Cindy-Part 1 (needs revising) (McCormick Farm School Gable)

It occurred to me yesterday it was the tenth anniversary of my death. I was sitting in the bleachers over at Diamond Run watching Evan and his best friend Blake, go through their pitching drills. Blake is doing pretty good with sliders but Evan is struggling—his late breaking fast-ball looks pretty good though. I tried to remember the names of the paramedic and the doctor that saved me but can’t. Sad—not being able to remember the names of the people that gave you back your life—Evan’s mother would know. I call out to Evan to take a break from sliders and throw some heat for awhile.

What I do remember clearly is my O.B.E.—my out of body experience. It started out pretty much like the stories you hear—I’m up in the ceiling watching them work on me—very professional and deliberate—no dramatic dashing around and intense conversation like on TV—just a group of pros calmly doing their jobs. As soon as they’re done saving my butt they’ll hand me off the recovery room and go home to their kids and yard work and deteriorating marriages and completely forgot the poor schmuck that came in 20 minutes before the end of their shift and made them late for supper, PTA meeting—whatever.

No—I didn’t recognize myself at first. And even after I realized who they were working on I still couldn’t accept that that was me laying there. At some point in our lives—probably in our 20s—we get this image of ourselves and while it’s outdated pretty quickly we never really let go of it.

After a few minutes of watching them trying to beat and jerk me back to life I got bored and decided to see what the possibilities were with this OBE thing. I stared at the big clock on the emergency room wall and willed time to stop. And it did—the second hand just froze. The crash cart team was also frozen in time—I remember a nurse—standing there stuck in time—yawning and looking at her wristwatch while another guy—an orderly I guess—was scratching his ass as I lay a breath or two from death.

I let myself drift aimlessly for a moment trying to decide what I wanted to do that I could never do in a normal reality state when I realized I was sitting—sort of—more like floating—in the attic of my parent’s home in upstate New York. I find myself flipping through a photo album I’d forgotten I’d owned—dating from my mid teens—when I find myself staring at a black & while snapshot I had taken one weekend at a church youth camp a group of us kids attended.

I have no idea now what the camp program was—I probably couldn’t have told you that weekend what it was. I went for only one reason—Cindy Shatz was there.

In the picture which she never knew I took—she is sitting on a long, heavy branch of a willow tree that hangs out over water—the lake the camp was built on. Sunlight is sparkling off the little waves in the water and Cindy is silhouetted against the bright background. She is 16 or 17 and a little doll—long wavy hair that tumbles down and parts invitingly around perfectly proportioned breasts. She has large, bright doe-eyes, cupid-bow lips, lightly tanned clear skin and is wearing shorts and a halter top.

I drop the photo on the attic floor and focus on it. I let it spread and grow and the space it contains expands—it becomes the space under me—I can feel the cool summer breeze off the lake. I take a deep breath and allow myself to float down into it. For a moment I hover about six inches off the sand and gravel beach enjoying the breeze which has the scents of honeysuckle and woodsmoke on it from a campfire nearby.

Inhaling deeply again I draw weight and substance from the earth’s mass. I take on the weight—152 pounds—that I had when I was eighteen. I am wearing khaki shorts, a polo shirt and moccasins with white crew socks—which was what guys wore back in those days.

When I took that picture I was the same age as Cindy—17 but—as is so often the case with boys—I was significantly less mature than girls the same age—including Cindy. She knew I was in love with her but had no interest in a gawky, self-conscious kid. I knew for a fact she had dated guys several years older than her.

The scene around me is moving in time but slowly—in slow motion. I can hear the waves lapping at the little beach and the willow leaves rustling—Cindy is looking across the lake—facing away from me. At the age I took the picture I wore glasses and a crew cut. This day I’m not wearing glasses and my hair is combed, parted on my left and I have a deep tan and—unlike then—clear skin—no acne.

I walk a few yards away from Cindy, turn to face her way and exhale slowly until time moves at a normal pace. I begin walking toward her, making sure the gravel crunches under my feet so I won’t surprise her. She hears my approach and turns to look at me. Her eyes grow wide as I near her—her lips part. I know what she’s thinking—is this the dork I think it is?

She hops down from the branch and stands staring at me, a bit shocked. I walk confidently up to her, smile and extend my hand.

“Hi,” I say in a breezy manner looking right into her eyes. “I’m guessing you’re Cindy.”

She doesn’t take my hand. She stares at me and backs up a bit—starting to look very uneasy if not sacred.

“I’m sorry,” I offer, “you don’t know me but you know my cousin…” and I explain how me now is visiting me then.

I don’t know why, but only one version of a person can exist at any given moment. The me then, simply ceased to exist once the me now, fully materialized in that particular bit of space-time. At such time as I leave, the me then returns with no impression or memory of having left.

End part one

FacebookTwitterDeliciousGoogle GmailGoogle ReaderDiggShare

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge