Holy Places

 I met Tony for the first time on the jewish holiday called Tashlikh which means casting off. We walk to the local river on the afternoon of the first day and empty our pockets into the river, symbolically casting off our sins. Now we don’t empty our wallets or pocket change, but we put small pieces of bread and pebbles in our pockets to cast off. This Sunday afternnon, Tony was camped out down by the river front, in a lean-to made from an old tarp and some wood he had scraped together. He had the customary shopping cart with all his worldly possessions, and there was evidence of vain attempts to start a bon fire. To see 14 men down at the river bank throwing bread from their pockets into the water must have caused Tony to think he had drunk some bad wine! I saw him out of the corner of my eye as he approached us.’It’s Rosh Hashanah already?” he said. ‘I lose track of time out here.” The rest of my group got that “Oh No” look on their faces, the kind of look people in the city have when they step over or around the homeless people laying on the street and hope the person doesn’t speak to them. I found this ironic. He we are cleansing our souls, throwing away our sins, and we are about to commit a fresh one, turning our back on a brother who is in need. Jewish law dictates that charity begins at home. I lingered around Tony’s home as others left briskly.I’m Joel, I said, introducing myself as I reached out my hand. Tony looked stunned. He said ” Oh you don’t want to shake this, I haven’t washed in a while.” I humbly put my hand back in my pocket and took the opportunity I had long awaited for.Tony couldn’t say his own name since his front teeth fell out. They were rotten so it didn’t take much to knock them out from their sockets. Just like his life had turned out.Knocked out from its socket. His clothing stuck to him like paste, because he had worn them too long. He smelled like a combination of an outhouse, stale whiskey, and ammonia from the body odor that hadn’t been washed away in weeks. We talked for a little while, there on the riverbank.The last time he remembered having a shower was when he was arrested for sleeping in the park, and the kind jail guard let him have a shower before he left the cell block the next day. He still had to put on his old clothes though, and it felt like trying to dress in wet cardboard. This was Tony’s life. Thony is what he called himself as his tongue exits through the gap where his front teeth used to be. He is happy to tell you about his front teeth. He says their loss was the beginning of his journey to homelessness. I stayed back against the strong advice of my companions in order to get to know Tony better. I was drawn to him. Here was a fellow jew, in trouble, and I felt it was better to reach out now than to go back to Temple to pray for him. Tony had grown up not far from here, in the suburbs of New Jersey. “I was working class poor” he said as he offered me a can of something unknown as the label had washed off in the rain. I accepted it to be polite, and non chalantly put it down on the ground next to me where we sat. ” My mother was a waitress, my father was a bastard.” With that he let out a loud, sad laugh, as if hoping the humor he was forcing would penetrate the sadness that exhaled from his body. “He left us pretty early, my brother and I. My mother did her best, and I respected that. We made do. But we stopped going to Temple because she was embarrassed that she couldn’t dress us properly and most of the time she had to work anyway.” Tony looked out to the river as if comtemplating how much more he was going to tell me, a perfect stranger. ” So as time went on, my mother started getting lonely I guess and brought boyfriends home. My brother and I hated all of them before we even saw them. We started staying away from the house a lot of the time. You know, young guns out on the streets with no dad to come find them, bring them home and ground them. One day we showed up at home, a little drunk and a little stoned and her latest boyfriend decided he was going to be our father and steer us in the right direction. Tony paused again and I thought I saw him tear up. I looked away as I didn’t want to embarrass him. He steered my brother right into the wall and me across the room with his fist in my mouth. Tony showed me his missing front teeth as if I had not noticed the big black hole until now. I acted like I hadn’t. You see, my mother didn’t have money for dentists. She barely had enough money to put food in our mouths let alone fix our teeth. They just came shooting out, right down the back of my throat. I swallowed them. Tony burst out laughing, a laugh longer than it should have been.I wondered if he was getting nervous with me being there and sharing this debriefing with him.There was a long silence between us. I thought for a moment it might be time for me to move on, and I moved a little bit in an effort to get myself up from a position no 45 year old with bad knees should have put himself in. It had started to rain. “Hey Tony” I said before I realized I had said it. “Why don’t you come back to temple with me and we can have a nice meal afterwards, get out of the rain, and talk some more” “You mean like this” he asked, putting his arms out wide as if to present himself to the world as what he was; a smelly scary looking homeless person. “Come on Tony, let’s go” You can imagine what happened when I appeared back to the services with Tony alongside me. He sat at the back. I sat back up front with my family, where he insisted I go. Occasionally I would look back over my shoulder and saw Tony following all the rituals correctly. His faith had abandoned him but he had not drifted far from his roots. No one sat next to Tony, and those who were there moved hurriedly to another location. I assumed it was his appearance and his body odor. Afterwards, Tony remained