Chapter 2

THE PARANORMAL

- Maybe that was the problem. You made him too important.

- I am still able to muster up some mental strength to ask him if he’s been doing okay and if his other bands are doing well, if they’d been performing a lot…etc. He shrugs his shoulders as if life has been a little tedious and says yes. Then, he returns my question, “How about you? How are things?” I tell him that things weren’t going well and that I had no future.

- Why didn’t you have a future?

- My English hadn’t been clear. I wanted to say that I didn’t know where I was heading, that I thought everything was going to come down around me, that one day my savings would deplete, that I wouldn’t be able to travel, that my work schedule could change and affect my performances, but all I said was, “I have no future!”

- What did he say?

- “If you come to London, I’ll be happy to play for you. I like to play with the band.” But, he immediately tells me not to get angry if, at times, he can’t perform with me and has to miss some of my gigs, being that he had private lessons which he gave to ten students at random days/times. I started doing the math. The typical price for lessons is 25 pounds per student per week. With 10 students he made 1000 pounds a month – the same amount that I made at the job I’d held for years. As he also taught in music schools, I came to the conclusion that, he earned a lot more than me. But he was lying.

- Why? He didn’t have 10 students?

- I believe that he did, but he lied about why he couldn’t make it to probably all of my future gigs. He couldn’t make it because of schedule conflicts with his other bands and not because of his private classes which he could easily reschedule. His other bands were his priority. I think that he didn’t want to hurt me by saying this to me directly. I reply that I’d replace him. He makes a stop sign with his hand like he had before and says that if I had given him a month’s notice about possible performances he could move his agenda around. Immediately after this, his face goes stiff and he leans back as if his face were on fire. I don’t know what he conjectured, but I guess now he assumed that I was referring to a permanent replacement when in fact I was speaking of a temporary replacement on the days in which he couldn’t make it.

- Why didn’t you clear up the misunderstanding?

- It was as if my mind went blank due to my exhaustion. I couldn’t think straight. I hadn’t even noticed that I’d created a misunderstanding. He leaves me and I notice that he’s not with the other band members, but sitting on a chair, alone. Feeling gloomy, he watches some men playing billiards. I saw that the doors of the basement had opened and that the performers who were present in the pub had gone down for their sound check. I continued where I was, leaning on the same column. Then, I headed down for sound check too and got livid when I saw the stage. How would a band fit on that? The band members keep their calm and go talk to the promoter to try and understand how to distribute themselves on such a small space. The stage floor level, between two walls and there is a small stone step on the lip of the stage.  The drummer and the bass player would be on stage and I would stand on the step and the guitarists would stand on either side of me. With my hand on my forehead, I turn to my open mic friend and say, “August open mics, please return! The conditions were much better and there was always a big audience!” He looks at me, squeezes his lips as if to say, it’s not worth getting upset about it, we’d have to adapt to this situation. The band discovers that the pub has only got one pedal for the electric guitar. We needed two because we had two electric guitars. The incompatible guitarist offers to go home and get his pedal since he lived closer than my open mic friend. Still, my guitarist gives him his underground pass to compensate his effort. We return upstairs and I remain next to the same column. The band is somewhere around the pub. A guy with a guitar approaches me and asks if I’m the headline singer. I insecurely say that I am, smile and remain silent. He thinks I want to be alone and wishes me luck for my performance and leaves. I’d been standing next to the column for so long that I think the heat from my body would soon melt it, making it disappear causing me to fall onto the floor into a deep sleep. The drummer tells me that the performances are about to begin. The door to the basement opens and everyone, audience and artists, go down the stairs. The band sits at a table, but I decide to sit on the first step, alone. It was 8:40 p.m. I remain seated here until 11 p.m. Their table looked like a table of men and before being segregated, I decided to voluntarily isolate myself once more.

- What a stuffy atmosphere...

- My problem in life always concerned isolation. I thought that in music I would shine in a fabulous, happy world full of fun people, but here I was, alone again. I could hardly breathe because of my nerves due of this absurd situation. Why wasn’t my life changing into a better one? It was 8:40 p.m. The placed looked like an open mic because most performances were acoustic where each artist would perform songs they wrote accompanied by a guitar. When I thought I wouldn’t be seeing any bands other than mine that night a group enters consisting of guitarists and synthesizers, although they didn’t have a drummer. Right about the time of my performance, a lot of people start to leave. It was 11 p.m. I ask a woman of about 20 years old who had gone there to celebrate her birthday with a large group of friends to stick around a little longer to see my performance. She apologizes and says that she can’t because of the public transport. It was starting to get too late. I understand because the band and I would have the same problem being that the underground closes at midnight.

