one of those afternoon talk shows. It made perfect sense to me. The idea goes back to the early days of man. But like everything else, humans have this constant belief that we must keep pushing our boundaries. And too many times they are pushed beyond our abilities. I guess that’s my way of saying, man is stupid. But getting back to my story, I remember driving home that day on a highway that wasn’t all that busy. For the most part, I had been driving behind a big semi truck. I hated those big contraptions but yet I felt a bit safer behind one, even if it meant having to go a little slower. I figured it gave me just a little more protection if anything were to happen. The sun was setting and there was a glare in front of me. I was driving down a fourlane highway, two going south and two heading north. I had been driving behind this semi for twenty minutes or so and since I was only ten minutes from my house I decided to pass this big machine right before my exit. There was a clearing of green grass between both lanes. As I was moving past the truck I could see the oncoming traffic, not many cars traveling that way as well. Then it happened! One of the oncoming cars veered across the grass and before I knew it, was heading toward me. I wasn’t scared; I

just couldn’t keep my eyes off it. The idea that it might hit me wasn’t even a thought. It happened so fast that only the last few seconds I began to wonder, why is this car driving toward me? When was it going to correct its mistake and get back to its own lane? Perhaps the driver had fallen asleep at the wheel? Even if I had thought about swerving over to my next lane the semi was still there so I basically had nowhere to go. Perhaps it was just a split second reaction, I held tight to the steering wheel and held my breath. I heard that one’s life passes you by before you die but I wasn’t so lucky. I felt the impact, it was head-on and it hurt like hell! My body stopped in an instant and I heard a loud bang. That was the last sound I would hear from my life. Then, there was darkness. The sharp pain had gone away, no noise, no sirens, and no voices telling me to “hold on”… no, there was just darkness. The thought of me being dead was impossible. Perhaps I was being rushed to the hospital and was under heavy medication. Was I in a coma? I kept thinking, everything would be all right. The doctors must realize I’m o.k. because I can still think. There must be brain waves to confirm this. I could also feel my heart beating so I must still be alive. I began to wonder how long would this darkness last? It felt like forever being in the dark. Even though I could feel my heart beating I had no sense of my body. I was moving but not walking. I had no sense of direction, not only of myself but my surroundings as well. I don’t know how long I was in this state of mind. I had no sense of time; it could have been minutes, days or even weeks. Then I saw something that scared me more so than the accident. I saw “The light”. It was coming towards me. “Oh shit, I am dead!” I thought this light was supposed to bring me comfort, eternal joy… but it didn’t. I don’t want to be dead. Fuck, I’m only thirty-three. What about my wife Kimberli? I know our marriage wasn’t what it once was but I didn’t even have a chance to say good-bye. “This wasn’t fair! I was a good person and had everything going for me. Why me? I mean, there were so many “bad” people in the world. I’m not ready to go yet!” I looked toward the light and at the same time I tried to turn away from it. Didn’t work, the light was overpowering me. “O.K., fine” I thought. Let’s be done with it”. If this is the end, then let it be”. Just

then I realized I’d once again be with my beautiful daughter Emily! My precious baby girl. Oh how I so longed to be with her again. It had been five years now since we lost her but now everything made sense. This was what was supposed to happen, this was meant to be! I then concentrated more than ever and stared at the light. Come and get me, I surrender. But just then I realized that this light was becoming more and more familiar to me. “I’ve seen this light before. I don’t believe it! It wasn’t “The light” when one dies! But that wasn’t it. There was something else, but what? It was at that point when I heard a knocking sound. Bang, bang, bang, and then there was a voice. A voice that was familiar and strange at the same time. Was it Emily’s voice? The voice became clearer by the second as the light became brighter. It was at that point when I began to notice colors around me. A faded green mostly, and then I felt enclosed. The smell of all things was familiar as well. “Where the hell was I?” Just then it all fell into place. I was in a fucking bathroom stall of all places. I must be in the hospital bathroom that must be it. I’m not dead after all! Perhaps I was in a coma and am now finally coming out of it. I wondered for a second how long I was in the coma. Then I heard the voice again. “Bobby, come on. Hurry up!” the voice said. Bobby? I thought. No one’s called me by that name forever! Then the voice said, “Dad told us not to take so long”. I was frozen in the moment! That voice was coming from my kid brother Morris. I hadn’t heard his voice in almost twenty years. But something was not right. In fact everything was upside down. In the first place, Morris died when he was a month shy of his seventh birthday. May 6 1968 to be exact. But his voice was not that of a seven year old; his voice seemed older. Oh my god, how could this be!!! What kind of bizarre hell was this? As I opened the bathroom stall door, there he was looking up at me. I couldn’t say a thing. I just kept staring at him. I could feel my mouth quivering, I couldn’t speak. I tried, but nothing came out. I began to shake uncontrollably and then a strange voice hollered, “Hey kid, are you done with the john?” Then Morris said. “Are you o.k.? Just then this giant of a man pushed by me and basically pushed me out of the stall and shut the door behind. Leaving me

standing outside the stall still starring at my brother. “Come on Bobby, dad’s going to be mad if we don’t get back to our seats soon. I’m hungry; can I get some hot dogs? What’s up? Come on, I’m hungry”. Just then a loud roar began to overtake the many sounds of the bathroom so much so that I could even feel the building shake. “Sounds like somebody must have hit a homerun. Let’s go see.” All I could think of was that I must be dreaming all of this, that’s it! That must be it. I’m still in a coma and my mind has taken me back to this day when my dad took me and Morris to see the Oakland A’s. That’s got to be it. The accident must have triggered or unlocked this childhood memory. None of this is real, but god it sure feels like it. The smells and the sounds of a place I once knew as a child, a place of forgotten paradise. It was a time of peace and shear everlasting happiness. When my only real problems at the time didn’t compare to the ones I would come to know as an adult. It’s a time we only go through once in our lives, our childhood. But then why was I reliving this? It has to be the aftermath of the car accident, the medication, that’s the only possible answer. O.K. that’s it, so I’m just going to “go with it” and at some point I’ll wake up from the coma and be in some hospital bed or I’ll die and then be with my Emily. Like everyone else, I’ve had many dreams in my life. Some so real, so vivid you wake up and find it hard to believe it was just a dream. Sometimes you wake up from a real bad dream and thank God that it was only a dream. This experience was so much more than that. Everything was so real, down to the last details. I guess the mind is a truly wondrous thing after all. I mean, there were details that my mind must have picked up without me even realizing. Just as my brother and I were leaving the bathroom I was struck by another surprise. We passed by a dozen or so mirrors and as I looked into one, I froze. I was a boy again! I didn’t know how old I was but I was young. What the hell year is this? My god, it’s got to be early 1970’s. I then looked at Morris and asked him how old he was. He must not have heard me because just then he began pulling me by the hand. It wasn’t until then that I realized how much I had missed him for all those years. My heart began beating so fast and I could feel myself tearing up. “Come on”, he said. “I’m hungry”. He tugged at me so hard and before I knew it I found myself

running behind him as we made our way to the concession stands. He had us darting in and out through the crowd of strangers; all I could think of was that everyone was so much taller and bigger than me. It was a bizarre feeling I hadn’t felt in years. Funny how things so irrelevant at the time could feel so strange the second time around. This is one heck of a dream! As we made our way to the line my brother looked back at me and said. “So what are you going to get?” Everything was going so fast, so many emotions to deal with. All I could say, the only thing that came out of my mouth was “I don’t know”. I must have said that a million times. My strange reactions to his questions didn’t seem to bother him at all. Then he said, “Give me my five dollars, I’m really hungry”. As I reached into my pocket I began to remember my dad giving me two five-dollar bills as we left our seats. I also remembered him telling me to make sure to get the correct change back. That was something he always said, another memory I had long since forgotten. Then with every second I began to have more memories of this day. Waking up, talking to my mom, fighting with my sister, playing with my dog. I thought my dog Peppy! I was playing with him for hours before we left for the game and I could actually still smell him on me. Oh how I missed that smell. Then a voice said, “O.K., what will it be?” As I looked up, it was my turn to order. There stood this giant of a man wearing an Oakland A’s hat. “Come on kid, what’ll it be? I got lots of folks behind you”. Without hesitation the words just came out and I said, “I’ll have the same”. “Sounds like a winner, here you go. That’ll be $2.20. He handed me two hot dogs, large sized popcorn and a large soda… and I still got change back from him!! This is unreal I thought. He must have made a mistake. I was staring at the price listings and once again I was shoved out of the way by some large man behind me wanting to place his order. “Come on kid, the 5th innings about to start”. I then looked around and my brother was gone! Oh my god, someone has kidnapped Morris! Everyone was so damn much bigger than me. It was so hard to see through them all. Then I saw him, he was just over to my right about ten yards away putting stuff on his hotdogs. I walked over to him and told him to stay close to me. “Do you want to get kidnapped?” He

kind of looked up at me with a strange smile, laughed and said, “Kidnapped?” He looked at me as though I was speaking another language. Then I had my first of many future memory experiences, I knew then that I had never said anything like that before to him. I was so confused, so many emotions running thru me at that point in time. Nothing made any sense. Here I was with my one and only brother in a time that was so long ago but yet was happening all over again. “Was this heaven? Was this Hell? Everything I knew was mixed up. I could still remember my wife Kimberli, my child Emily and my future. God, what’s going on? What does it all mean? Every second seemed to last forever; it was as though I was in two places at once. Just when I though the answers would present themselves, nothing happened… and I realized that it was all up to me. As we walked to our seats we passed a guy selling programs. And once again I was frozen in my steps as I read the cover. “Hit and Run in “71”. My god, it’s 1971. That means I’m twelve years old again! I’m twelve again!! What the fuck am I suppose to do being twelve again? I began to panic; as my brother tugged at me I dropped my soda. It exploded and splattered all over everyone. Now I had all these strangers staring at me. Everyone was so much taller than me. It felt like I was in the land of the giants! Then my baby brother all of ten said something that helped me snap out of it. With his young but loud voice he looked up at everybody and said, “Hey what the hell are you all looking at? Didn’t you ever spill a drink before? Come on Bobby, let’s go to our seats. I’ll share my soda with you”. My baby brother had saved me. He had done something in that one moment that no one else in neither the entire world nor the rest of my life would be able to do… he made me feel like a brother again! So with that said I put my arms around Morris and told him, I was glad he was my brother. I told him the only thing that made any sense to me at the time; I told him I loved him. He shook his head and said “Are you o.k.?” I said, “Yeah we better get back to our seats, dads waiting”. It was all I could do to keep from breaking down, I loved him so much. I was in a child’s body but with an adults mind. Little did Morris know that I had spent years agonizing over his death. So many times I had wished to be able to spend just one more

day with him. He was my “bro”, my kid brother and I felt so much guilt in not being able to help him like a big brother should have. He was only six when he died in a train accident. But it’s now 1971 and he’s still alive, how could this be possible? I must be dead, dreaming or in a coma. None of this made any sense. I can remember like it was yesterday. He was sick and had to stay home from school that day. At some point he wondered off and was killed in a train accident. We moved around a lot. One of the first houses we lived in had the train tracks right behind our backyard fence. Beyond that was a field, so huge that years later they were able to fit some two hundred homes. We lived there for years, probably nine years if I had to guess and so as kids we all played around the train tracks. I was guilty of it as well. My favorite times were when the train companies would purposely unhook old passenger cars, the ones used in the 1940’s. They hadn’t been used in years and were probably on their way to wherever old train cars go. The cars would sometimes be sitting there for weeks. It was the perfect playground for kids who had little money and lots of imagination. But on this particular day there were no parked cars, just those speeding by. We never figured out exactly how things unfolded that day. By the time the train stopped, there wasn’t much left of him. My parents never really got over it and neither did I. In my mind I failed him, I was his hero and I failed him. He was always hanging around me. It drove me crazy. As we made our way back I felt the sun beaming down on my face. All I could think of was that all of this felt so real. The warmth of a blanket I hadn’t felt in such a long time. A blanket of comfort, a blanket of peace. As my brother and I made our way down to the lower level first base side, a cool breeze came through. It was as though I was feeling all these feelings for the first time. Everything from the smells to the sights and sounds of the baseball game was multiplied by a thousand times over. My dad loved watching the game from the first base side. We always sat here. We didn’t have season tickets but you wouldn’t know it. We went almost every weekend, and always a few rows from the field. My dad would always request this section and then there he was!