seated, probably enjoying the warmth and shelter I had invited him into, for as long as he could get it. The Rabbi asked me to ensure Tony moved on, and as I sent my family home ahead of me, I took Tony out to dinner. After he had been hit by another step father in the house, Tony and his brother left to sleep at a friends house. The mother saw the blood and injuries on both the boys and they ended up in foster care. ” I thought my mother was poor” he said as he swirled his tongue around the aged empty gap in his mouth.The state had no money to fix my teeth either.” Tony was separated from his brother in homes only willing to take one young troubled jewish boy. He didn’t see him again. Fifteen foster homes later, Tony found himself out on the streets after he had aged out of the system. There were no parents for him if there was no money to pay them. Drugs and alcohol had helped ease his transition into adolescence and young adulthood. He got series of jobs here and there, nothing to make a career out of. He insists his physical appearance cost him opportunities. ” The only job I might have been able to make any money at would have been boxing ’cause I have the look. Just not the body for it.” He laughed out loud again. I liked Tony. There was something big brotherly about him. It was hard to say how old he was exactly, I assumed homelessness and hard living had taken a toll and he probably looked twenty years older than he was. Tony had lived in shelters, cars, cardboard boxes, and a few times had found jobs long enough to rent small apartments but he never made enough money to get ahead of the rent. He had girlfriends, but the girls he met in his part of town only served to keep him poorer and with more heartbreak. “I’ve sworn off women” he said, as he finished his meal and headed back to the river. I had a dog once, I loved that dog, but the dog catcher came and took him away from me. They said he wasn’t licensed. I didn’t have the money to license him. I thought about breaking him of the place, but I have gotten by this far without being a criminal and just didn’t want to start that. So I prayed my dog would find a better home, something indoors maybe. Tony looked the saddest I had seen him all day. We walked quietly back to his riverfront home, and with more guilt than I felt comfortable, I left him there. “See you next week” he said as he bedded down for another night rough sleeping. Tony joined me the following week at Temple. The Rabbi took me aside and said his presence was disturbing people and he had to leave.The rabbi has told me that people do not want to sit next to him and some feel afraid. He said that people have complained he smells. Tony had washed up in the bathroom earlier and they complained about that too. After the service, I walked Tony out and tried to find a way to uninvite him to the Temple. This felt wrong. Hypocritical. Sick. I know what the Torah says and what Isaiah says about treating the homeless in our midst and it certainly isn’t send them out because they are scary looking and smelly. I respected Tony and so I told him what the Rabbi said, at the same time letting him know I would be his advocate and we would work this out. We went out for what I didn’t know was out last meal together. Tony ended up comforting me. ” Why is there such inequality in the world?” I lamented. “Why does God make some people poor, some rich, some wise and some evil, some happy and some sad?” I intended this to be a rhetorical question but Tony had an answer. “God said who will then guard kindness and truth”. He bit big into a hamburger. Talking with his mouth full, he continued.” If everyone had all they need, then how would kindess fit into my world?” He swallowed. “I am poor so the rich have an opportunity to give to me. I am a happy person and I have the opportunity to cheer you up. The smart people can teach the not so smart people. We all suffer so that others can be able to give.” Tony gulped down the rest of his milkshake. He stood up, shook my hand, and said he had to get back to his camp before dark. “We’ll see each other again” he smiled, and we walked together in silence back to the riverbank. I had offered Tony help. Financial help, to stay with my family until he could get back on his feet. He declined. He was happy where he was and grateful we had met. A few weeks passed and I found myself drawn back to the riverbank to check on Tony. He was gone. All that remained was the black woody circle of a bonfire and some scraps of wood he probably couldn’t carry with him. I never saw him again. I felt deeply and truly that he had great wisdom and had great gifts to give the world. But sadly, the world would not listen to him. There is a tremendous amount of denial out there about who is homeless and who the homeless used to be or could have been. In my growing appreciation for the homeless, I have come to believe that people living on the street have a lot to offer us; profound insights gleaned as we process our experience with them. Although they are not intentionally our teachers and most likely don’t realize the insight into life they offer, they can offer us deep understandings about life. These poor souls, poor economically but rich culturally and spiritually andhumanly, taught me a profound lesson. When we look for God, we don’t have to look in churches or synagogues. The most holy places are not where we traditionally think they are. The holy places are the shelters where we house the homeless, thesoup litchens where we offer them a warm meal, the street corners where we stop and talk to the panhandler, or bend down to make sure someone who is passed out is safe and ok. The holy places are the spaces we give the homeless to store their things. The holy places are the abandoned campsites where we have made a friend.
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Near Death Experiences