- How did your performance go?

- I had been sleeping terribly for days and I had gotten up that day only having slept 3 hours. Consequently, at 11 p.m., I was more like a zombie who wanted to go sleep in a coffin. I wanted to run from this pub which now had only a few people present. During my performance I forgot some lyrics. The drummer was thrown off by this and started speeding up. Some hours ago my open mic friend had done the same thing he’d done at rehearsal a week before: asked the other guitarist about the beats and chords and a few other things. I understood that he hadn’t practiced at home. A lot of the responsibility was on the shoulders of the other guitarist. At one point the promoter approaches my open mic friend and tells him to play with more emphasis – we were on our final song, “Times”. Beforehand, when I had forgotten some of the lyrics, the promoter took advantage of the transition between songs to interrupt and say that what mattered was that we were all having a good time and clapped enthusiastically. I was stressing out about my performance, I started to feel my back full of water. I was transpiring so much. The sweat beads were rolling down my spine. Not even in Egypt when I travelled there on vacation many years beforehand had I transpired like this!

- You have to stop being so stressed out! Even if everything is going up in flames around you, smile! The world doesn’t want our problems. It wants our smile!

- In the end the promoter helped the band pack the drum set and the amps. The promoter approached me, having noticed that I was circumspect and somber, grabbed my hand and told me to smile. Hours before this he had looked at me and said, “You have the look.” I smiled and thought that maybe the combination of the stage lights, a few pints of beer, and my genes hid the fact that I was almost twice the age of the other band members.

- Age doesn’t matter. What matters is your attitude towards life! That is what makes the difference. You are a hero!

- Do you think? Life gives us proof of being strong, weak, heroes and cowards – simultaneously. Going on...outside the pub I pay each of the musicians in the band. My open mic friend tells the others that we should use the over ground train. I’m surprised by this because in August he had never caught the over ground to go home and because I had to use the underground to get to the hotel. The others disagree and decided to take the underground home. Moments before this, as I sat on the step of the pub basement waiting for my turn to perform I noticed my open mic friend checking his voice mail now and again. While performances were underway, cell phones had to be in silent mode. Aside from him, neither I nor the other band members were interested in consulting our voice mail. In August he had no girlfriend but now I believed he was hanging out with that Filipino girl with big boobies that I talked to you about.

- Maybe it was her asking, “Honey, what time are you getting home?”

- Besides checking his voice mail and talking to the other band members, he’d often look at me. I was obviously pleased by this because it meant that he’d still maintained some sort of emotional connection with me and was somewhat worried about me. Instead of smiling at him, I yawn. We, including my guitarist, headed to the underground and I gave them (with the exception of the incompatible guitarist, who seemed to live off air) the remaining packaged sandwiches I’d bought earlier in the day. In the basement, right before we went on, the open mic guitarist had already asked me for a sandwich to eat. I gave it to him, but I had a lot more in my bag. It was now around midnight and we were crossing a park, full of trees on our way to the underground station. I was walking a little further ahead and as I threw one of the empty sandwich packages in the trash I say something completely unexpected! I didn’t premeditate it, nor did I have time to contemplate it!

- What did you say?

- “This is the last time you will ever see my face! You don’t need me for anything! You have your own bands!” I said this as I emphatically and vehemently threw various empty containers into the trash. I don’t know how I was able to open my mouth and say those words because I needed them so badly to perform in London! I swear that I don’t know how I went and said what I did!

- I’m going to sound like you now: It was destiny! They left. And? The world is a very big place! 

- After that sentence exploded from me, they, who had been walking and talking casually, were now in an absolute silence which made the whole night audible in the park. After a few seconds of this sepulchral silence they continued their conversations as if nothing had happened. Near the underground station my open mic friend tells the others that in August I’d also said some things that made no sense, but that I’d end up returning to London and in a chorus led by him, they chant: “Ninfa, Ninfa! How are you feeling?”

- When your friend wanted to, he knew how to be fun.