My dad, my hero! Looking so young! My seat was on the other side of him, when I reached him I had the biggest smile and almost spilled my food right on his lap. So much joy was in me at that moment, again I found no words to express my love for him. He looked at the both of us and said, “Be careful and watch my beer. Here, I got you guys some peanuts”. My brother had already sat down next to him and I was frozen still. My dad looked at me and said, “What’s the matter with you? Sit down, Reggie Jackson’s coming up.” As I gazed at my father all I could say was “Morris, can I sit next to dad?” Without argument, my brother exchanged seats with me and there I sat next to my baby brother and my hero, my dad. Oh how I had missed those days. For the first time, I didn’t want this day to end, not yet. Whether I was in a comatose state or halfway to heaven. It all felt like heaven should feel. This was heaven, my heaven! All the hell I went through in my life was over now. The heartbreaks, all the day-to-day problems, the bills, the head knockings that most of us all have to endure were all gone now. All that mattered now was what I was feeling at this moment. My two heroes I was now with, the warm sun beaming down on us. Oh how I missed that long ago feeling of youth. That feeling that we all longed for. That was what was important to me now, this moment. I leaned my head up to my dad’s arm and nothing else mattered. For once again I was young and I had the whole world in front of me. When the game ended, we sat there while the rest of the crowd made their way out of the stadium. That was something we always did, another thing I had long since forgotten. My dad was never in a hurry to leave, he’d say, “Why try to fight the crowds? Better to wait it out.” I remembered as a kid, I’d be in a hurry to leave but this time around I saw things differently, he was right. So there we sat, watching the grounds crew clean up the place. I saw something else that I hadn’t thought of in many a year; my brother picking up torn up baseball tickets. He had hundreds of them. He came back to his seat and began put them in order. You know, so they all read the same way. You’d think they were dollar bills the way he handled them. I asked him why he did that, and he said that one day they’d be worth something. Come

to think of it, he would be right. So about a half an hour later we started heading to the car. There it was, my dad’s 1970 black Chevy Ranchero. The last time I saw this car it was no longer drivable. On the way back to the Bay Area from Fresno my dad and brother were racing another car and my dad blew the engine. My dad loved telling that story, even years after it happened. He didn’t care that the engine had blown, he was just so proud of the fact that he beat the other car. He claims they were doing well over 100 miles per hour. Years later when I was an adult and he’d retell the story all I could think of was that neither of them was wearing their seatbelts. People not wearing their seatbelts back then didn’t seem like all that big of a deal. Maybe that’s why when I got older I never drove over the speed limit. Use to drive my wife Kimberli crazy. She’d laugh, call me grandpa and tell me to pull over so she could show me how to drive. Just then I got this strange feeling. I missed her. I missed my wife. I remembered that she and I would meet in high school. I wondered for a moment where she might be at this very second. Just then I heard my dad’s voice. “Bobby!” But meeting her is still years away. And again my dad’s voice, “Bobby, get in”. As we got into the car, I began looking around. My dad noticed and asked me what I was looking for. I told him I was looking for my seatbelt. With a strange look he smiled and said “Seatbelt? Just get in.” I couldn’t believe it; my dad’s car didn’t have any seatbelts… at all! I was mortified to say the least. Then another thought occurred to me. If the seatbelt thing wasn’t bad enough, my dad had been drinking beer all afternoon and now he about to drive. All I could think of was that I knew one day I’d die in a car accident and I just didn’t want it to be that day! There was nothing I could do; I couldn’t tell him how bad it was for him to be driving drunk. So I found myself with my first serious problem and no easy answer. Meanwhile, my dad was getting upset with me because I still hadn’t closed my door. Little did he know I would have been willing to walk home, heck it was only thirty miles or so. I’d be home by breakfast. So I told him the only thing I could think of, “Dad, I have to go to the bathroom really bad”. No problem he said you can go when we get

to “The Little Club”. Oh that’s just great I thought to myself. Now we’re going to his friends bar. So with nothing else to do I got in, closed the door and held on for my dear life. Within a half hour we had arrived in one piece. To my surprise my dad was a pretty good driver. But just knowing he was under the influence made the ride home even scarier. We got home around 8:00 p.m. The smells of another home cooked meal surrounded our senses like a warm welcome home blanket. I was last to walk in and the only one to comment on the dinner. My brother dashed to our room and went thru his ritual whenever he had new toys to his ongoing collections. I on the other hand went straight to the kitchen; it was a precious moment I wished had lasted a bit longer. For just then I heard the awful voices of my parents arguing at such a rapid pace, it was like being on a roller coaster from hell. These were just the beginnings of many more moments such as this one. But a few hours ago I felt as though I was in heaven with my two heroes. And now I’m once again in a world I don’t understand. But this time I now have memories of my other life. Perhaps these memories can bring me the courage to confront my father. As an adult I often looked back on my childhood and wondered why no one ever really got into my dad’s head and tried to find out why he had little success with long-term relations with women. As it turned out during this lifetime he would never again marry. Which I always thought was a good idea. But that was just how to handle the big picture, tonight however was a totally different matter. As the pots and pans on the stove began to boil over so did the sounds of my parents arguing in Spanish. If there’s one memory I must have buried so far within my pages of life, its hearing two people you love yelling, crying, and the sounds of hopelessness and alas abuse. More times than not, it would come full circle to physical violence. The voices grow louder and two of my four sisters were still in the house, as well as my bother that had long since closed the bedroom door. My mother rushed from the bedroom with my father quickly behind, like a madman in search of some sort of confrontation. My mother then began to serve up dinner. Now don’t misunderstand, this was pretty much how this always played out. But seeing it again like this added so much more insight.

The first time around I remember being scared out of my mind. Believe me, I still felt scared but this time I felt sorrow for the both of them. I saw them in a different light. I wanted so much to help but the child in me was so real. For reasons I didn’t understand I couldn’t bring myself to confront the both of them. I wanted to shout at them from the top of my lungs to please look at themselves. And perhaps start asking themselves, why are they together? Why are they no longer in love? Were they ever? What happened to make them both live this way? But nothing would come out! My words were silent. There I stood in front of them like I had so many years ago and did nothing. At that precise moment I remember a movie that would be made twenty years later about a twister. That’s exactly what it was like. First the waiting begins, this time it came quick. The fight had begun and like a hurricane one never knows the extent of the damage until all is done. I ran into my room to be with my brother. In my first go around I would have never done this but once I realized I could not confront our parents, at least not yet I was then compelled to somehow comfort my kid brother. When I opened the door, there he was standing alongside his new toys. He had been staring at the closed door all this time. I grabbed him by his arm and together he and I left the house. We actually walked right passed both parents and they hardly even glanced at us. It was late but the suns glare was still pretty bright. We walked clear to the other side of the block. I told him he wouldn’t get into any trouble and to just walk with me. As we walked there were so many things I wanted to say to him. And just as before, my words were having trouble being said. Still I tried. “You know Morris, things aren’t always going to be like this. One day mom and dad will stop all the fighting”. He had been walking just a bit ahead of me to the right. I got no comment from my first attempt but he did glance back at me as if to say… “What are you talking about?” I continued on. “I continued to tell him that I didn’t like the way we were being raised. Our parents weren’t bad people, they just fought too much and dad drinks too much. If there’s any hope left in their marriage then this all must change now”. There, I thought. I said it. Still, there was no response from him. The pace of our walk didn’t slow down, not for a bit. He just kept

walking. And then finally he spoke. “Do you want to walk to the store? I have five dollars”. At first I thought the obvious. He just didn’t want to hear my words and so he was changing the subject that had to be it. “We shouldn’t walk that far without telling someone. Let’s just stay around the block. Mom and dad are probably still fighting so let’s wait here a bit before we go back home”. He shrugged his shoulders and simply said, “O.K.” And then he said something I never would have guessed. With a grin he looked up at me and said, “You’re never going to change them, don’t you know that?” “Why would you say that?” I replied. And then he said. “Because it’s their destiny, it’s the way it’s always been and always will be. In this life or any other”. I was in total shock. You have to remember, my brother is barely ten. Here’s a kid who at such a young age already had things figured out long before the rest of us. But still I found it odd for him to say, “In this life or any other”. Does he know something I don’t? There’s no way he would know that in less than four years from now our parents will in fact split up for good. There’s no way he’d know that my dad would never change and although our father would live a long and happy life he would never again take a chance on love. No sooner the words left my brother’s lips a friend of his noticed us and within seconds the two of them walked off to find their own amusements. “Don’t go too far, it’s getting late”. “I won’t”. He replied. As I sat there on the tiny curb I thought about what he had said. I felt sad for two reasons. The first being that these words came from my ten year old brother, secondly the words came out with no feelings of hope. Was he right? I mean I know unless something happens to change things then he will be right. But what if my parents’ relationship can’t be changed? What if there’s no hope at all for them… or us? I must have sat there for a half hour. The night was still warm from the day’s heat. It was the middle of June 1971. A Saturday night to be exact. The red skies were now being met with the city streetlights below. My senses are getting stronger with every hour since I came back. I still remember lots from my life before but it’s getting harder to remember details. I remember I had a wife, she had blonde hair and her

name was Karen… no, Kimberli. I don’t remember if we had any children. Yes, a girl. I’m no longer sure. Why can’t I remember as much as I did earlier today? Just then I was overwhelmed with the smells of being twelve again. The smell of 1971 was that of wet tanbark. I decided to walk back home alone. So long as my dad is there the fight will continue. The only hope to survive this night will be that he leaves. Even if it’s just for a few hours, at least the fighting will stop for a little while. As soon as I got close to home I noticed my dad’s car was gone. When they fight it’s like a hurricane and when he leaves it’s like the eye passing over. It’s calm and quiet for a few hours or at least until the bars close then the hurricane will pick up from where it left off. It was now 12:45 a.m. and our night was once again filled with silent tension. My brother and I share the same bedroom and he was already fast asleep. As I lay in my bed under the covers I came to remember this feeling. I had long since forgotten it but it seems to follow me in every life. I’m twelve years old again and like before I’m scared to death. I love my dad and I wish he could now become the person he will eventually be. At some point in life he would loss this evil spirit inside of him. Whatever it is that torments him now must be brought out, he needs to seek help. This must be done and I need to find the courage to tell him. I need to help my dad help himself. With every minute that passes there is a real pain in the pit of my stomach, kind of a nervous pain. The house was filled with my family but one would never know it. The silence only made things worse. Everyone was in their rooms waiting for the inevitable. Then my worries turned into anger. There I lay in my bed looking up at the ceiling and I began to realize that we had all allowed ourselves to be victims in this insane circle of hell. Why are they all allowing this to continue year after year? It is now 1:55 a.m. and time was running out. Dad would be home soon and like a prize fighter the bell would ring and only god knows how bad it will get this time. I wondered why we we’re all still here. Why don’t we all just find some place that was safe? Why are we just waiting, like farm animals waiting to be slaughtered? There must be somewhere we can all go?

So I began to do things different in this life, changes must begin now and so I got up and went to go talk to my mom. My parent’s bedroom door was open just a bit, enough for me to peak in. The T.V. was on and at first I thought my mom was watching it. She was asleep still wearing the clothes she had on today. I honestly didn’t know what to do. As I reached over to turn down the volume I heard my mother’s voice. “Bobby, you should be in bed.” Her voice was slow and weak. “Mom, I couldn’t sleep, do you want some company?” She agreed but just for a short time. I’m sure it was because she was hoping I’d be asleep by the time my dad came home. This didn’t make sense anyway because the loud voices always got everybody up. “First can you get me some water?” she asked. “Sure, I’ll be right back”. As I dashed to the kitchen I felt this enormous sense of calm. It was infectious, I mean with most of the lights off and everyone asleep it was almost enough to pretend the night would end this way. But I had to remind myself that was not the case. All hell will break out somewhere between two and three. As I rushed back with glass in hand I once again found my mom fast asleep. I debated whether to wake her but once again she woke up on her own. She slept like a cat. Given the past, it had become one of her few defenses. “Here’s your water.” As I handed it to her I quickly began to talk before she fell back to sleep. “So mom, aren’t you afraid?” There was a brief look of surprise from her and then she simply said. “Afraid of what?” Now I had the look of surprise. “Mom, dad will be home soon. He’ll be drunk and mean and he’ll start another fight, that’s what”. “Don’t worry; your dad will probably pass out”. “But mom, what if he doesn’t? He could start hitting you again. Please don’t let this happen. Look, we could go somewhere. Anywhere! Let’s all just get into the car now and drive before he gets back!”. “Bobby, you’re worrying too much. You just need to go back to bed”. I could barely believe what I was hearing. And she was so calm about it. It was like my words had no meaning. I had to keep trying. “But mom, aren’t you tired of all this? Dad might pass out but he might not! You could get hurt, we should go somewhere safe”. “Bobby, I’m use to it. Besides, there’s nowhere to go”. “But your wrong mom, there has to be

somewhere”. My mom now had a blank look; it was a look of helplessness. I also felt helpless. Nothing short of starting a fire will ever get anyone to leave before it’s too late. I knew I couldn’t do that but there must be something else I can do. So I leaned over and gave my mom a goodnight kiss. She smiled and was already falling back to sleep. As I left the room I felt defeated. It was now 2:15. I had to think up something and quick. I didn’t go back to bed but sat on our couch in the living room. Perhaps I’ll wait up for my dad and then talk to him. I remembered he liked having his back rubbed. He would actually have us walk on his back, one at a time of course. Just then I had a memory from another life. I then remembered back rubbing my wife and sons backs. For the first time, I faintly remember having sons. Then I heard the sounds of my dad’s car and it was like waking up from a dream, the memories were gone. I quickly got up to look out the window. By now my dad was almost to the door. I opened the door hoping for the best. As the door opened he looked down at me and said. “What are you still doing up?” Without missing a beat I replied. “I missed you and wanted to give you a great backrub”. With the door still wide open he jerked his head back as if to say, “What the hell are you talking about?” “Come on dad; let me give you a backrub. Lay here on the couch, please”. He then closed the door behind him, let out a big sigh and finally said “o.k.” His voice was loud, almost like he intended it to be. In some way he wanted all to know he was home and it didn’t matter one bit if he woke everyone up in the process. “Dad, let me take off your boots”. As I made him comfortable he had been mumbling. I wasn’t sure if he had been talking to me or to himself. With his boots finally off he laid down and within ten minutes he was snoring away. Still I didn’t dare stop the rubbing. I couldn’t bare the thought of him waking up and starting a fight with my mom. I must have rubbed him for hours. Then I also felt the need for sleep, but I couldn’t. I had to fight it off. I was on a mission and no matter what, I had to stay awake. So around 4:30 I felt myself falling asleep. The only thing I could think of was to turn on the T.V. So I crept up and quietly turned it on. I made sure the volume was low so it wouldn’t come on

blearing. I kept looking back at my dad to make sure I didn’t wake him. He never flinched. I on the other hand was once again reminded of the time I was now living in. There were exactly nine stations to choose from and seven of them were off the air. Funny how in years to come there would be hundreds of channels to choose from and none of them would ever go off the air, at all! But that was still twenty years away. The only two stations broadcasting now were “religious” programs. Men preaching the word of God. With my dad still fast asleep I sat there glued listening to this preacher. He was talking about a lot of things, life after death. Heaven, hell, good and evil. As I continued to listen I began to wonder where I fit in, in all of this. Why was I here again? Is this heaven? Am I dead now? I had so many questions and no one to ask. But I can feel things. All of my senses are so clear and real. Unlike a dream, I really am here. Dreams are never this long and so detailed. I was pretty tired by then and could feel myself falling asleep. And so with the preacher’s voice in the background I fall fast asleep. I was awakened by the sounds of my dad’s snoring. I wasn’t sure how long I had been asleep but I felt rested and then I realized the sun had come up. Morning had arrived and my dad was still very much asleep. None of my questions of the night had been answered, but right now it didn’t seem to matter. What mattered was that there was no fighting last night. No yelling, no police or ambulances at all. In some small way I felt victorious. So I got up but made sure the T.V. was still on, funny how turning it off can wake someone up. I crept into my bedroom and grabbed some clothes; I was going to do something I haven’t done in what seemed forever. I was twelve again and going to ride my bike. Within minutes I was already outside. The smell of early morning like this one has the smell of youth, my youth. My heart raced with each breath I took in. How I loved my youth. I decided to take the same bike route I remembered riding as a kid. As with everything in life, there is always change. Changes are constant. I see them in three ways. Some changes are slow, kind of like the seasons. Every day the changes are there but we don’t seem to notice. Then there are changes that happen so quick it can leave one

dazed. It was like the sudden passing of a loved one. The last changes are when a building comes down and another goes up. Land that was once used for livestock are now homes. Schools that I attended as a child have long since been struck down by the hands of time and man. Where I once sat with my sister and brother for a picnic lunch in front of such a school will be replaced by concrete and yet more homes. These changes will always be, and there’s nothing I can do about it even with everything I know of tomorrow. So today’s ride will be a celebration of the changes that haven’t happened yet. My ride would begin at old Norvick Baseball Park. Two little league fields that filled the memories of so many kids. I was one of them. The old green wooden backstop was once again in front of me. I began to have memories of playing there as well. I quickly stopped and waited. I could see myself practicing with my team as I looked out onto the playing field. We’re all wearing the same green and white jerseys but no pants to match. I wondered about that for a moment. As always the memory was quick and then gone. But it was enough for me. Imagine, remembering a past that hasn’t happened yet. I continued my ride down more neighborhoods. And parked in front of everyone’s home was a car from yesteryear. The smells from the breeze hitting my face only added more feelings of my youth. So many open fields and trees. It was hard to explain in that there was a big difference in what everything felt like. Even the sounds of the car motors had a difference to them. This sudden rush of being here again made all of my questions go away… at least for now. The halfway point of my ride had leaded me to a McDonald’s hamburger location. I just had to go inside. I had a few dollars left over from what my dad gave me at the ballgame. As I opened the door I was hit by that famous smell. This would be one of the few things in life that would always be there. I still couldn’t get over the prices of the times. As I was given my meal I noticed the bright red container the burger was placed in. These containers would be banned one day due to environmental reasons. But it was still a big part of my youth, so with that said, I ordered an extra! I continued my ride that would take me to what would soon be my junior high school. One day most if not all schools would be overtaken by security fences. Fears will

one day rule and it will be sad. But I had to remind myself that I was here for a reason and I may as well enjoy all of the things and places that will one day be gone, so today I ride! I used to hate Sundays because it always meant going back to school the next day. But I think this time around everyday’s going to mean so much more. The sweet smell of honeysuckle and morning dew always made me feel young. I still have future memories of what this city will look like in years to come. I see so many stores all next to one another. There must be hundreds of them. And one day apartments will be everywhere. But on this morning as I looked around, they were all gone. Once again all I could see for miles were beautiful trees. I began to question the reasons why beauty like this must always vanish in the name of progress. One other thing was extremely evident. There weren’t as many people around. Everyone seemed to be doing things, going places. I couldn’t yet put my finger on it, but there was something out of place. As I continued my ride I found myself in front of what was now one of the newest movie theaters in town. The blue paint on that building still looked new. But then again, it was! The place only showed movies for kids. They showed a lot of Disney movies. There I stood in front of the marquee. “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”, Matinee at 11:45. Coming soon… Bedknobs and Broomsticks. I had new memories coming through now. I remember coming here with my cousins. I remember going around our block selling homemade candy. We actually sold enough so that all of us could go. Ricky and Adrian were our favorite cousins. They were the same ages as my brother and I. They were a perfect fit. I was pretty sure that this would be the summer when that would take place. I could hardly wait. It was almost ten in the morning and time to head back home. As I rode back I tried my best to remember what else happened that summer, or should I say this summer. I guess I just had to see what the day brings. When I got home my dad was awake and in a much better mood. My mom was also up and already cooking breakfast. Oh how I missed my mom’s cooking. As an adult one of my passions would be antiquing and cooking. Now here as a kid again it felt as though I was walking through an

