Our 10-year saga began one day in March 2010, if I remember correctly. I studied the picture of a rock band, let’s call it Tinderbox, that my then boyfriend absolutely worshiped. My boyfriend, Thomas, played guitar in a cover band and Tinderbox had a lead singer, we’ll call him Paul Avola, who happened to be of Sicilian ancestry, like my boyfriend.
Thomas did not look Sicilian. He had long, curly hair down to his ass. He was six feet tall. His skin was as pale as milk. He was a coward of epic proportions.
Paul was quintessentially Sicilian. Short, olive-skinned, and black-haired. He was a bad boy with a legendary temper.
They were both assholes at the time. Sensitive guys forced to live in the emotionless vacuum that constitutes masculinity in American society. I don’t think Thomas has outgrown his asshole phase.
I liked Tinderbox’s music. I felt the lyrics and compositions offered the best translation of the seething rage that hid behind my cute face and bubbly personality. I wanted to know the mind of Paul Avola.
I was trained in Feri, the Craft tradition of whom Victor Anderson is the established fore father, so to speak. We practice telepathy, astral projection, and shamanism and the focus is primarily on the etheric plane. Seems Paul was also trained in this tradition by the leader of a coven whose lineage boasted not one but two women who held the same unusual Welsh name as I.
Stating the name here is not important, only the existence of the name is relevant.
I found Paul on the etheric plane. As I walked up to him, in a scene from one of those promotional pictures of his, he turned to watch my approach. I couldn’t see his eyes. He wore sunglasses. He also wore this ridiculous straw hat that I overlooked because neither of us was here for a beauty pageant.
“What the fuck do you want?”
His hostility surprised me. “I just wanted to talk to you about your mu—?”
“Do you think you’re the first one to try this?”
I was genuinely baffled. “Try what?”
He looked me over like I had failed miserably as a human being. I’m not sure how it happened, but he pushed me with his etheric body. He assaulted me on the etheric plane.
I returned the favor. We pushed at each other, seemingly matched, and then I felt him slide backward just a smidgen. When I pulled back, he stumbled.
“Fine. I’ll leave you alone.” I turned and stomped, I’m not kidding, stomped through the neutral zone until his voice rose. “Stop.”
I stopped. I really did want to know the mind behind his lyrics. I wasn’t sure why. I couldn’t tell you why to this day, but I haven’t regretted the wanting to know.
He approached and we met in the neutral zone.
“I’ve never met someone as strong as me before,” he said. “You might be stronger.”
I shrugged. I wasn’t aware of my own strength then and I haven’t reached the limits of my strength now, but that will become relevant later.
“You’re pretty strong yourself,” I said.
“The others, they come on to me. They dress in tight clothes, hair done, makeup flawless and looking nothing like they do in real life.” He looked at my socks and worked his way up to the messy bun on the top of my head. “You’re in sweats.”
I looked down. It hadn’t occurred to me, in my eagerness to converse with Paul on the etheric plane, to maybe clean up just a little. I didn’t feel embarrassed, though I found it funny. What the fuck did I care what he thought of me as a female?
I introduced myself.
He smiled. “That’s my favorite name for a woman.”
I didn’t realize it then, but he was certain he deluded himself. That he was so lonely he had made up a fantasy woman with his favorite name. Someone who looked like a mom for his daughter, someone who was real, and mostly someone who saw him as real.
When you talk crown-to-crown with people on the etheric plane, it’s called telepathy. Telepathy is my forte (and if you read that “fore-tay,” a small, cute mammal will spontaneously combust). I’ve discovered that if I’m not careful, I can talk to anyone on the etheric plane and not everyone will handle it the way Paul did.
But he came back the very next day. “Hey.”
It’s just like any other conversation, just telepathic, so don’t be disappointed.
My bubbly personality kicked in. “Hi, how’s things?”
We talked, new friend shit, and then I became suspicious. No reason. I knew I had started this whole thing, but from what I understood, Paul was no slouch in the manifestation department when it came to magic.
“I’m going to test you,” I said.
He seemed amused, but I’ve learned that Paul loves challenges. The more you tell him no, the harder he works. He doubles down and gods help you if you’re in his way.
“I need money,” I said. “Five-hundred. Can you make it happen?”
He hesitated but then nodded. “Done.”
We didn’t talk after that. Radio silence for a few days. I didn’t think anything of it. You ask for something, you get an answer, you forget about it. Classic magical formula.
Then I get a call from my gal pal on the West Coast. “I don’t think I’ll be able to pay the rent,” she says. I mean, we’re talking about Iron Woman, and she’s having a complete breakdown. That scared me and she had a young son at the time.
I wasn’t sure what to do. I was barely making ends meet as it was. I soothed her as best I could, and when I got off the phone, I was like, “Paul?”
“Forget about sending that money to me. Send it to my girlfriend. She needs it more than I do.”
“Done, but you can’t tell her you did anything. You can’t tell her how it happened.”
We didn’t discuss it in conversations after that. A few days later, my girlfriend calls me up.
“Four-hundred and ninety-six dollars showed up in my mailbox today. They caught up with my ex and garnished his wages for back child-support. What did you do, brujacita?”
“Not a damn thing.”
She let it go because she knew that was the drill. “Thank you. I love you.”
“I’m glad you’ll be alright. Love you too.”
Once I got off the phone, I did an etheric-plane jig as I called on Paul. He showed up with the smuggest smile on his face.
“That was amazing.” I hugged him without thinking. “Thank you so much. She needed that.”
He held onto me, but I didn’t catch on. I had no idea. It wasn’t until later, seven years later, that he told me just how important this moment was in our history.
I’ll stop here. I hope you’re hungry for more because this is my ‘wake up, dum-dum’ to Paul. Stay tuned for the next installment of I’ve Lost My Damn Mind.