- Yes, he had a sense of humor. At the underground station, the train did something I’d never experienced: it was stopped at the station; doors opened seeming to be waiting for something! I had already entered the train and was sitting facing the platform. The train windows made me visible from the outside. It was as if my face was paralyzed. I seemed unable to smile. The only person I could see was the open mic guitarist who, although he had his back to me, turned his head in my direction, smiles with a grimace (imitating me), trying to make me smile. Having noticed that I wasn’t reacting, he turned his back to me, offended. The train starts to make noise, like a smoking dragon. This is the sign that the train is going to start moving. I see the drummer and the bass player now approaching the window in front of me to say goodbye. The train seems to take an eternity to move! How many times had I run to try and catch the train? It would never wait for me. It would take off immediately and now it seemed to be waiting for my destiny and the recording.

- Recording?

- Yes. This scene where they said goodbye would be recorded into my memory and in theirs. The scene I recorded gave me the strength to search for new places to perform in London. The scene they recorded gave them courage to be assholes. They would not forgive me for the look that I had on my face, which for them probably indicated that I didn’t like them.

- You didn’t smile and you didn’t say goodbye, is that it?

- Yes. Sitting facing the platform I could see all of them: the bass player waving goodbye. Moments before this, while we were walking through the underground station toward my platform to get to my hotel he’d said that things hadn’t been all that bad and that there was no reason why I shouldn’t return. The drummer was also waving goodbye. I believe he did everything he could to help me. Maybe that’s why the indifference on my face may have upset him. Maybe he was asking himself whether I blamed him for anything. He tried to muster up a timid smile, as I looked at him without expressing any emotion. Moments before as we walked to the station, the open mic guitarist said that my performance had been much better than rehearsal that previous Saturday and that overall, I had gotten a lot better. My open mic guitarist says goodbye to me in a playful manner, transforming his hand in what seemed to be a windshield wiper as he said goodbye and said, “I know these games of yours…you’re going to come back!”

- You don´t need them. It´s over.

- Yes, it´s true. It´s over but can I tell you a funny story still related to what happened on that December 7th after the gig in the park. Do you want to hear it?

- Of course I do!

- In the park, when I said that suicidal sentence a fox appeared in front of me out of nowhere. I think it was a female. Her walked looked like a trot in which her hips rolled from side to side like a vain wench! A fox, which continued to walk in front of me even after we reached the end of the park and were already on the sidewalk with cars passing on the road nearby! I had never seen a fox in all the years I had been living in the countryside and now, in London, I was looking at one!

- Phenomenal things always happen to angels like you!

- I arrive in Portugal the next day, on a Saturday afternoon. It was winter, but the day was sunny. I would have preferred it to have been raining to feel a deeper connection with my bad mood. Miles before I get home I’m stuck in traffic for over an hour because the traffic had been stopped due to a religious procession. I say to myself, “I can’t believe this!” I have left London, depressed and was avoiding thinking at any cost. I had slept the entire flight and driven home from the airport with my radio turned up loud so as not to have silence in order to avoid thinking! Now, waiting for the religious procession to go by I was stuck with time to think. No way! I won´t think but complain! I complained with destiny that my life wasn’t good! I did this while listening to the loud radio with my car doors open! It was hot inside the car! The sun was hitting my car and the monotonous religious chants were warming up my nerves. With so many people in the world why don’t people help one another? Isn’t that what religion is?  Helping our neighbor? 

- Forget ideals and philosophies if you want to live better in this mundane world!

-Sixteen days later it was Christmas Eve and I sent a text message to my open mic guitarist and to the drummer wishing them a happy holiday season. The text message also announced that I was going to start looking for new performances in London. No one replied to my message. Christmas came and then New Years and no one gave me their best wishes.

- Didn’t you assume they had left?

- It seems stupid but I didn´t. The day after Christmas I search online and apply to promoters for new gigs. One of them checks out my website and sends me an email on January 2nd congratulating me for my dedication and contribution to music and gives me four different performance venues in London. A Portuguese female promoter, working and living in London, also offers me a date to perform in a pub in “Camden Town”. Five performances in January and February! I was happy! On that same day, feeling very positive, I send an email to my open mic friend and to the drummer informing them of the many gigs I had lined up. The following day, the drummer replies. I had to read his email several times because I couldn’t believe what I was reading.

- What did he say?

- “I have no more time for you. It was good, all of us having worked together. It was a good experience. As you’d said you wouldn’t be returning to London, I got a new employer. Good luck!”

- Was he speaking in the name of all the band members?