antique store. However in this store not every item was in its best condition. Take our couch for example; it was so bad you could see wood where there should have been padding. As I remember, it never bothered me as a child but coming back now it’s hard to explain but it’s driving me nuts! So without hesitation I turned to my dad and asked him why we don’t just throw this old thing away and buy a new one. Without missing a beat he dismissed my question. He said something about not having enough money. I would later come to realize that neither of my parents really knew how to handle money very well. So he was probably correct when he said that. As I went from room to room I was mentally taking inventory as to who was still living here. My two older sisters have long since married and have kids of their own. I’m not a hundred percent sure but I think one of them is in Germany where her husband is stationed in the military. Today another sister is over a friend’s house and so that leaves the youngest of the sisters. Her name is Sandra but we all call her Sam. She is a couple years older than me. As children we spent more time together but now she’s a teenager and no time for my brother or me. Still it was nice to be around her. Moments before she kicked me out of her room I could swear she smiled. It wasn’t that she was mean; just busy being fifteen and a bit of a rebel. Upon getting kicked out I heard the phone ring. I picked it up and it was for Sam. The voice seemed to know me but I didn’t have a clue. She asked me how I was doing. I thought quickly and then told whoever this was that I had just woken up and wasn’t sure who I was talking to. She laughed and said, “Its butter silly boy”. And as quick as lighting I remembered her. She had been a close friend of Sam’s. Before I even had a chance to go and get her she was already standing behind me. “Well, give me the phone”. She demanded. And just like that I was reminded of the level of authority I had in the house… which was not much! Still I was going to have a great day. I went to my bedroom and noticed that I am sharing it with my brother. The memories I have from my life before I always had a room of my own. As I looked at our walls there was hardly any space left to even see the wall itself. Baseball posters and pennants, all were looking brand

new. If there’s one thing for sure I’m going to get a job make some money and buy up all the baseball cards I can get my hands on. Keep them all unopened!! This might all be a dream or a coma, but in the small chance that this is real I’m going to be very rich in say another thirty years. The real trick will be whether they will all survive. Only time will tell. I was really getting into all my old things when I could hear Sam yelling with excitement. I just had to find out what was going on. Apparently she and her friend Butter were being offered summer jobs at a nearby school. Just then it hit me!!! Sam would never be able to accept the job that summer and I remember I had something to do with it. But for the life of me I can’t remember anymore then that! She was so happy and excited. Making good money, doing something she liked. It all sounded good but I still had this overwhelming feeling that this was not her destiny. I suddenly had this sense that if she did actually begin working there it would be all bad. It was hard to describe but I felt so compelled to do whatever I had to do to stop her from beginning that job. Sam would start work that Thursday. It was now Sunday. I had three days to come up with a scheme to prevent this event in her life. Perhaps my reason for being here is to help those I love. I was now convinced that my next duty as a brother was to stop my sister from this new job she had lined up, at any cost! Now, I wondered. Exactly how do I go about this? Since I’m not sick it wouldn’t do much good to cough on her, although it would be fun. Besides trying to get her sick with only three days to go just wouldn’t be enough. I had to think of something else. Now, I don’t want her to bleed much or break any bones. Maybe I could trip her and she would gently fall and have a routine sprained ankle. Not much pain and it’s over quickly. She’ll be up and about in no time. Yeah, she might be mad at me for a while but I’ll know it’s all for the best. Over the next several hours I began to see visions of Sam. It was as though this job was a crossroads for her. In one direction it is dark and she is alone without children or a husband. She is in a hospital, there’s no one there with her. The other direction I see her with her children. I see them all laughing. I think they were at a child’s birthday

party. I saw balloons and party hats. And then I’d get this overwhelming feeling of sorrow. I felt the center of all of this was her new job. I began to wonder if perhaps her life will end up the same anyway, regardless of what I do. Now I wasn’t sure if I should do anything at all. I had the next two days to decide. Perhaps by tomorrow these feelings will be gone altogether. That’s what I’ll do and so I waited to see what tomorrow would bring. As the rest of my day continued, I still had plenty to do. Dad wanted Morris and I to cut the lawn. I actually wanted to do my chores. So off to the garage I went. The first thing that caught my eye was our lawnmower. I hadn’t seen this old thing in decades! It’s got to be an antique, or should I say would be one day. My dad was never one to invest in up to date equipment. Why? When, he had my brother and me? His working buddies would always ask him what he put on the lawn to make it look so great. He’d simply say, “Boys”. In my previous life, I’d just go into the garage and get what I wanted. But now it’s so much different. Now, I can’t keep from looking at all of “my stuff”. For reasons I won’t get into now, little by little all of my childhood things were left behind. Not lost mind you, but left behind. Later in life I would become somewhat of a collector. Basically I would one day find myself going from one antiques store to another always in quest for my things. Imagine, decades after the fact I still longed for all my things. Now I find myself surrounded by what’s still left. With every box I opened I saw things I hadn’t seen in a lifetime. Here were all of my school pictures! And here’s the clay handprint that I made in kindergarten. It’s blue. I remember now, it’s blue. Just then I heard my dad’s voice calling for me. I quickly ran to him. “What’s up pops?” I eagerly said. He then looked at me strangely and said, “Pops?” He grinned and kind of shook his head. I then realized that I never called him that when I was a kid. Back in the day anything other than sir or dad was NOT o.k. Apparently he didn’t feel I was being disrespectful so within a few seconds I realized I wasn’t in trouble. He then asked me to get my brother so he could help me with the yard. I asked him if I could do the yard by myself. He definitely had a double take when he heard that one. Without hesitation he said “O.K.”

Being back and trying to take everything in was still heavy on my mind. There was always the unknown. So with that said I wanted to make all of the good times last longer. Right now this moment, mowing the lawn on this hot summer day was a slice of heaven. I didn’t want to share it. Besides it would give me more time to think about what to do about Sam. I will say that I’m being surprised in whatever I find myself doing. For example: It wasn’t until this very second when I realize just how hard it is to push this old lawnmower. My arms were already getting sore and I had barely just begun. Well, it looks like I’ll have plenty of time to think things over. I figured it would take me a good hour just to complete the mowing part of it. Not to mention the edging, pulling weeds as well as trimming the hedges. After an hour or so my friend Jimmy came over. He wanted to throw the football around for a while. I told him I probably could once I finished the yard. While he waited he told me he was getting a Raider uniform like the one I had. His father was going to give him a ride to the department store later that day. He asked if I wanted to go. I told him that I would ask. By the time I was done with the lawn I still was at a loss as to my dilemma with Sam. But at least the lawn looked great! My dad had no problems with me going with Jimmy and his dad. As we drove back to the very same hub I was at earlier it occurred to me that there were no stores yet devoted entirely for sporting goods. But we did however have a handful of department stores that each had their own small sports section. This being only my second day back, it’s hard for me not to notice how things really used to be. We went to three different stores before Jimmy was able to find his size. So back home we went and for the next hour or so Jimmy and I threw the football around. Both of us proudly wearing the silver and black. After a while a couple kids from the neighborhood joined in and then a few more. Eventually we had enough to play a little touch football. Jimmy and I were the only ones wearing gear and so to even things up we played without our helmets. All was going fine until I stepped on someone’s foot with my cleats. I felt bad. The kid was o.k. in the sense that no bones had broken; just the same it was enough for him to have to limp home. I helped him as much as I could. When we got to his house his

mom took a look at it and said it was just a bad sprain. She told him he’d probably have to stay off of it for a couple of days. She then thanked me for helping out. I of course didn’t tell her it was me who had caused it to begin with. I said my good-byes and started walking back home. It was getting dark and I was as hungry as a bear. As I walked back I was sure relieved that this kid would be o.k. Just then I stopped right in my tracks… that was it!! This was the answer for my situation with Sam. I’d simply have my football gear on in the house and step on her foot with my cleat. She wouldn’t be able to walk for a couple of days and miss the job opportunity. It was brilliant! Now let’s see, today is Sunday and her first day on the job is Thursday. I could wait until tomorrow but what if I mess up? I pondered this question for a good ten seconds. If I mess up at least I’ll still have a couple of more days to try again. Besides I already had my gear on, seemed a shame to waste. When I finally got home the first thing my mom said was “Take your cleats off my rug”. Damn, I thought. And so I had to, along with my helmet. Dinner was ready. As I sat alone at the dinner table, it had occurred to me that we all never sat together during our meals. Dad always had his meals in front of the T.V. My sisters would bring theirs into their rooms and my brother and mom sat in the front room with my dad. My dad noticed I was sitting alone and asked me why I was in there. I didn’t know how to answer his question. Just then Sam walked in and grabbed a plate. There I was, like a lion watching his prey. She then looked over at me and said, “What are you staring at?” I smiled and asked her how her day was? My question seemed to throw her off. Without giving me an answer she walked back to her room. It was now 6:22 p.m. The countdown had begun. From everything I now remember, 8:00 was always time for T.V. All I could do was hope my sister would come out of her room. I decided to go into my room until that time. I placed my pillow on the floor and began practicing on it. You see, the pillow was my sister’s leg and so I kept aiming for the bottom of it. This would be so easy. Now I don’t want to tackle her or anything like that. I simply want to smash her foot with my cleat. Then of course I will run for my dear life.