I have had a couple of real near death experiences. One when I was in the ICU I actually crashed and my daughter was looking over me as my eyes drifted to the ceiling. What she didn’t know was that I was looking at my parents, who looked the same as they did when they passed, wearing the same embarrassing outfits that always made me walk ten paces ahead of them when we were out (funny how teen age angst is carried over 30 years) and traveling inside the eye of an elephant (you can’t make this up and NO I was not dying from an LSD overdose!) It was like a capsule and I was trying to get in and pretty annoyed that they would not open the door. The next thing I knew I was “back” with a central line in my chest and several people fussing over me, feeling like crap. I often think about that experience and since then have had a new found appreciation for the elephant. In art (see Gregory Colbert’s collection called “Ashes and Snow”) and tell me you are not moved by the talent and the beauty, and in folklore, as apparently, funny enough, elephants are a symbol of overcoming death.
The next near death experience I had was last night. I woke up at 2:30 a.m. from a sound sleep with Criminal Minds re-runs playing on the TV I forgot to turn off, having an asthma attack. There is nothing worse than having one of these sneak up on you in a dead sleep because you go from open mouthed drooling slumber (or so I have been told from some insolent bedfellows) to feeling like you are being strangled and drowned all at the same time. You cannot breath in, you cannot breath out, its like somebody has popped a wine cork down your trachea . Where are visions of elephants when you need them? I was sure this was “it” this time although I have suffered from this before. Only now it was lasting well into a minute and my lips were turning blue and I was starting to panic. It’s the panic that will kill and asthma sufferer faster than lack of oxygen will. Panic because you think the next time you try to inhale you will get a bit of air in and you don’t. The panic that you realize you decided to sleep naked and now your kids are going to find you dead and rigored in most likely an unladylike position on the floor after the dogs have given you a good sniff over. The panic because now you’re pissed off at yourself for worrying about all those things you worried about that day, that really don’t matter at all when you are about to hitch a ride on that elephant!
Obviously I lived to tell about it but not without spending the rest of the night awake because I was afraid to go to sleep again and have that happen. Sometimes larygospasms come in twos. So I got on facebook and talked to my friend who was having lunch in Budapest, checked my online bank balance and only got a  little short of breath, and put on a nighshirt just in case.
Morale of the story is: Don’t sleep naked and hope that if you see the elephant he won’t let you on his back.

Don’t ask Don’t Tell!!