- No. I send him an email asking him if he was being serious or if he was just trying to scare me. I asked him to reconsider his decision because we were talking about five performances being that I had already reserved my flights. I called him. He continued to say that he didn’t have time and that the only thing he could do for me was to ask the rest of the band members if they were available. He told me he was on holiday in France, that he was on winter break. He told me very kindly that he wouldn’t be able to find me musicians, not even a d-d-drummer – he couldn’t say the word drummer. I ask if he’d spoken to my friend. He said that since our performance on the 7th of December he hadn’t. I knew that they weren’t close friends.

- I bet you decided to contact you tarot card reader! Right?

- Right. On that same day I asked him to give me an urgent reading. On the phone he’s rude and unwillingly agrees to schedule a reading. Maybe he was insecure, maybe I had more faith in him than he himself did. I realized that I needed to stop with this need to consult psychics. The tarot card reader told me he’d have to check his schedule. Later he sends me a text message: “Tomorrow at 5:30 p.m. if you can.” I am able to make it on the day and time he suggests. His main job was in computer technology. He was an engineer.

- This was the person in whom you placed your hope?

- I know it seems absurd, but I was on the verge of a mental breakdown. I had deposited all my hopes, my entire life project in music. Music, I thought, would be my passport to a new world…What was I going to do now? Making a new band would be difficult, take time and I was tired of the stress. The new year was starting off badly and I needed hope!

- Stress is just a mental process! You have to change the pattern of that process. That´s all!

- You’re right, but I wasn’t able to avoid my panic. I had been able to cheer up since my last stay in London. Do you know that on my departure on December 8th, I was in the airport bathroom and I started crying compulsively for no apparent reason? Standing, with my pants down at my ankles, my underwear on, I started to look around at the toilet, the stall walls, the ceiling, my suitcase and my pants and I don’t know why, but I started crying uncontrollably. I suffocated my crying with a tissue so as not to be audible. After exiting the bathroom I got on the line to check in and something funny happened!

- What happened?

- At check in, a couple’s bag sets off the metal detectors and the inspectors find that the cause of the problem is a plastic vibrator whose batteries were still in place!

- What a scene! Back to your January reading, what did he see in your cards?

- I wanted to know if although I’d lost the drummer, the other band members were going to remain in the band. I was waiting for an email reply.

- I don’t know why you didn’t just wait for the email to see what the response was! 

- I was so anxious that I needed to know what the future held for me. I didn´t care if they were bad or good things. I just didn´t want any more surprises. I hate them! He dealt the ace of clubs. The tarot reader shrugged his shoulders and relaxed them as if the card had given a stupid answer whose meaning was pointless to unravel. He said that the card was in reference to work and dodged answering my question about the permanence of the remaining elements in the band. He changes the subject.

- Did you really think that this tarot guy was able to predict your future?!

- Yeah, I know it doesn’t make much sense...but on that day my powers to judge were disabled. Back to the story: he asks me to tell him what had happened in London that could have possibly triggered all these recent events. For about 30 minutes I retell the story of what happened as he occasionally chimes in with his personal opinion. He tells me that perhaps they’d sensed that I hadn’t shown them proper appreciation! I smile. I tell him that I had taken time to buy them sandwiches and cigarettes. I had bought them good quality sandwiches and warned them that smoking kills!

- You are funny cutie.

- Yes I am! I continue to retell the story, but in reality I don’t want to. He wanted to listen to my sorrows but also wanted me to be smiley and relaxed as I told it. Would this make him more empathetic to me? "Calm down and don’t be so defeated! Don’t be so sad and discouraged," he tells me. "I think I look normal! Can you tell that I’m defeated?” I reply. "From miles away!" he answers. I reflect, "I think I'm relatively calm! How do I look when I'm really upset? Holy shit! I'm transparent!" He insisted in trying to change my state of mind and warned me that if I continued being so down, I would interrupt the energy flows and more things would crumble around me! He insists that I should not let myself get down just because of the possible breakup of the band and that I had to be persistent and optimistic. He also proposes a solution, “You need to have some replacement musicians in your back pocket so that if, by any chance one day someone can’t make it you’re not stuck in a rut!”

- Does that exist? A back pocket of musicians?