As 8:00 rolled around I heard the front door shut. My first thought was that it might be Sam going out with friends. As I quickly went to look out my bedroom window it was my dad leaving. Once my dad left the living room filled up and like clockwork, everyone was sitting in front of the T.V. As I walked by the living room in order to scope things out, there she was. She reminded me of a little lamb sitting by a stream. Kind of like Bambi. They were all watching a movie and I noticed she was on the other side of the room which meant I’d have to run past everyone in order to get to her. There was no easy way to get to her. So I decided to wait until a commercial. That would give me exactly sixty seconds to go into my room put on my cleats, come back and smash her foot. Besides during commercial breaks people usually leave the room. It was my only chance. There I sat pretending to watch the movie. All the time I was watching my sisters every move. Then it was commercial time. Before I even had a chance to get up, Sam had already gotten up and the worst part was that everyone else stayed in their seats. My plan was not working. For a second I thought to run into my room and catch her on her way back to the living room. Before too long she was back and the movie had now resumed. Rats! I thought. I just couldn’t catch a break. All I want to do is step on her foot, is that asking too much? I had to make sure during the next break there was more room for me to operate. So I did the only thing I could think of. I got up to see what was in the refrigerator. There was always Kool-Aid in the ice box. I served up a few glasses and brought them back with me. The looks on everyone’s face led me to think that I’d never done anything nice in my life. I made sure to give everyone a glass but Sam. The last thing I need is for her to have to leave the room. The movie had now been on for around fifteen minutes and I knew a commercial would be coming soon. Sure enough, the movie stopped and my mom and brother left the room. With not a second to lose… this was my chance. I dashed into my room and put on my helmet and cleats. I kept thinking, “This was for her own good”. With time running out I had to act now. As I dashed out of my room I realized there was no turning back now. As I turned the corner leading into the living room I began my course of action. There she was

lying down on her pillows on the floor. My other sister was sitting on the couch and my mom and brother had not returned yet. It was now or never. Sam… I thought. Please forgive me, but this is for your own good. Things were moving in slow motion. I was now running pretty fast and closing in. With only a few feet to go I had forgotten to tie my shoelace and actually tripped on my own foot. The unthinkable was happening. I had lost total control and couldn’t stop myself!! Good god, I thought. Please stop me! But it was all for not. As I fell forward I actually tumbled over her small 95 pound frame. I didn’t weight much more but I did have all of my gear on which pretty much put me well over 120 pounds. Yeah, it wasn’t a pretty sight. And to make matter worse, I was shouting out the name of my favorite player as I was coming down on her. To this day I’m sure she still can’t say the name, Ben Davidson. Within seconds the worst had been done. There she was, motionless. Even a damn dear would have made noise. But not Sam. She just laid there. Then in a tiny little voice we heard the words… “Help me”. My mom rushed into the room to her aid. I wanted so much to tell her why I did what I did. Man, mom was so mad at me. I felt so bad. As I looked over to my brother he was laughing so hard he had to leave the room. All I wanted to do was smash her foot but what I had done was oh so much more. Upon leaving the emergency room it was discovered that I had broken Sam’s ankle in two different places. She would be in a cast for the next two months. For obvious reasons she missed out on the job as well as every other opportunity that came along that summer. I felt bad, really bad about how I messed things up. It took Sam about a week before she stopped ignoring me. When she did finally talk to me she only said one thing. She turned to me and said in a very loving voice… “I’ll get you for this, your dead meat”. Her words certainly kept me on my feet that summer. Yes, it was a summer I’ll never forget. As I’m sure Sam wouldn’t either but for different reasons. Years later Sam would have the family she always wanted. Children and grandchildren she would cherish. Little did she ever know just how significant that tackle would mean to her future. Often times we would even joke about that summer. And

years later she would still have only three heartfelt words for me about the whole ordeal…. “Fuck you bobby”. I love you too

Chapter 3 My Forever True Love…

As far as I can remember I always know what my true love will
look like. She’s very tall and her hair is that of the sun. My earliest memory of this fact was when I was five years old, September 1964 to be exact. It was a noon drive with my sisters and brother all packed in my mom’s 54 Chevy. Man, they don’t make cars like that anymore. The smell of old leather, there’s nothing like it. And like so many of our childhood memories, our surroundings were so huge. I remember the back seat of this car was like a small living room. Mom later sold it to her cousin for $100 dollars. Forty years later in good shape that car will sell in the thousands. It was a clear, cool autumn day. My mom packed us all in this classic and drove us all to what would be my very first school. For some reason, I still remember it being on a Sunday afternoon. Perhaps a week or so before school began. We were all excited about me starting school. I felt special. In a car full of kids all talking at the same time it’s hard for me to remember exactly what everyone was talking about but at some point the conversation turned to me and the type of woman I would marry. I know, it may sound a bit odd but it is what it was. I turned to my sister and said, “I’m going to marry a beautiful tall blond woman. I remember to this day their reaction. They all laughed, but I stood my ground on this fact. I knew then that my true love would be a tall blond. I would soon find out that it’s one thing to know your soul mate exist even to the extent of knowing who to look for; however it’s a completely different matter when it comes to setting the whole thing up, the first time meeting and all. Even though I’ve seen and at times have been directly responsible for differences and small changes thru-out my lives there are still some guidelines that have to be followed. In other words, I can’t try to stop a catastrophic event that will affect thousands or millions of people. Even if I remember some of the event or have an

idea when something’s going to happen, things can still be extremely difficult. Chapter 5 tells of what happened the last time I tried. So I tell myself forget about making changes, sometimes just being in the right place at the right time can be enough. And so, this chapter is about the time when I meet my true love 17 years sooner. Great lessons and fond memories I’ll always have. It was the summer of 1977. In another life I would have chosen to live with my grandparents in Carlsbad. In this lifetime, that is impossible. I’ve planned this for years and have convinced myself that by meeting her now would be the right thing to do. My plan was to find a way for me to enter her life and just not rush anything but to try to be her friend first. Then true love would prevail! We could never have children together in the only other destiny we share. Due to some problems, Lisa was unable to have any more children after having her one and only son Neil in 1986. I can still remember the day Lisa took me for a ride down memory lane. Her high school, three different houses all in the same town and the little neighborhood pizza jaunt that was still there after all this time. Yeah, she and I had so much in common. I imagined us talking for hours. We both had many siblings and we moved around a lot. We enjoyed the same music and we were only a few years apart. Now was the right time. I had convinced myself that “We” just couldn’t wait another seventeen years. Now was the right time. I once again began my first job and got my first car. Just knowing my true love was only a forty-five minute drive from my house was driving me crazy, it was more then I could take. Now was the right time. To make matters worse I even knew her address. So there I went, driving in my first “Nice” car. It was always the same one, a pretty blue 1974 Ford Maverick. I decided to follow my heart the first weekend after getting the car. It was a perfect morning. Since it was only a short drive I decided to leave around noon. The sun was shining bright, only a few clouds at that. This was the most important day and by far the biggest change I would try to make. I remember the night before I made sure my almost new car had plenty of gas, checked the tires and oil. Now here it is 10:30 Saturday morning and I can’t eat a

thing because I’m just so nervous I didn’t want anything to go wrong, but of course just as I said that the phone rang. It was my good friend Rick M. We attended the same high school and of course he was voted most spirited. I enjoyed his friendship during that time. On this morning he needed a ride to pick up his car. He had no idea what I was up to that day. All he knew was that I was going for a ride down to the navy base, sort of give my new car a test drive. I asked him to be ready in an hour and I’d even bring him some coffee. He shared a big house with his sister and another friend and none of them ever made coffee even though there was a brand new coffee pot in the kitchen. So there I go, off on probably the biggest day in my life. Nothing could go wrong. Just as I pulled up Rick was already locking up the house. This was a bonus; I wasn’t even expecting him to be ready so soon. We were off to a great start. “So what’s up my man? Here’s your coffee sir”. I said. “Great, thanks.” He replied. “So where am I taking you?” “I need to go to my mom’s first… (I thought, FIRST!!! Did he say FIRST!!! ). Even though he was sitting a few feet from me his voice was afar. Basically he needed a cabby for an hour. So I guess I was it. With my teeth now grinding I smiled and off we went to his mother’s house, which by the way was in the opposite direction. As we drove up to “moms” he insisted we both go in. It would hurt his mother’s feelings if I didn’t at least come in to say hello. He was right, so after breakfast and his quick shower he was finally ready to go. It was now 12:30 and all I wanted to do was drop his ass off so I could meet my destiny god damn it. Is that so much to ask? It was almost 1:00 p.m. when we reached his friends house. Rick was picking up his car at this friend of a friend who had done some work on it. Rick loved his supped up cherry apple red El Camino. Ricks car was right there sitting just waiting for daddy to dive it away. However two problems arose, the first was that the guy had just left with the keys to Ricks car. His wife said he would be back soon. She and her little boy were on their way out the door but assured us he’d be back soon and for us to wait in front of their house. So there we waited and waited. An hour past and there was no one in sight. I secretly had a decision to

make. Just then this guy pulls up and Rick jumps out of my car. I waited until I was certain the car was ready and all was right. I noticed that the two of them had been talking for some time now and I also noticed the guy still had not giving the keys to Rick yet. Hum…please god; please give him the keys… PLEASE! It was not to be. The car wasn’t done and so there we were. They shook hands and Rick jumps back into my car and with that he says, “Well, it looks like you got a buddy for the day. Let’s take this baby for a spin”. Now, Rick will always be my best friend during this part of my lives. He had a good heart and even though our paths in life would eventually lead us in different directions, during my high school years he was always there for me. Everyone liked Rick and through him I was able to meet all kinds of kids, which in turn made me feel accepted. However with all that said, on this occasion I had to do this alone. I couldn’t chance having him do something unexpected if in fact I was lucky enough to meet my forever true love on this day. So with that said I didn’t go to Alameda. Meeting Lisa would have to wait until next weekend. Rick and I drove to Santa Cruz for the day. I was disappointed but it was better to wait so I could try to meet her on my own terms. Now for all of you who have never been to or heard of Santa Cruz, it’s a small city near the Monterey coast. The town is known for its boardwalk. Built next to the beautiful Pacific Ocean around 1905. In all that time there have been very few changes, that’s probably why it’s always been one of my favorite places on earth! Just imagine a smaller version of Coney Island. The best thing was it was only an hour or so drive from the Bay Area. We arrived around 4:00 p.m. The warm summer air felt so good. It smelt like 1977. Now I know this must sound a bit bizarre but to me each year has a different smell to it, no joke! Some years can smell like a certain tree or flower. Other years can smell more like man and his machines. This year it smells more like roses. My favorite will always be honeysuckle. That year was 1965. The smell was more prevalent in the early hours. Every once in a while the smell returns and it brings me back. I could go on forever on this subject alone. Perhaps I’ll write my next book on this subject. I’ll title it “The Seventy-Eight smells of my life”.