My mother babysits for me during the day when I am at work. This morning she called to tell me she was going to be late because she had lost her dentures. She said she doesn’t take them out when she sleeps (for the same reason I no longer sleep naked!) but they must have popped out while she was in the land of nod. She sleeps with her husband who is almost 80 years old and a temper to match Genghis Khan.
My mother loses a lot of things in bed. (OK that didn’t quite sound right.) When she was first dating Vlad the Impaler ( I enjoy sticking cute little nicknames on curmudgeonly Cliff) she was much younger and on hormone replacement therapy. For those of you not familiar with the medication involved, it comes in sticky patches that are applied to your abdomen or bottom. They produce estrogen through your skin. She woke up one morning to see the patch stuck to Vlad, and momentarily wondered if it might make him nicer, you know, all those women’s hormones, but in the end decided to rip it off along with some thigh hair she hadn’t counted on, waking him up with a start. My mother did what any sane woman would do. Collapsed onto her pillow and pretended to be asleep the whole time while maintaining a death grip on the feminine product. Mr. Tough, the Man of all Men, the one whose testosterone defines who he is and what his mood is going to be like, was probably only concerned that it had looked like he was trying to shave his upper leg. He would have kept that to himself. Along with a few millograms of estrogen therapy.In the end my mother showed up to the house to babysit, teeth in place, no mention of where she found them. Since they both sleep au natural, it cannot be good.

My Girl.

September 4, 2014 is a day I almost lost my oldest daughter. She was the victim on a (sudden) domestic assault. “Sudden” because he had never physically attacked her before. It was bad. It took a long time for him to beat her as she ran for hiding places in their apartment, FInally she made it almost out the door but fell, and he slammed the door on her legs repeatedly as she grasped onto her dog Lucy and tried to crawl out. It was then she thought to call for help. But the neighbours has already called 911. He was arrested and taken into custody. Because the apartment was in his name as he was the main wage earner (as a police officer) she was given 4 hours to move out of the apartment. FOUR HOURS to relocate her life, her belongings, with no where to go. Thanks to the kindness of friends,and my brother and sister-in-law re arranging their day to help her pack what she could in the time allotted (before he got out of jail) Emelia made it out with basically the clothes on her back and her cat and dog. She was unable to retrieve her furniture, her bed which was a good one, and he subsequently sold it all. She was battered, bruised, traumatized, frightened, and lost. She loved this man and thought he was the one, and as she said 90 percent of the time they had a wonderful time together, laughing, sharing interests, he was her best friend. So she lost her best friend that day in a way you never want to end things with someone you love.
There had been “signs” that all was not right with him. Arguments would be initiated over trivial things. He couldn’t let things go. He was controlling. He often tried to make her feel inadequate. Leading up to the beating (which you can imagine was well done as he was a trained police officer) there had been an escalation in his fighting mood, and I had to intervene a few times in the 48 hours preceding the event to calm him down and talk him out of his hysterics. My last words to Emelia the night before the attack, when I had spent two hours on the phone with them on speaker, mediating this argument, with him saying Emelia’s attempts to settle things were nothing more than sarcasm on her part (bizarre), my last words were “Milly you have to leave him ,you have to get out of there this weekend.” The next morning it happened. It started over her rubbing his arm as a way of saying good morning. He took offence and just started beating her. He smashed her lap top, broke her phone, ripped the closet door off and destroyed her clothes, he hit her everywhere but the face, bruised ribs, scratched up arms, bruised thighs, calves, severely sprained wrist when he bent it back as she tried to defend herself, and a couple of good punches in the stomach. Emelia had never been in a physical altercation before. She fled and ended up in the street below, calling me, barely audible between the sobs. she was in