- Yes: an agenda full of contacts in the music industry and if these don’t happen to be friends, then a back pocket full of money to hire some. I don´t have these contacts, nor do I have the money. Thirty minutes went by and he was now preparing to give a detailed reading of the cards. Our topics of conversation seemed to have run out. Now, the tarot cards were going to do the talking. He is interrupted by his ringing cell phone. It was his wife. She wanted to know who was going to pick the kids up from school. Her voice is authoritative and annoying. The tarot card reader is fifty-five years old and this was his second marriage. He had no children from his previous marriage. Moments before this he had revealed that a few years earlier he had done a lot of travelling - including to Brazil and New Zealand. I asked if he had visited Australia. Not yet. Our meeting that day was at his mother-in-law’s house and not at his own. I don’t know why.

- If he’s a psychic, how does he explain the fact that he went through a divorce? Did he not see that coming? Didn’t the cards tell him not to get married or did he just submit to the chaos of love like a common mortal? I don’t see the point in consulting these types of masquerading psychics. It’s absurd to consult psychics to find out about our love lives, our attitudes and decisions, about us and about those close to us. If a relationship is dysfunctional, unsatisfactory and a fountain of suffering, just end it and put an end to the drama! Those who truly love us give us their presence, provide us with tranquility, comfort and once in a while, gifts! I love gifts!

- Everyone does!

- Those who call themselves “psychics” only lead us to err. The “prophecy” is bull and only gets realized due to a placebo effect. Here, the client believes with such fervor in what he/she has just heard that he/she will work as arduously as possible to see that the prophecy comes true. Belief creates such a positively strong mental projection that it will transpire! That’s what happened with you! You were able to create lots of songs although you had no experience. You had the courage to perform in London – a land in which musicians and singers abound – having had no previous stage experience. All this was consequence of a certain positive and receptive mental state. You fought all obstacles along the way. You threw all your limitations away. Your dream was so alive in your heart that you didn´t care about losing your money or your mind. Actually your misfortune brings some sort of “interest” to the plot of the book! Here is a boring story: “I have great vocal skills, huge boobs, I’ve won talent shows and now I sell a lot! Look at me!”

- You are awesome, my dear cutie! I love you!

- Still, certain prophecies only generate confusion. You can go back to the Bible and read about the massacre of the innocents! Herod wanted to avoid the prophecy of a new king coming into power, when in reality the prophecy referred to Christ, whose kingdom is not of this world! What did the tarot reader predict this last time in January?

- I ask specifically about my open mic friend: if I can still count on him. The tarologist is very negative and replies that nothing remains of our old friendship.

- But wasn’t this the same tarologist who told you that your friend would begin to have strong feelings for you after you got back from the open mic? Did he forget?

- I think he did, but I didn’t confront him about that so as not to make him feel uncomfortable. Meanwhile I understood that I would need to think over all my mental schemes again. I would have to learn to be emotionally independent of others, especially those who are weak because these people only hinder us and make us feel small. It’s not worth thinking too much in life; not over thinking problems because these can cause blocks, can be unproductive and make us desperate. I wasn’t even sure if I wanted the band back.  The reading lasted 20 minutes. He charged me for an hour. 

- He’s a good friend – to himself!

- He also said that my friend might show up at a show if he felt like it but that nothing would remain of our friendship. He went on to say that I couldn’t count on my “friend” for anything because the cards indicated that he was completely centered on himself. The tarologist described him as an individualist and, staring at me fixatedly he said that I had to be the same way. He said that I had to prioritize my goals up front no matter who may get hurt in the process.

- Yes Ninfa….it´s true.

- If I had known early on that I would be a musician, I would have invested in my training. Perhaps I would have gone to live in a big city (which I would have loved to have been London), perhaps study music (opting for drums and guitar), perhaps have several bands, perform in a lot of gigs to gain experience, and go to huge live concerts and had lots of friends in music!

- You can’t let musicians and people in the music industry intimidate you. The typical paths aren’t always the best and don’t always provide the certainty that you will achieve what you desire. To what extent are those musicians whom you met in London more wonderful than you? Did they write, compose, sing and record songs like you did? All by themselves? No. Are their band’s songs better than yours? I doubt it.

- Do you know that I did some research and found out that the university where the open mic guitarist studied not only focused on the musical skills to be acquired and developed, but also focused on the psychological factor of the future musician? For example, how to build a public image, how to develop the most valued personality traits in the world of music, how to succeed even if you are shy and/or introverted, how to dominate anxiety, how to develop musical identity, body posture etc..