But getting back to this story, with Rick now on board we couldn’t just park and go right to the boardwalk. We had to cruise the strip first. Rick loved cruising and picking up girls. I had more fun just watching him. He had a great sense of humor and lots of nerve. You never knew what would come out of his mouth. I’d have to say he did pretty well for himself. So after an hour or so we finally made our way to the famous boardwalk. The place was still hooping. Even though my plans to go find my baby girl were dashed, I was still enjoying the moment. Watching all of the people here brought back a quick vision of Lisa and I here. I think we were taking pictures. It feels like it happens in this lifetime. And then the vision was gone but I wasn’t sad, it made me feel great. Just knowing she has a place in my future. It must be a sign that we are and forever will be destines for each other. I now had even more reason to believe my plan would work. Just think, by this time next month my baby and I will be having lunch right here! As Rick and I made our way to the arcade at the far end of the boardwalk I was reminded of another moment with Lisa. I saw an old style picture booth. I could see us sitting in there, laughing and kissing. My heart was pounding and just then I really began to miss her… the love of my life. Rick was talking to me, something about walking over to a group of girls. Like I said before, Rick had nerve. So now I found myself just wanting to go find my girl, but I couldn’t. Rick had to do his thing. And in all likelihood he’d get more than one phone number to boot. So my job was to just hang out and watch Romeo in action. He always said that if “he” could pick up girls, anyone could. But the hard truth was that the rest of us couldn’t and it was as simple as that. Besides even if one of them were attracted to me I couldn’t get Lisa out of my mind. I kept dazing off the whole time we were with them. Rick kept them all laughing, that’s for sure. After an hour or so we all said our good-byes. Rick of course did end up with some numbers and even a quick kiss from the best looking one. I, on the other hand received a polite handshake. I wasn’t in the least bit concerned though. Very soon I will be kissing my love. Who knows, perhaps right on this very spot. Rick wasn’t ready to leave yet

so we walked around for a bit longer. Just then I saw a place that had burnt down years ago. But there it was, like magic. The Dream Inn, this little beauty had been here for nearly one hundred years in one form or another. Then for a quick moment I could see all the fire trucks, there were so many of them. Everyone was trying desperately to save her. In a past life, by the time Lisa and I meet the Dream Inn had already been destroyed. I wanted to take my girl there before it was too late. I could see us now, sitting on the terrace having lunch with my girl. The idea of having my forever true love finally next to me, wanting only me was more than I could take. How I missed that feeling. That was something Rick wasn’t getting. But I didn’t feel sorry for him because we all get what we need in our own ways. Years later Rick’s social abilities would lead him to serve the people in city government. I wish I could have been around in later years to see my once close friend achieve his accomplishments. I don’t know how many of us stayed in contact, I do know that I didn’t and that’s one of my regrets. I hope to change that course of my life. But first things first, now I must focus. I must use my gift to get my true love. I will win her heart… I just know it. I can hardly wait to look into her eyes. Just then the nightly boardwalk fireworks show began. It was a sign! This couldn’t just be a coincident. I felt so happy and relieved at that moment. Now I know it’s going to be o.k. This could actually change everything! Up until now I’ve only had memories of having only two destinies. During the entire drive back I barely said a word. I now had so many new thoughts running thru my head. If things run the same course with her and I as before, we could very well be married in three months from now. We could have a baby by this time next year! Oh my god, oh my god! A third destiny, is it possible? Every so often I have been teased with this notion. Deep down I believe I must have more than two destinies. I feel that it’s just a matter of time before I know for sure. And the thought of having a family with Lisa would be heaven on earth! Exactly one week later I was finally on my way to good ole Alameda. With only brief glimpses of what was to be. I remember when Lisa and I drove to her home turf. We took

plenty of photos. When we went back to the navy base, it was kind of sad. The base had certainly seen better days. The placed turned into a low income housing project. There were still a few ships docked; one actually a tourist spot. We then went by her old high school and I even gave her a boost up so she could take a picture of her music class. Memories can be so special. But the most important memory I must have is the exact houses that she showed me. Including the base, there were also two more in the same city. For the most part of the memories that I receive I can’t remember numbers or street names, it’s more like snapshots of moments and how I felt at the time. I can see the house and I’m pretty sure it’s the one she lived in while she was in high school. There are a lot more fields and open land. I wasn’t expecting that. The time now was just a little past 10 a.m. As I got closer more memories flooded my mind. I not only could remember the house, but I can remember the driveway and how her brothers poured the cement. One more thing, something was happening to me that I wasn’t counting on. I was scared to death. Should I do this time that I’ve done the last three or four? Stop at the beach and pretend I can meet her under my own terms and not destinies. Then again, if I bypass the beach it may change things. Sounds like a plan. This time, no beach! The sun was shining down on me and the rest of the world and I was excited and scared all at once. I found the house as well as a parking place in a somewhat safe distance. It was now 11:15 a.m. and there I sat in my car, parked under a big tree that kept dropping these damn pellets on my beautiful new car. The game plan I’ve decided to go with was perfect. I have my jogging suit on and I’m ready to go. I’ll simply wait until I see her leave her house and run alongside her and as I run by her I’ll give her that look of mine that I know she loves. I’ll even say something clever; she laughs at all of my jokes. This has got to work! Damn it, how else are we to fall in love? So what if it’s a few years sooner? What’s wrong with trying to make more time of what you know is the best thing for us? Perhaps I have a third destiny? One in which my true love and I start a family we have not yet experienced. But you know even if having kids isn’t in the cards for us we’ll both still be happier together. I mean, it’s kind of hard to describe one’s soul

mate unless you have one and even then it’s still so different from one another. All I know is every time I’ve come back from a life without her only brings me closer to her. You see, I can’t wait years for me to finally be happy!!! I need her now. I need her to tell me my simple life will get better. Even during the lives in which we love and live together I only feel half a person when she’s gone. So many things I still don’t understand. Perhaps that’s why I need her more than ever. She is my true love and just her being there gives me the strength to go on and really enjoy life. The way it is meant to be! Just then, I see a couple figures leaving the house. As they rounded the driveway I was able to get a better look. Two young boys. My love only had but a few pictures of younger days with her family. But just the same, it didn’t take me long to recognize these two fellows. They were my future brother-in-laws. Wow, what a weird sensation to see the future. Or should I say “the past”? Nevertheless, it’s always a great feeling. They walked by me in broad daylight and didn’t even give me a second look. So many things I could tell them, so many heartaches I could prevent. But still I didn’t, I just let them walk past me as nothing more than a second in their lives. There are many dilemmas and at times lots of guilt. But I must stay focused. I can’t lose direction. My purpose at this point in time is to try to meet Lisa and have more time together. I was now in my car for almost five hours and besides her brothers she was nowhere in sight. I was disappointed and hungry. So I did what most in my shoes would do. I started back home. There’s always tomorrow and I would continue my quest then. Tonight I would sleep and dream of things to come. The very next day I was sitting back in my car on a Sunday afternoon, June 19th to be exact. It was now 12:20 in the afternoon; I’d been parked here since 9 a.m. Suddenly, there she was. There’s my baby girl finally leaving the house. She walked a few feet stopped and turned her head back toward her front door, seconds later her younger sister Melanie came out as well. God look at them, just how young they were. I mean of course they would be, but actually seeing my loved ones at an earlier time always get to me. Like so many times before I

began to panic! I found myself shaking and my stomach was tightening up. They were now walking in the direction of where I was parked. They were about four homes before they’d walk right past my car. Just then I told myself TO CALM DOWN! Breath in, breath out, breath in, breath out… two houses away now. Breathe slowly and get ready to say hi to my future bride. They were now one house away; as I reached to open my door my plan had changed, I decided to keep things simple. I’m going to ask them for directions, an address a couple streets away. Their answer would make no difference; this would just be the opening line. With what I already know about Lisa down to the names of most of her schools and teachers it was not always easy to use that information more then I need to. I didn’t want to resort to lying more then I absolutely had to. I wanted this meeting to be genuine and hopefully she will love me for who I am just like she would in seventeen years from now. As I stepped out of my car I began walking towards them. I was about fifty feet from them and they were so busy talking that it didn’t even look like they noticed me at all. My hands began to shake so I put them in my All Members coat pocket. The time was now! “Excuse Me,” I said. “I’m looking for a friend who lives around here. I can’t seem to find the place”. Then Melanie said, “Sure, what’s the address?” “214 Central Ave. It’s close to Encinal high.” I replied. She pointed in the direction and said, “It’s about four blocks that way.” As they both walked past I looked straight into Lisa’s eyes and even though her sister was doing the talking I looked right into my baby’s eyes, I smiled and thanked her. And right there and then I knew, within that one brief moment I knew. I looked right into her eyes and there it was… absolutely NOTHING. She didn’t even say “You’re welcome.” There were no signs at all. No gazing into each other’s eyes, no fireworks going off, no desires to continue any kind of conversations at all. And just as I feared deep down inside, there were no signs from her heart. At that precise moment in time I was nothing at all to her, just a stranger in a blue car asking for directions. I felt so much of a stranger

to her I felt guilty just being there. It suddenly felt as though I was intruding into her life, I simply had no business being there. It suddenly felt wrong, so wrong. I had to go. As I got back into my car and with one last glance over to them; I sadly said good-bye to my beautiful baby girl. They were now a half block down and with every second walking further from me. I had to convince myself that she was actually walking towards me. It would just take another seventeen years for her to finally reach me. Still I cried as I drove away. It was like driving back from a funeral. I felt so alone and only half a person. I wanted so much to be with her, I missed her voice telling me something funny. I missed her laugh and her sweet smile. I know what it’s like to feel complete and be with the person that is your other half. She would one day be among other things… my best friend and forever true love. What hurt so much was I had no best friend yet to lean on. I guess if one were looking for some sort of lesson that day it would be that there is a season for everything. Our seasons that we would one day enjoy would have to wait. The next day when I awoke my first thought was, the waiting now begins… seventeen years, two months and one day.

Chapter 4 Moments to Remember

One of the most exciting aspects of re-living my lives is actually being able to enjoy “The good old days” one more time. And as far as having to re-live the not so good times, I at least can to a certain extent change those times so that there not as bad as I know they could have been. Actually being able to sometimes predict when certain events are coming helps me prepare for them. It’s not always a system that works all of the time. I don’t always know what’s going to happen each and every day but it happens enough. It’s kind of funny how as an adult we always remember our childhood with fondness; our brain seems to leave out a lot of the bad times. Some would say that those childhood “good times” weren’t really as good, but I’m here to say at least for me all those times really were that good! So in this chapter not only would I like to go over some of the best of those times but also show just how my abilities can interact with them. The following three stories are prime examples of the three choices I face on a daily basis. They are; Events I want to change, events I don’t want to change and events I can never change and therefore meant to be. I begin with the third mentioned. Early to mid 1970’ is when some of the best times of my life occurred. I had the whole world in front of me. Many of my favorite stories have led us back to Fresno California. My dad lived there as a young man before he headed to the San Francisco bay area in the mid 1950’s. Dad had five sisters and one brother. They all had plenty of kids and so visiting Fresno meant my brother and I had dozens of cousins to play with. Even still our favorites were Ricky and Adrian. Ricky was almost my age and Adrian was around the same age as my brother. The four of us would usually begin playing, but it never failed. We’d always end up making up games for one purpose and one purpose only, to cause pain. Double brotherhood at its finest. This is one of the few times in which I pretty much know