medical shock. The Vancouver Police Department treated her with dignity and care. After it was all over, the medical checks done, the photographs taken, the statements given. they took her to her friends house where she would couch surf until she figured out what to do, where to go, where to live and how to get furniture, even just a bed., to give her some dignity in her recovery to start over. He had sold her car, much of her furniture while they were together, replacing it with “new” stuff, he preferred things that way. A police officer even brought her some food at the end of it all after realizing she had not eaten all day, and they continued to check up on her from time to time, as did Crown Counsel. It was gold star treatment for a domestic assault victim and I owe the VPD a debt of gratitude to this day for treating my baby girl with kindness and grace. He lost his job with the police force. They don’t put up with bullshit like that. He was charged with assault, mischief and uttering threats. He was put on a one year peace bond. That ends next month. My daughter, on her own, found more work in order to be self sufficient and to start over, working two jobs, working to exhaustion some 18 hour days, managed to get her own apartment in a nice area of town, furnish it over time off Craigslist, make new friends now that he was no longer in control and isolatiog her, and she benefited from the one year of counselling the Victim Services offered to her and lucked out with a wonderful therapist who really knew how to communicate with Emelia at her level. Her level of mistrust, victimization, sadness, sarcasm, and high intellect. Emelia is the Gold Standard for women in domestic violence situations. she never let it happen a second time. She did not go back even though it would have been the easiest thing to do because he had the money, the home, all she had to do was tow the line and hope that something she said didn’t brew and boil over in his paranoid, narcisstic mind. All she had to do was walk on eggshells. She chose the hard road. And it was hard. There were many phone calls home crying, sobbing, scared for the future, was it worth it? Was she doing the right thing? Her body was aching, exhausted. She missed him. she missed the man in the times he wasn’t emotionally abusive and controlling, But she could not erase the memory of trying to escape and the beating getting worse as she tried to get out the door. She remembered her terror at leaving her cat in the apartment and worrying what he would do to him to get to her. She used her common sense, and she continued on a difficult, often isolated journey away from him and towards herself.
It has been a year. She is a new person. She is physically healthier, mentally healing, has a new job with lots of potential for income and growth, an apartment that is hers, and hers only, with furniture that is hers, and hers only. She will be buying a car this week to commute to her new job. She is on her way.Many women who were beaten a year ago by their boyfriends or husbands remain in that living situation. Some left and went back. Others made excuses, thought they could change him, thought if they only acted differently themselves he would stop getting mad
and using their body to take it out on. My daughter said once is too much, and fought her emotional instincts to go back. She followed her head not her heart. She will fall back in love one day, when she is ready. She still doesn’t trust totally. She still carries hurt from that day. But she is laughing again. She likes what she sees when she looks in the mirror. She has made new friends, not friends he approves of. She has rekindled friendships he did not allow. Emelia has defined herself at 25. She is a courageous, smart, kind, giving person, who wants to be loved, one day, by a man who will never put his hands on her except in affection. She is a self made woman, who came back from the brink of darkness and horror, and did it all by herself. As all women of abuse must. People can help you do it, but you have to make the decision to reach out and take what they are offering. Too many turn their backs and return to the darkness because it is easier.
Emelia Coryn is a warrior princess. She is not one to mess with. She is the true definition of an independent woman in 2015, and she is going to make a difference in the world. She is an artist, a writer, a cat and dog mom, an athlete, a tough mudder, an evolving gardener, a loyal friend, who has overcome disappointments in her life with grace and a lot of humour.