- Everything is programmed, controlled, labeled and under surveillance: we are living in the information and multimedia age. Be careful, don’t let them tear off your wings, little angel!

- Of course not! The tarot reader finished the session saying that I needed to be careful with my reactions to things such as being pessimistic or beating up on myself. He said that I couldn’t let myself be controlled by the circumstances! He went on to say that despite the "Tower" card which was in flames announcing sudden changes in plans and beliefs with a total collapse around me and the other cards near this one that indicated I would have a long hard battle ahead, the “Sun” card which was on top of all the cards which were arranged in a circle attested that this collapse would be a positive one and that in the end everything would turn out my way. He didn’t say much more because he was stressed as he had to pick up his children from kindergarten.

- What does the collapse refer to? In the end everything would turn out your way, meaning what? Vague prophecies which could refer to anything that don’t say anything specific about anything have a strong probability of coming true, did you know that?

- You’re right. Back to my open mic friend: in January I asked him insistently, in several emails, to stay by my side, explaining to him that everyone in the band had left, that I only had him. I asked him why they were all being so cruel, why they were all leaving me behind if I had so many gigs for them to play; asking why were they all being so hard on me; asking them to please give me another chance. But I got no reply from him.  I was left totally alone. I didn’t even get a simple email saying goodbye. I cursed him. I cursed him so bad that my stomach started to hurt. In February I still was in panic, systematically having to cancel gigs. I had no band and my dumb attitude continued to insist on him staying by me. But this time it was far more complicated. 

- Of course. Asking for help so many times was becoming humiliating...

- It was complicated because a poltergeist phenomenon wouldn’t let me!

- Here she goes with the paranormal again! What happened this time?

- A strange power wouldn’t let me send him this last email! I had made three attempts. In each of them and, at the same moment in which I prepared to click send, the electrical current it my home computer which was directly connected to the socket went out. I began to find these "sabotages" to be strange as they coincided exactly with the moment in which I wanted to submit the emails. Even though I asked myself why I continued to try to hammer and break labyrinthine walls to get to my guitarist if it was useless. But, I wanted to send him this email. I wanted to bang my head against the wall! Who knows if I would break the wall and not my head? Do you know that he was so proud that in our open mics, he would insist on saying that it was I who had found him through the ads and not he who had found me? Unbelievable! In any case, my concern in resorting to new ads to try to make a new band was huge. Believing that I could count on him, however silly of an idea it may have seemed, had some effect upon reducing this anxiety.

- I saw an ostrich stick its head underground in order not to see the truth and hide from fear, was it you?

- Meow! Maybe. On the fourth attempt the phenomenon became apparent: the room lamp was lit and its filaments started to get red-hot, making the light flicker just like in a horror movie. I yell angrily, "I ​​want to send this email!" and the lamp returned to normal! I swear on my life this is true.

- No need to swear. I believe you.

-After this incident on February 25th, a Saturday morning, I woke up and grabbed my phone. Suddenly I had a strange urge to call him. I did it anonymously – so that my number wouldn’t appear on his display. He answered. When I said hello, he didn’t recognize my voice. I identified myself and he got silent. Due to the fact that I had no band, I had already cancelled all performances I had scheduled for January and February but had gotten two extra performances in the meantime: one in the end of March and another in April. I asked if he would be available on these dates. He said that he would be in Sweden for the month of March and that in April he would be on vacation. He was lying: both his bands were performing in London in those months. Besides this, he was also teaching in schools.

- Why did you give him such importance and constantly ask for help? What you should have done was smile and said goodbye!

- I was on the phone with him. But I felt that this would be the last time we would speak to each other and so I avoided confrontations and maintained a friendly tone of voice. I wanted to convince him that I believed in what he’d just said to me. I heard his voice dragging as he spoke to me. He sounded as if he were an all-powerful being whom I had been pestering with the rudeness of this phone call. Unexpectedly, my legs began to shake. He hadn’t responded to any of my emails. In one of them I had asked him if the last words which he stated in the December 7th were still true - that if I went to London he would be glad to play for me. A tarot card came to mind. I had a deck of tarot cards at home and had given myself a reading before leaving for the December 7th gig in London. The card came to me four times in a row: the ten of spades which showed a man fallen on his back with ten swords piercing him in all his vital organs. Impossible to maintain life in these circumstances! He was dead! The card dictated death, the split. When I returned from London, I was reminded of that card as I entered my room at home and had found that alarm to be nonsense. He had said that if I returned to London, he would work with me! Back to the phone call: at the end of our conversation I asked him if everything was okay with him. He said everything was okay. His “okay” sounded like a burp! It was the burp of haughtiness. I truly think I heard the burp and I don’t think I imagined it. Now I was 100% sure that I was left alone, there would be no help from him. My legs were still shaking. Years before, when I was lying on an operating table looking at the scalpels all lined up next to me, I didn’t tremble as much as this. ENOUGH! My naive belief that musicians would be extremely sensitive and kind people died that month. 

