Friday, April 26, 2013


Phantomwise. What a cool word. Thanks, Lewis Carroll. Or is it Mr. Dodgson? Whomever you are, your brain was superb. And I am haunted by many things, phantomwise. You can tell, if you read most of my stuff. I have all these people and places and songs and memories running rampant in my head, like some mad tribe of loonies- and whenever I am writing, they leap out of my head, escaped convicts wrongfully imprisoned in my mind. I don't know if that's true for everyone, but it's certainly true for me. If you come to the reading tonight of my latest play, APRIL'S FOOL, at the Fine Arts Center in Colorado Springs, you'll see what I mean. It's at 7:30, and tickets are only $5. So what's you're excuse? The only person I am giving a hall pass to for missing tonight is my good friend Timothy McCracken, and that is because he is appearing in the Curious Theatre's God of Carnage- which by all accounts rocks, and you should all go see. (just don't see it tonight- come see my reading tonight)

So, since the play has so many phantoms, I thought I'd tell you about the one time I ever saw a ghost. Well, two ghosts, really. It was long ago and far away in the land called New York City. I was living on the upper east side, in this apartment that was given the name Castle Von Doom by the great Vinnie Penna. Lots of crazy things happened there- parties, people, moments in time that are part of the make up of a lot of people. It was this split level apartment with one true bedroom, and its own backyard, which is beyond rare in NYC. At one time or another, over twenty artists have lived there. When I met the ghosts, I was splitting the downstairs area with my brother Jerry. One night, Jerry was snoring loud enough to raise the dead- which seems to not be a figure of speech but what actually happened. I was laying in bed, yelling at him to please stop snoring. It was somewhere near 3 am. All of a sudden, I felt very calm, and sort of other-worldly. I can't really describe exactly what it was like- a sort of quiet feeling, as if I was watching what was happening to me from far away. There was a spiral stairway in the apartment, and something was moving on it. I turned, and saw a young girl, maybe 8 or 9 years old, and a little boy, maybe 5 or 6, coming down the stairs. They stopped at the bottom of the stairs, the girl in front and the boy peeking out from behind her. We looked at each other for what seemed like a very long time, and then the girl spoke. "Don't be afraid", she said. "We just want you to know we are here. And there are many of us." She seemed very at peace. The boy did not. He looked kind of crazy- the crazy that happens to people who have had very bad things happen to them. I got the sense they were brother and sister. But I don't know. Then the girl said "We want to show you". And I was- well, given a vision. It was weird. I was still sitting in my bed, but they were showing me this huge room, full of people frozen in these strange positions. When I say the room was huge, I mean somewhere between a ball room and Grand Central Station. I can still see, clearly, this one lady frozen in emotion- either laughing or crying. Ever notice how similar the two are? Then, just as quickly, the vision was gone, and I was again sitting in my bed, and the two children were standing at the bottom of the stairs. Then they walked up the stairs, and sort of vanished as they climbed. And then I freaked out. I woke my brother up, who somehow slept through the entire thing.

I did not sleep that night.

So maybe I'm crazy. But that happened.

Come see the reading tonight and ask me about it. Again, it's at 7:30, at the Fine Arts Center in Colorado Springs.

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