That’s MY girl.

Until next time, be brave, be fabulous.
Sian Erith Thomson

Operation Weasel Removal: AKA the ferret, the sledgehammer and my kitchen

Sunday is a day of rest, right? I like to think of it as such, especially with my life as I am lucky to rest, alone with my thoughts, free of demands made of my mother status, even whilst on the toilet. In fact, going there must send out a red alert to the previously occupied children that it is time to have a big fight with each other, make the dog yelp, break a window, or tell the Jehovah’s witness at the door that “mom is going poo, she will be there in a second.”

I have to plan my sleep-in days like a military operation. It requires a great deal of intelligence on “the enemy” (aka my children and pets and even my mother who, as an old person, goes to bed at like 7 pm, is up bright and early at 6 am and likes to call!) When her husband does this it is even worse because he sounds really really cheerful.

I am telling you, it is a war out there! A war against the most basic of human rights…..SLEEP!

That’s me third from the right ..marching like a warrior.

Reconnaissance,  counter-insurgency, target acquisition, perhaps a convoy to ensure my peace and quiet in restful, mouth-open slumber for just a couple more hours.

Ya’ think????????????

Today is a perfect example of a planned Sunday morning sleep in. The insurgents??? Three teenagers, a ferret, and a sledge hammer and my dogs.

This is how it went down.

Sunday morning at 8:00 a.m. Phone rings. My son is calling me from the soon-to-be-vacant house I am putting up for sale and currently working on FIXING IT UP A  LITTLE!!

“Hi mom? Can I tear the kitchen apart?”

Me, thinking he is looking for something to eat, “No there is no food there anymore.”

Him, irritated, like I am supposed to know exactly why he needs to “tear my kitchen apart”, “My ferret stuck her head in a hole by the dishwasher, well, sort of a hole. We have to take it apart, we have a sledge hammer.”

Me…silence as I try to wake up a little from my intended noon sleep in mission.

“What hole?” I ask.

Capital letters now because he is annoyed and talking to me like I am a deaf dense old lady. |”IT’S HARD TO EXPLAIN, WE JUST HAVE TO CHOP OUT SOME STUFF AND TAKE THE CUPBOARD APART.”

Me…”Well I guess if yo have to do this to save the ferret’s life, ok, but……”

Him, “That’s all we needed to know.”

Click.

Then I hear my cell phone beep and since I have one eye open anyway, I reach over and look.

Here is the photo he sent me.

(please note all kitchen cupboard doors had been ON yesterday when I was there CLEANING up the kitchen!) And I think that’s a drill on the counter next to someone’s shoes!!!

And this is NOT my ferret….I don’t care for ferrets…they make me stand on a chair when I see one…..it is not even supposed to be at the house.

So Operation Ferret Recovery was completed with the ferret being alive and well and drinking alot (as I am right now) with, sadly, the cupboard doors “accidentally” splitting in half (I suspect the sledge hammer combined with teenage panic) and the bottom shelf of the under-the-sink cupboard suffering grave injuries.  Not to mention to carved hole in the corner to the left of the ferrets head….I am sure this will all make for glorious selling features!!

My son said that he and his friend would “look for” some wood clue today and try to glue the cupboard back to a whole from two halves.

So, I hung up the phone, rolled over and went back to sleep, hoping to survive the “War on Slumber.” Problem is my dogs were determined not to wave the white flag.

My daughter Emma who got into bed to sleep with me suddenly asked ” What’s that smell?”
I guess one, or five of the dogs decided to drop some “biological” weapons because they had been kept contained too long. Dammit.

So I gave up. And not quietly. I kind of had a tantrum. I threw the covers back dramatically mumbling a profane run-on-sentence that certainly lacked decorum, stomped out of bed and right onto an improvised “land mine” left by one of my loose-boweled canines.

This was not my finest hour.

Until next time, remember, hiding under the covers can be fabulous.
Sian Erith Thomson

Queen for a Day.

queen elizabeth
I could have been someone young, thin, sexy, hot, a talented singer, dancer, entertainer, just like the people sitting next to me on stage at the Tidemark Theater last Friday night. The world was my oyster. My mind was free to be whoever I chose. In public, on stage and raising money for any cause I could think of.

Tina Turner was up there raising money for people with red roofs. Michael Buble was raising money for the Clothes for Dogs society, PINK was raising money for the fitness of cats, and I am pretty sure it was  Beyonce raising money for the Checkers for Children Foundation.  I didn’t pick up what Arnold Schwarzeneggar’s mother was raising money for but I can well imagine.
I was sitting next to Jennifer Aniston who spoke passionately about her cause: The ducks, the ducks in central park. They are dying you know, it’s the mud. They need a new irrigation system to put air inside the mud so the ducks can live.
I have been short and fat all my life. Smart? Yes. Loyal? Yes. A figurehead in my family? Yes, I think so. Charitable? The first to go to bat for a worthy charity? Absolutely. I even have some nice jewelry and happen to look good in hats. But what the hell was I thinking?  In my deep state of hypnosis, with my imagination on crack apparently, I announced to the entire theatre that I was Queen Elizabeth, in a perfectly crisp upper class British accent, and I was raising money for the men in the British Parliament to be able to have ladies undergarments to wear under their suits (because you know, according to Elizabeth Windsor, they are all cross dressers and terribly mortified to go into  Marks and Spencer’s and buy their own brassieres.)
WTF?

