It's funny. Not funny "Ha Ha", but funny "strange" how little things happen in life from time to time, to give you a sense of the Supernatural, of Destiny, even a sense of a big hand guiding your body through the twists and turns of life. A hand that's locked in step with your soul, leading you to a predetermined conclusion.
That conclusion, or destination if you prefer, being death. The End. Your movie is over. Roll the credits.
All the while, the theme from "The Twilight Zone" blares at you from speakers that look like hearts. Human hearts.
Sometimes it seems that your shadow knows where you are headed before you do. It's always there before you are, isn't it? Just try to beat it, you can't.
The Shadow knows. It wakes you just in time to hear the blaring horn and the headlights coming straight at you. At the last possible second you whip the wheel around, and the station wagon with the man, his wife, and their 2.5 kids go by you in slow motion. Yet, not slow enough that the man's middle finger isn't telling you just how much he appreciates you.
Your car is in that out of control skid. Your mind is telling you that it is all over. You even have time for every regret you've ever had to flash through your mind.
All the while you wait for the big ending.
Somehow that guiding hand has kicked your shadow in it's ass, and said shadow helps you maneuver the car in just the perfect way to avoid having your Pastor speaking words at your grave site.
You are sitting there shaking, thanking what ever God you believe in, that you are still breathing and in one piece.
You realize that your radio is on. The same Rock station that you've listened to since you were a teenager that got his first car, so long ago.
Songs. You realize just how much songs mean to you at that moment. Not for the first time, you wonder if there are songs in Heaven, besides hymns that is.
Hell, all the best guys and girls are up there already. Surely they are all jamming together. God wouldn't have taken all of that talent that he created in the first place, put it all together in one location and not be enjoying it, would He?
Your mind, still a little rattled, has you thinking about how certain songs at the right time have changed your life. Songs that came out of the radio at JUST the right moment.
You remember being a junior and finally getting that little skirt that you've chased all year up to the local "Make out" point. You've blown your whole paycheck from the local burger joint to "Wine and Dine" her at an upscale restaraunt that's way out of your league. You think you are the man of her dreams now, yet she is only mildly impressed.
You're not rich, not a jock, not even particularly good looking. You're just a frustrated teenager tired of taking care of things by your own hand. She probably only went out with you to get you off her back. A pity date, if you will.
But again, there is still that big unseen guiding hand that has given you your own gift.
You are a Dreamer, a hopeless Romantic. You've been given something deep inside that at just the right moment can come to the surface and shine like a fire in your eyes.
It's a fire that will burn long after the jock gets bad knees, and long after this year's sex symbol can't hide the wrinkles or the receding hairlines any longer.
A song at the right moment...
You can't even work up the nerve to try to kiss her. The conversation has died a slow agonizing death. You just know the "Take me home" is coming at any second.
In desperation you turn on that local Rock station. The one constant in your life has always been the music, the songs.
Your shadow takes pity on you.
And just like that, it happens. The right song at the absolute right time.
A sad sweet love song unravels from the speakers with the haunting piano of a "Beth" or a "Three Times A Lady". Whatever it is, you know from her expression that it is one of her favorite songs. The eyes meet. The fire in your soul shows through your eyes. It reaches out to touch her own soul, her secret places. Your hands follow, making all of the right moves, in all of the right places.
Your lips meet after an eternity. She is yours.
And like so many before you, you silently thank God for that DJ.
Another horn blasts you back into the here and now. You get your car straightened out and head on to your destination, still thinking about that night. All due to a song.
A song at the right time, like happened a week ago.
I was on my way south to Florida to visit my mother. I thought I knew every mile of the way there, but somehow found myself on the loneliest stretch of highway I had ever seen in my life. The clock on my dash said that it was just after Midnight. I hadn't seen a house for what had to be at least 50 miles. No stores or gas stations either.
I finally passed a sign that read "CARRSVILLE CITY LIMIT POPULATION 1597".
Right after I passed that lonely looking sign, two things happened that I believe changed my life forever. Oh, they weren't big things. One might even say they were Inconsequential at the time.
