I was slaying dragons at a full-time job as an Associate Creative Manager for a popular vacation company and as a part-time Barista at Starbucks. Needless to say, I was burnt out and that fact didn’t help the arising symptoms of full-blown mania. This was shortly before I was in diagnosed with Bipolar.
What tipped me over the edge into psychosis was a string of odd encounters at both jobs, but none so powerful as the ones I experienced at the vacation company.
Our headquarters was located in a corporate campus, with two buildings: Big Apple and Little Apple. I worked in Big Apple.
I was wildly shifting through trippy states of awareness for weeks on end, so euphoric and powerful that I thought I must have died. No drugs, this was purely a natural unraveling. Think of the movie, Waking Life. Everything had profound meaning and every conversation was a philosophical mind fuck. Every song played was epically timed, as if it was a constant soundtrack to a movie unfolding before my eyes. Needless to say – Mind Blown.
One day, I got this crazy idea that someone was coming for me … that very day. I had been having intense dreams for weeks about needing to clean up my act and prepare because I was about to meet someone I didn’t know. They were constant and prophetic in nature, so I took them very seriously. The intensity had built until I couldn’t take it any longer.
At lunch, I decided to drive home to my apartment and clean up my act. I was desperate and rushed. Wine bottles, beer cans and scraps were all trashed in huge black trash bags. I was anticipating big things and I knew in my gut that it was right around the corner. Call it intuition or clairvoyance…or what have you – I was on target.
I finished up at home, and raced back to work, parking my car between both buildings. No sooner did I get out of my car, did a man, dressed in all black, yell down to me from a mysterious limo parked at the entrance to Big Apple. He was standing there still and with eyes plastered on me. There was something off about his stance; it was almost bordering on paranormal. And I was scared stiff.
It was like a scene from The Matrix although I hadn’t watched that for another 6 years for the first time.
“Aren’t you supposed to be at Little Apple?” he asked.
I looked around the lot for others. Empty. Confused and shocked, I motioned to my heart and yelled back from my car as I shut the door, “Me?! No, I work at Big Apple.”
“YOU. NO, aren’t you supposed to be down there?” he pressed, pointing toward the smaller building.
Again, I answered back as I began making my walk up the hill toward the entrance, “No, I’m on lunch. I work there.” I pointed to the large glass doors behind his limo.
“NO, you’re supposed to be in Little Apple. Don’t you have a message waiting for you?” He was getting a bit heated by this point and I was getting concerned as I approached the limo with chills running up my spine.
I mean, What. The. Fuck. The way he called out to me was chilling enough. But our loud voices also had this eerie way of echoing off the buildings in the empty parking lot.
Walking passed him quickly, I repeated, “I work right here. I’m late.”
I’ll never forget that face. Blonde and eyes burning into mine, stoically, with no emotion other than this sense of urgency.
He was now close to the back seat, door ajar, where I noticed another man in all black. He just stared at me and sighed very heavily, “Well, I tried.” He shook his head in disappointment and climbed into the backseat, within one fluid and calculated motion. His fellow mysterious driver was also dressed in all black, complete with sunglasses. He sat silently in the driver’s seat, catatonic and staring straight ahead. Again, no emotion whatsoever.
I hurried through the front doors into the lobby, a bit panicked. I couldn’t for the life of me believe that just happened, after all I had dreamt up only hours before. I stood in the safety of the lobby and watched the two men in their black limo speed off down the road. Never to be seen again.
I was so overwhelmed with adrenaline that I had to tell my close friend and coworker at the time. I felt like I had missed out on a big opportunity; the exact one I was waiting and preparing for. I didn’t go into detail about my delusional thoughts about someone coming for me. I had enough of a level head at that point to know to keep my mouth shut.
The FBI rented space from us for as long as I can remember, so we chalked it up to that, but I knew there was something more to it. I never took the opportunity to find out, which I regret.
As if that weren’t strange enough, in the same week, I had another encounter with clairvoyance.
My boss had just sent me this beautiful message from TUT, Notes from the Universe. It was a short message poetically detailing what it was like to finally be HOME.
I had loved it so much, I sent it off to my best friend immediately in a hyper email and briefly described what it was like to find this elusive HOME, within. I even went into what I wanted in a future husband, marriage and my idea of HOME. I remember that clearly, I can almost see the transcript in my head. It was beautiful.
I sent off the email and go outside on the back smoking dock for a ciggie. The trash lady arrived with her elderly mother, who was blind and could barely walk. I immediately picked up their trashbags and helped them dispose of it in the dumpster
Although she was blind, the mother walked arm in arm with her daughter and looked straight at me, as they walked passed me to go inside.
The elderly mother says to me, in a prophetically creepy voice, “Tell your husband what it’s like to be HOME.”
Eyes wide, my jaw hit the floor.
Back at the ranch on my pastime job…slingin coffee, I stood talking to a customer. The hairs rose up in waves across my neck as he leaned over and whispered in his psychotically-tilted voice, as it always seemed to be, “All the most brilliant minds are right here, ya know.”
I nodded, pretending to go obliviously about my business that night behind the barista stage, but something inside me wanted to jump across the counter, grab his collar, shake him violently and scream into his eyes until all his secrets ran down his chin like blood, “Tell me what you know!” I understood fully, but the powers that be at that time wouldn’t let me reveal even an inkling.
Another man, about 20 years his senior, shouted at me across the glass casing where all the sweets were kept from wandering hands, “Do I stutter, Elizabeth?!” A violent fist shook the counter. He was enlightening me through our seemingly simple conversation about deer having the ability to see violet light, assuming I did not know, which I knew perfectly well, that he was referring to me being the light and him being the deer.
That night however, I was so taken aback that I had no choice but to pretend I was the one stunned, again, assuming the barista role acting as if I were too busy to listen to his nonsense. Everything in my soul wanted to chase him out the door and yell from the doorway toward his car, arresting him with, “I am! I know!” Maybe then he’d explain more.
Instead, I ran into the bathroom with phone in hand to desparately text my friend, who had just moments ago asked me what it meant to me to be in a place called home and with whom I had a conversation about white and violet light radiating from our being.
Out the door I’d go and no sooner did I turn around did I see another standing at the foot of the door. Him. The cadence within a young man’s eyes, glued to mine, that could no longer keep a secret, had the ability to creep through the windowless souls of onlookers and curious musicians alike. He was one of them afterall. A curious musician … never a windowless soul. In fact he bore holes right through mine, reflecting a gold aura as we locked eyes.
Gazing was a thing of the past in his world. This was assault.
Again, I assumed position as the oblivious one, but my body’s natural vibration in tune with his couldn’t keep still. It rocked me solid, until he’d finally leave the shop, where my knees then turned to putty and swept the floor with the water that had become my shallow grave, delivering the last cosmic blow.
Everyday was on repeat.
And time was running out.