what’s going to happen, that is to say only “if” I can’t persuade my cousin from doing something very dumb. Now this story finds us at the end of one of our weekend visits. As many times as I’ve come back to relive my life, I’ve come to realize that this event needs to be prevented. But for reasons I still don’t quite understand I haven’t had much success. The bits and pieces from my visions make it clear that my cousin Ricky will somehow be injured. The four of us had a blast that weekend. We did everything from going to the theater, then the park and last but certainly not least was “The” hamburger place. Not only did they have pinball machines, not only did they allow us to stay there as long as we wanted but the best was that they actually sold hamburgers for 14 cents!!! Really, no joke. We’d go in there with a dollar each and walk out with 24 fucking hamburgers. It was insane. And so on this visit the four of us were chasing each other, running around the yard like a bunch of wild Indians. Every so often the youngest cousin (Adrian) would get hurt and start crying. You could almost set your watch by it. The last thing we wanted was for us to get into trouble, which would be the end of our night of fun. Having to come in before we had to was nothing short of a sin. There we were, Ricky and I on one team and Morris and Adrian on the other. No big surprise there. We had been throwing things at each other. Rocks, acorns, whatever was handy. Then out of nowhere Rick decided to climb this really tall tree that sat right in front of their house. I think his game plan was to shower them from the air. As he went up higher and higher he’d look down, but with each glance he just kept climbing. By this time our nemesis were running around the tree truck like a couple of lunatics. They kept yelling up at Ricky and calling him names. Since he was so high up even they knew it would take him a while to climb back down. This gave them courage. They kept saying “Ricky snots, Ricky snots”. Each time they said it Ricky got more upset. I on the other hand couldn’t stop laughing at the whole thing. I had to stop playing just so I could hold my side. I even had tears running down my face, I was laughing so hard! I realized I didn’t have much time left so with

everything I had I yelled up to Rick to climb back down. He laughed and then it happened! Just then we heard two distinct sounds. The first one was the branch snapping, the second sound was Ricky saying “Ah ooh”. Sure enough he came flying down! Ricky and the branch. There were more sounds that night. Like when Ricky’s body hit the ground. That made a pretty good sound. Kind of like a hard thump. It all had happened so fast Morris and Adrian barely had time to get out of the way. Yet they still danced around him even after he landed. I’ve got to believe it’s because they didn’t realize how bad off Ricky really was. So I chased our brothers away and then I realized I needed their help in getting the branch off of Ricky. He was like an earthquake victim. Frozen like a dead dear on the road. There he lay under this enormous branch. I swear I thought for sure he had knocked himself out. So now I’ve finally got them to help me. Before we had a chance to lift the branch we could hear Ricky muttering the words “Help me! Get mom”. Quickly I went into action. That’s the very last thing we wanted to do! We’ll all get into trouble, there must be another way. With the branch now off of Rick we had yet another problem, what in god’s name are we going to do with this huge branch? As I pondered this dilemma there laid Ricky pleading for help. I assured him he was next on the list! So with my brother and cousins help we somehow managed to drag the branch across the street and to the end of the other block. We even hide it underneath a stack of brush already there. We did a pretty good job given the amount of pressure we were under. So with operation “Hide the branch” completed we turned our attentions back to Ricky. He was still laying face down when we got back, that should have been the first of many clues on just how bad off he was. So like any other loving cousin would do, I turned Ricky on his back and even helped him get up. All the time Ricky was crying in pain. I, on the other hand had everything under control. I knew just what to do, I had seen plenty of Dr. Welliby MD on T.V. I then, in a calm voice insisted Ricky lift his right arm straight out to his side. Not yet knowing that he had dislocations and broken bones I then “helped” him raise up that little old arm. I’m not sure but I have a

feeling that might have been when the dislocations materialized. Since it didn’t look like he was feeling any better, it was now on to plan B. Now plan B had the same objective as plan A, which was under no circumstances do we tell anyone!!! So we all calmly and quietly sat in the living room watching T.V. like the good boys that we were. So there we sat… 30 seconds had passed and Ricky was in so much pain he was finding it hard to watch T.V. However in my mind plan B was working. Just then I thought, plan C. Mind over matter, it works every week on Kung Fu. I then told Ricky, “Tell yourself that it doesn’t hurt grasshopper”. We were almost at the minute mark when my baby cousin Becky walked into the room. It only took her about 1.2 seconds to know something was very wrong with her big brother. Perhaps it was all the tears streaming down his face. He glanced at her and within seconds the loud cries for my aunt were ringing through the whole house. “Momma, momma!!” she hollowed. For a brief moment I saw many of my lives rush by. I actually thought to run out the front door and come back moments later. Pretend I wasn’t even around. But within seconds the parents had all descended in the living room. One look from my dad told me this was far from over. My aunt took Ricky to the emergency room and to say the least, the night of fun was over. The three of us never did get into trouble over what happened that night. I think they all just figured we’d all been horsing around and Ricky was the unlucky one who paid the price this time. Ricky and my aunt were gone an awfully long time. Even though my dad had a three hour drive ahead of him we stayed there until they got back from the hospital. It was close to midnight when they finally got back. Ricky’s face was pathetic! He had not one but two cast’. The cast on his right arm was raised at a 45 degree angle. His left arm was in a cast and sling. He was a complete mess. I remember my aunt being unable to give Ricky anything stronger then aspirin. I truly felt sorry for Ricky and vowed to try to prevent this from happening to him, again. We then said our good-byes and off we went. My brother and I had plenty of blankets and pillows and to be honest, we had no problems falling asleep on the drive home.

As we arrived home I realized that the reason I may never be able to stop this is because by the time I realize Ricky’s fate he’s already atop the tree. The fucking kid is a good fifteen feet above ground. Now I ask myself, do I really want to climb up that old tree? Would you? So with each life I live my poor dumb cousin will continue to fall to his fate. He will continue to be rushed to the hospital and will have to live the rest of his life with the scares from that night. Now don’t get me wrong, there have been times when I do yell up at him to come down. But alas, some things ya just can’t change! The following summer would again bring me back to Fresno and onto other cities I would not soon forget. It began in June 1972. What I wonderful time on Earth that was, or should I say will always be. I spent that summer visiting relatives. Since I was already all of thirteen, my parents felt I was old enough to take a bus by myself. The ride was just over four hours and I enjoyed every minute of it. I spent a week with my favorite cousin Ricky in Fresno and then he and I took a bus to see more relatives in the Los Angeles area. It was another week of fun, fun, fun. Everyday my aunt took us somewhere. On one particular day we picked up another cousin and the four of us set out to see a movie that was the talk of the town. We entered the dark theater and there we all sat. The movie began. It opened with scenes from a wedding. After a few minutes into the movie we found ourselves watching a scene of a couple in a bathroom doing the deed. It was so unexpected my aunt was completely shocked and kept putting her hands in front of my cousin’s eyes to keep him from seeing this evilness before us. Since we were out of reach from my aunt, my other cousin and I couldn’t stop laughing; it was so funny… and to this very day continues to be! After the show we went walking downtown. The summer day and the cool California breeze were so wonderful. My aunt was a little old fashion and this newer age was still surprising her at every corner. I remember walking from one little shop to another, sometimes buying a few souvenirs and sometimes just browsing. I remember going into this one shop. They sold candles, handmade jewelry, cloths, patches, and

beads. I bought my mom a set of real glass miniature lanterns. I remember noticing a lot of very colorful “things” in which I had no idea what they were. They sure looked pretty though. It wasn’t until years later when I finally realized that my dear sweet aunt in all her wisdom had taken us to what is commonly known thru-out the hippie world as “A HEAD SHOP”. To this day I still wonder how long it took before she realized that the pretty “lamp” she bought that day was actually a very pretty bong. Here’s to you my dear sweet auntie! The last story begins on September 23, 1972. My family moved around a lot and it usually occurred suddenly. This time we once again moved back to Newark. I always knew this day would come. And even with all of my efforts, we are always destined to leave at this precise time. I never want to leave this particular house because it always feels like the beginning of the end of my childhood. The end of weekend baseball games with my dad and brother would soon be over. Even though I know I’ll be here again, it still brings a tear every time. So once again in the wee hours we all packed up with whatever we could carry and off we went. Some of the rooms still had furniture in them. We couldn’t always find the means to take everything. This time however I was going to take more of “my stuff” then I had in previous lives. My mom was getting mad at me because she felt I didn’t need any of my things. So I packed one big brown grocery bag with just my things and another for my clothes. I grabbed all I could. My 1969 Oakland A’s pennant, baseball cards and my record albums. But there was still so much more. I began to cry. I kept thinking about how much all of this will mean to me in the future. Not to mention the value it would one day be worth, I had to find a way. Just then my sister walked in my room. She put her arms around me and with her help we gathered more of my things. Time had run out. Imagine that! Before I knew it we were unpacking at our new home. Fortunately I had already lived in Newark more than once and I had attended four grammar schools there. I had already known or went to the same schools with a lot of the kids. I was also hanging with a kid I had known for as long as I could remember, David R. David introduced me to some of his friends and in a very short time I had

plenty of buddies to hang out with. Playing basketball took up a lot of our time, it was all we did. Then somewhere around spring one of the kids got involved in the YMCA. One thing led to another and before I knew it, we all joined. We were all still at that age when having a girlfriend was just not that important. Sure some of the guys in our circle had girlfriends but it was never anything serious. There had to be at least a dozen friends in the club. We’d do a lot of fun things and for some of us, things we had never experienced before. In my case it was visiting Yosemite and seeing snow for the first time in my life. I was all of fourteen. Man, it was great!! Staying in a cabin hundreds of miles from my home. For the first time in my life I felt grownup. We were only there for two nights and three days but it’s a moment in time that I look forward to every lifetime. Over the next few months I would again find myself reliving one of the best years of my life. Times like these I cherish. I can once again sit back and enjoy the days for what they are. With the one and only exception and that was Lori Theal. Lori was a girl that hung out with one of my friend’s sister. From the moment I first met her I thought she was beautiful. I think she liked me as well but one has to remember, no matter how many times I return to relive these moments I am still only fourteen. Let’s just say I was never one to rush my youth. Even still Lori and a handful of other girls joined the club and began to partake in all the fun as well. Many times the club held separate events for just the boys or vice versa. But on this weekend coming up we will all be riding our bikes to Del Val Lake. It’s a good fifteen miles to the campsite for a sleep over and would take us most of the day to get there. It is now April 1973. The mistake I made the life time before was that I simply didn’t make an effort when it came to Lori. It wasn’t like I was mean to her; I was just being me at fourteen. Young boys at that age are so afraid of what others will think. When I look back on this weekend I really did want to talk to her but just couldn’t find a way. This time would be different. It took us all a good ten hours to finally reach our destination. And when we did, it was nothing more than a clearing next to the hiking trail. In past lives I spent most of my time

with my two buddies; Richard Avila and David R. This time I decided to spend more time with Lori. However when I did I could tell her best friend was getting a little upset. I walked with Lori and her friend Cathy the last five miles. We were the last ones to arrive at the campsite. Upon arriving we even found a little area for the three of us. I was feeling pretty good about what I was doing this time around. I felt like it was the right thing to do. However I was quick to learn exactly what my buddies now though of our trip and what I was doing. To say the least, they were not happy with me at all. Then all the questions began. Such as; why was I spending so much time with Lori? Did I love her? Was I going to ask her to go steady? And what about them? Where now did they fit in? It went on and on and on. They were like jealous wives. I started laughing and that made them even more upset. Rick was so mad; he walked off into the woods. Now in past lives I stayed up half the night with not only Rick and David but with all the guys. There had to be a dozen of us. I had a great time with them; I was hoping I would still be able to spend time with my buddies this time around. Even though Rick was still upset the rest of the guys didn’t mind me laying down my sleeping bag. It took a while but Rick got over it and before I knew it he was once again making all of us laugh. We all looked up to Rick. He was a “ladies’ man” even though he was the same age as the rest of us. Girls just saw something in him that I suppose the rest of us lacked. I lost touch with Rick and David much too soon, so I hope in this life I will be able to change that. Rick was in 7th grade, I in 8th. I would lose touch with both when I began working for the school district over the summer. That is only a few months from now. Still I try to focus on just spreading myself a little thinner this time around. I have different terms to describe what I am able to see. Visions, dreams, snapshots but my favorite term is future memories. One of the “future memories” I have about Lori is that in years to come I find myself interested. I tried to be in her life. But by then the puppy love she once had for me had long since passed. However the problem I was having was that I still lacked any true interest in her. I had to try to make her feel important. Lori had no interest in staying up with the

boys. She made me promise to come back after a while; tonight our sleeping bags would be side by side. After a couple hours I picked up my sleeping bag and said goodnight to the boys. Rick and a few others couldn’t believe I was leaving them. They started calling me names and being loud. It was well past midnight and most if not all of the girls were asleep just a few yards away. I was tired and went back to Lori. As I lay next to her, she began to snore. Now for a boy of fourteen this is not good. I was doing my best to find interest in her and now she’s snoring. It was getting so loud that she was waking people up. I could even hear Rick and the rest of them laughing as well. I thought, all was quiet until I came over here. Perhaps I should have just stayed with the guys. Just then I realized one very important thing… none of this really matters! Rick being upset, Lori snoring uncontrollably, none of it mattered. The next morning Lori and I woke up next to one another. We smiled at each other and all was good. She did most of the talking on the ride back. I enjoyed listening to her. We made plans for the following weekend; probably go see a movie. Rick and the guys on the other hand… well that was a different story. Seems as though I hadn’t spent enough time with them and most of the guys rode their bikes at least a mile ahead of the rest of us. I knew they’d all get over it soon. As for Lori and I, we did end up going “steady”. But in all of the two months of our young romance I just didn’t feel “it”. I tried but there was nothing. With all that I knew from my past lives I was still only fourteen. Still my decisions that trip played a big part in the friendship that eventually developed between us. We created future memories that were not there before. In high school we had different friends but still found moments to stop and say hello. Years later we would even attend each other’s weddings. Yes, I so enjoyed my new found friend. Her husband relocated to the east coast and after a few phone calls and then fewer Christmas cards we finally lost touch. Still I think of my friend Lori and it makes me feel good to know I made her feel important that day so long ago. Fifteen years later and just as I had done in my life before, I went back to that very spot on the side

of the trail. The trial was still there and although the side of the road that slept at least twenty-five kids that night seems so small now. In my last life I stood there in silence. With only the sounds of the forest listening, I would apologize to Lori. I was only fourteen and didn’t know any better. But still I felt compelled to let my voice finally be heard, even if only to the cosmos. However in this life I would again make the pilgrimage to that very campsite. And again I would stand in silence. But this time no apologies would be needed. This time, the silence would be enough.

Chapter 5 A Third Destiny?

Two years ago I had a vision in the form of a dream. It was none like I’d ever had before. One might suggest that it was just a dream… I say otherwise. Before I go on about it, I will simply say that it means something, exactly what I’m still trying to figure it out. I know one thing for sure, I no longer fear death. Nor do I feel as sorry when someone dies. As odd as it may sound the feeling I have now that I didn’t have before is envy. Deep down I now believe that they have gone to a truly better place. As much as I love life and this crazy existence I have, I would love to think that at some point my destiny will change so that I too might then be able to finally go on to a better place. Perhaps I keep coming back in order to make those I love happier. Chapter 4 touches on that subject. Perhaps in this life I have made enough changes to not have to come back again. Every time I think back on this vision I can’t help but remember how great it felt. The mere fact that I could still remember every detail in my life here on earth made absolutely no difference. I simply did not want to come back! As far as meeting up with loved ones that had already passed, I don’t remember anything other than being with my guild. Most times my dreams go from one right into another. So it’s not usual for me to have several dreams by the time I wake up. This night would be different. I don’t remember having any other dreams but this one. First I remember all the emotions. They were all positive ones. I was then overcome by the feeling of youth and curiosity. The next thing I knew was that I was in the presents of a spirit of some sort. I wasn’t afraid at all. I felt an extremely close bond to whatever or whoever it was. It wasn’t just the surroundings that defined this experience; it was also how my own mind was reacting to it all. For one, I felt as though I had been there before and the feeling of finally returning “home” was overwhelming to say the least.

On earth my curiosity would have lead me to ask questions, but being there only filled me with acceptance and true understanding. Then a curious thing happened… my guild brought me to a court of homes. These were not houses made of gold or anything like that. These were simple houses. On earth, one might say they were built during the 1950’s or 60’s. All one-story homes set in a court. I remember that there was no color distinction. Everything was bright white. But it didn’t hurt my eyes. My guild pointed to the house closest to us and I knew at that very moment, it was mine. All mine!! Each house was different in one way or another. Mine had a garden in the front. I even had a picket fence. There were four or five rows of flowers within my garden. On the other side of the front yard lay a beautiful lawn and in the middle were bricks leading up to the front door. I wanted so much to go inside. I remember feeling the bricks below my feet and as I finally reached the door the unspeakable happened! My guild started pulling me back. I had no control over my body; with every second that passed my house and garden grow further away. I do remember wanting with all my heart to stay there and work on my garden. I felt strongly that this was my one and only purpose. Here on earth that may sound nice but not enough to keep one happy. But on the other side it’s much different. All those things that we find important on earth no longer matter. It’s not as though I had no more love for all those on earth, it’s more like one understands the bigger picture. I was no longer worried about anything! The warm blanket of being safe and loved was one I hope I never forget. That is what I miss the most. That is what I long for each and every day. It was not just within me, it was all around me. I hope to return there one day. The only time I believe we experience these feelings on earth is when we first come into the world. As we get older we then carry the burdens of all life has to offer, both good and bad. I know in my heart it is real. I would like to think that we all have gardens waiting for us. Perhaps there are different sections in heaven. So for all those who are lucky enough to see these gardens, that’s where I hope you’ll find me!

My experience did leave me with a new found appreciation for both life and beyond. It also left me with the sense that perhaps there is what some might refer to as parallel universe’. Just the mere fact that I keep returning to the same lifetime tells me that nothing ever really goes away or for that matter changes. Things are not always as they seem and the worlds of science and physics have yet to see beyond the tip of the iceberg. I would love to think that just perhaps this will be the very last time I have to come back. There is a very famous psychic that I’ll leave nameless. She believes that upon dying one has a choice to either stay in heaven or come back. She goes on to say that this is only possible if one had a “good” life, spreading love to the world. However, if one has made many bad choices then your sent back in order to make things right. This person is of course referring to reincarnation. But it does get me to think about the bad choices I’ve made. Have they been so wrong or bad that I not only have to keep returning but I have to keep returning to the same life? What if she’s on to something? Perhaps I’ve done more bad then good with all of the events I’ve altered. But if that’s the case then why do I have this gift in the first place? I would like so much to finally be granted the gift to go home and tend my garden. I know it’s waiting for me. As I’ve gotten older I have seen many good returns on my actions. End results which I believe would never have been possible had I not interacted in their lives. I’ve thought about living a life in which I never change events that I know I can. But I don’t for two reasons. The first being that if I know when something bad is going to occur I find it impossible not to interfere, especially when it involves someone I love. The second reason is my own selfishness. I love experiencing first grade again. Christmas at my grandparent’s house. My first day of school, holding on tight to that sky-blue Beatles lunchbox. Or perhaps the day my dad took me and my brother to our first major league game. What baseball fan wouldn’t love to see Willie Mays once again in his prime? To again see Juan Marichal kick that leg up before he’d throw that slider. The list of reliving good times goes on forever. As I’ve gotten older I am torn by my own desires. But in the end and

regardless of what I want, the truth still remains the same. I have no control. People will live and die, love and hate. There are those that come into this world as cripple and leave as angles. There will be those who I love that by their own decisions will destroy themselves and alas I may never be able to save them from their fate. Will I be able to bare and watch? I know now without a doubt that watching my own wife or children die will be the worst of all. Should I make all the choices necessary so that I never have children? How can I possibly not resist from keeping one of my sons home on a certain night because I know if he goes out he’ll never return back alive. And what about our little girl Emily? Our precious Emily always dies! No matter what I do. For me to imagine not even trying to save her life is unthinkable. Then I look at life from her eyes. However brief her life on earth, she simply loved life! Emily was loved by so many and changed all of our lives for the better. She loved everyone and she loved us the most. As brief a time as it was for her, do I have the right to take that away? Another thing is that with everything I’ve done and more often things I’ve not been able to achieve, there are still no guarantees. Regardless of my interactions, each day my choices can still trigger different results. The end results can be good or bad. Perhaps that is the big lesson in all of this. Perhaps I should just let things run their own course. For better or worse. Perhaps if by doing that I will no longer receive anymore visions or dreams. That would be nice. I would then be just like everyone else. I would live, love and die. Like everyone else I would have the chance to live everyday not knowing what the day would bring. Making mistakes and learning from them. It only makes sense that one should live a lifetime once. I am now 68 years old. I have seen many things more than once. But there is but one more future memory left for me. One more choice that still awaits my answer. All of the moments I’ve waited for have now all passed. Choices that have led to heartaches and those of everlasting bliss. I now sit all alone in this dark room with only my memories. God I miss my wife. I miss my children; I want to be with them more than anything else in the world right now. I also miss my dad’s voice. The

calling from my last memory is growing stronger with each passing day now. Is the rest stop exit the answer? Since losing my wife six months ago, I’ve now passed the rest stop seven times. In my mind there’s nothing else for me to do, so why haven’t I taken that exit yet? What’s holding me back? Is it the fear of the unknown? Perhaps it’s the fear of once again having to come back. Tomorrow I will make my final decision. Soon I feel this all ends one way or another. I hope so. With all of these questions going thru my mind lately, I now leave you with the scariest ones of all… Because I keep coming back, does everyone keep coming back as well? And if so, is everyone coming back and just aren’t aware of it? Is it all of our destinies to never reach our final gardens? Am I the only one that can see the real reality? Or is all of this just in my own mind? Am I now strapped to a gurney or sitting alone in the corner of a padded room? Have I long since truly lost my mind all together? Is my third destiny one that is so unbearable that I’ve created this whole other world for myself? Perhaps tomorrows drive will bring me all of the answers. Or just perhaps tomorrow I’ll see you all… “Here Again”.

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