But, when I look back on them now, I have to say that I just don't know.
The first thing that happened was that suddenly those first soft guitar chords of "Hotel California" reached my ears like a cry for help from a drowning man.
Yes, it hit me that hard.
It is one of my all time favorite songs, and I swear to God that it seemed like the radio knew it.
Call it that Shadow, or whatever you will, but it whispered to me. It demanded that I turn that song up.
I did. Then the second thing happened.
Suddenly, as if from nowhere, and I mean NOWHERE, I saw the bright neon sign of the "CARRSVILLE MOTOR INN", just blinking away. It just appeared like a lighthouse on a foggy reef. Before I could even think on it at the time, the radio sang those fateful words to me.
"My head grew heavy, and my sight grew dim. I had to stop for the night."
I'm telling you, I could hardly keep my eyes open. This shocked the hell out of me as I was loaded to the gills with the drugstore "Keep you awake" med's.
Don't ask me how THAT worked, because I have no idea. Even now, as I'm writing this I'm hearing that damn "Twilight Zone" music in my head.
Fucking creepy, man!
"You from around here?" asked the boring voice of the night clerk. She was a boring woman, with boring eyes, a boring face, and dirty blonde hair. No, not Dirty Blonde. Just dirty.
"No I'm not, Ma'am. I'm on my way South and decided I better get a room before I fell asleep at the wheel and killed myself or some other nice people. You DO have a room, don't you Ma'am?"
"Well, I'll tell ya something. This being the off season and such, all of our rooms are in the process of being remodeled. They are all a mess except for two of them. Those would be 17 and 26, but 26 is Crazy Fred's room."
"Ole Fred is the local drunk, huh?"
"No, he's the local Lunatic. He's the reason 17 hasn't been touched. That room hasn't been rented in seven years. Y'see there was an accident in that room seven years ago, and Crazy Fred runs around telling people that there's a ghost in that room. Crazy, huh? A real Looney Tunes. But, the out of towner's listen to him and never rent 17. I can't even get a cleaning crew to go in there, but it's available if ya want it."
"So why do you keep the crazy old coot around?"
"His money is green. Do you want the room or not?" Now she was back to using her bored "I got out of bed for this" voice.
"Well, Ma'am. I never did believe in ghosts."
The key had to be forced into the hole and bent almost to the breaking point before the lock gave way with a dull click. Long un-oiled hinges squealed in protest as I slowly pushed the door open. The stale air hit me in the old sniffer with a force just short of a fist. I walked in, and jumped as the door slammed shut behind me.
Think of every low budget horror flick you've ever seen and you'll get the picture.
There was enough moonlight filtered through the curtains for me to be able to see the outline of the bed. The smell of the room told me that I really didn't want to see the rest of it, so I never bothered even trying the light switch.
I sat down on the bed and the springs shrieked, playing on my nerves like an off key note on a badly out of tune guitar. I just kicked off my shoes and laid down, wincing at the banshee wailing of the springs.
Without even realizing it, I slipped into sleep.
Millions of Green eyes.
Floating ... I'm floating in a sea of Green eyes ... or is it tears?
Yes ... Yes, it's tears ... The eyes are crying ... A million Green eyes ... Crying a million tears ... for a million years ... Now there are mouths ... A million sets of lips to go with the eyes ... Those Green eyes ... crying eyes ... The lips are moving ... Talking? ... Sounds like "Billy" ... Can't be sure..."I love you, Billy"..."Billy?"..."I love you" ... Now the lips are trying to kiss me ... A million lips trying to kiss me ... Can't breathe ... Suffocating ... Something warm in my mouth ... All those lips ... Eyes..."Billy!"..."I love you, Billy..."BILLY!"
The eyes are now two. They ARE green. They ARE crying. Oh, God help me, they are beautiful ... As is the face ... Her face ... Cleopatra? ... Helen of Troy? ... No, none of these are even close ... All the beauty in the world came together to form the perfection of this face ... Her face ... HER face!
.... There is more of this story ...