Why was I not Angelina Jolie (beautifully sculptured cheek bones, not an ounce of fat on her and gets to sleep with Brad Pitt – dammit) No. I am an 82 year old short plump slightly bad tempered monarch who gets to sleep with Prince Philip every second Thursday and one Saturday a month……come on!!!!

Now my excuse is I don’t remember any of this. Well, I sort of do now that the fog of hypnosis is wearing off, and of course everywhere I have gone in the three days since has generated giggles, smirks, whispers, and in Walmart, one man in the cucumber section asking me if I was still “her majesty”. An older lady held the door open in the bank today and I thought that wasn’t right so I said so. She just bowed and said “Your majesty”.  Of course going to work this morning was not helpful. I gather the Queen of England was not above copping a feel when the hypnotist, Wayne Lee, suggested to me that when the music started he would appear to be the hottest, sexiest man alive and I was going to dance with him. There was nothing prim and proper about it. We slow danced.  I grabbed his buttocks. Twice.
Then it got out I guess that Wayne Lee told certain people on stage that whenever he turned his back to us we would believe he was butt naked. My boss decided to try this today at work. Several times. Let’s just say he’s no Wayne Lee!
I learned later that if I was to ever play in a famous orchestra, I would be the drummer. Somewhere in between Keith Moon and someone with Parkinsons whose meds haven’t kicked in yet. I also learned that I suck at being a butterfly and am fairly certain I exacerbated my Carpel Tunnel syndrome while fluttering on stage showing my ‘best moves’.
The only reason I was there was because I had written an article about the event for my newspaper, where I am a small town reporter (often reminded of this when angry people phone up because they don’t like what I wrote.) So I got two free tickets. I invited Jennifer Aniston aka Jacquie from sales to go with me from the office. Neither of us thought for a second we would “go under” and almost didn’t go up on stage until the hypnotist said “you will feel like you have had the best sleep ever”. Simultaneously we looked at each other and said ‘we’re in’. How can you tell we have kids at home.
‘Jennifer’ was worried she was going to take her clothes off. She asked me time and time again leading up to the night, as if I KNEW, “I am not gonna take my clothes off am I?” She didn’t, but she did run her fingers suggestively through the hypnotist’s hair after the Queen of England was finished fondling his ass.
We remained in character for the entire intermission with the audience being instructed to not let any of us leave the building. Our job was to go out into the lobby and get donations for our cause. We were also asked for autographs. When word got out that the Queen was raising money for transvestites, well, let’s just say I had a line up of subjects waiting to toss me a quarter if I would just repeat – again– what I was raising money for. Reportedly my accent stayed intact. I was stoic, slightly pompous, and refused to sign somebody’s arm because, according to her majesty, it was ‘impertinent.”
When we returned to the stage, Wayne Lee collected the money and said he was donating it to Hospice. A great cause. Especially because I have felt like dying ever since the morning after because I cannot go anywhere without someone referencing my royal heritage. This town is not big enough for me and Liz.
I couldn’t sleep that night when I got home because, yes, it’s true, I already felt I had put a good night’s sleep in. I went to the follow-up seminar the next day with the sole intent of writing about it, but instead I was drawn into the philosophy and spirit behind the concept of the power of suggestion, exploring the unlimited potential of the human mind which is obviously capable of leading us anywhere.
I have had a tough couple of years. Stress. Grief. Disappointment. Fear. Did I already list stress?This guy’s sole mission is to help people get from where they are to where they want to be. and achieve that with gusto. I am usually too tired for gusto.
But if it takes the Queen of England banging on a drum and saving all the members of parliament from Victoria’s Secret, if it takes her majesty to get to the bottom of things and do so with the voice of my beloved (deceased) mum, then so be it.
I’m in.
Until next time, strive for fabulous (with some Crown jewels thrown in)
Sian Erith Thomson