- You don´t need him. You never did. Being nice does not pay! You need to be rough. Honey, he wasn´t your friend…in August he may have been some kind of a friend but after that…it was over.

- There were some of positive things that happened even after August. I can commend his attitude in having brought the drummer. He was by nature rather reserved and so he had to counteract his way of being to make the call to the drummer. Exactly what was going on in his head during the open mic and what happened later, up to the day he decided to act the way he did with me, marginalizing me, only he will know.

-They weren´t treating you right. If you want to see changes in your life, change friends. Throughout your life you have gone through many bad situations and because you don’t learn to protect yourself, the situations repeat themselves. When you feel misunderstood and incorrectly judged there is no need to suffer, become unstable, hurt yourself or prove to them that they were wrong. You know your worth. Simply turn away from these people unless the drama inspires you artistically since apparently good things do not inspire great artists!

- Peace and love! Life is beautiful!

-It’s very painful to call our friends former friends, but unfortunately crap happens and we have to deal with it. Grab the toilet paper, clean up the mess and flush the toilet. I'm not saying that your open mic friend doesn’t have positive qualities, even amusing ones, but the facts speak for themselves. You, who are given to paranormal things, did you not have a premonitory dream?

- I did! I wasn’t going to tell you about it because you’re always making fun of me. On the same day that the drummer told me that he had found another employer, I dreamt of my guitarist. And in the following days I was constantly intrigued by the meaning of his arm in the dream. That night, as well as in the many nights before that one, it was hard for me to sleep, eat and live. I constantly tossed and turned in bed until I was finally able to fall asleep. I was on a moving underground train, in a tunnel in a carriage with other people. I saw that I was wearing pajamas. I searched for my suitcase in order to put on some decent clothes, but I had no suitcase, money or passport. The only thing I had were the pajamas I was wearing. I wondered how I got there and the only thing I remembered was lying in bed. The carriage was warm. I relaxed. Leaning against a window, I listened to the sound of the train rails. Clarity came in through the window. The train was now above ground. Suddenly it stopped. I looked out and understood why. Everything around was being dragged by strong currents and submerged in muddy water full of debris. All around there was only chaos and destruction. The train was on an elevation on a narrow strip of land but in contact with a huge piece of solid ground up ahead. The track was circumvented by the strong currents of water but remained untouched and safe. Then, I saw my open mic friend dragged down by this river of torment. I saw his face was just above the surface. He was looking at me. I hit the glass window with all my strength to try to break it and rescue him and bring him into the train carriage. In my affliction he just gave me a big smile. Then he raised his arm stiffly, vertically in the air, voluntarily plunging into the deep waters and disappearing. I no longer saw him nor did I understand his decision.

- Did the dream reveal that he would leave you behind? That he would team up with the others thinking that that was the right way to succeed, but not knowing he was going in the exact opposite direction. That unlike his, your fate was progressing and promising?

- What it meant, only the future will tell. He is a good musician, cunning, pragmatic and has a good. Besides this, he is known to be friendly, has strong motivation and is resourceful in choosing well-placed friends who can help him succeed. He is of the right age and he’s living in one of largest cities in Europe. I'm the one at the bottom of the river, not him. Watching some swimming competitions a few days later I learned that to increase the speed of a dive, competitors raised their arms in the air as he had done.

- Does he know how to swim?

- Badly. He once told me that he would like to practice sports, maybe swimming, although he wasn’t such a good swimmer. He was tired of working his brain in music. Six months later, after that last phone conversation with him in February, it was August again and I bid farewell to him permanently via text message. In that same text message I told him that exactly one year beforehand, at that exact same time, we had started our first open mic together, my first live performance. I also let him know that he would appear in the second chapter of the book I was working on whose English translation had already commenced. If he liked, he could wish me good luck on my book!

 

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