I Read It Once, Then Twice AND I Wasn’t Imagining It - I Had Won the Lottery!
Also, there’s this other thing, about those things, and just how we feel about many things, when they can’t be divorced from their relational context to THE things, because that is HOW things work.
Well almost, I HAD the winning numbers, but,..oh! Sorry, this is confusing. Let me tell you about those numbers within the context of my most recent grand self-deception, when all I wanted, really, was genuine, regular hugs.
Is there a term for the phenomena of convincing those around you of the "obvious", then the obvious thing doesn’t come true?
Yes. It is called “The Pattern Aggrandizement of Self-Delusion.”.
Well, no, I made that up, but if there were, it would be something close to it!
By a show of hands, who else has been in a near constant state of awakening and suicidal ideation?
Oh Yeah? Really? This is a safe space. OK. Cool!
Anyhoo, one of the realizations I had sprang from the analysis of my accrued data metrics that addressed “whether or not”, in aggregate, “listening to my ‘gut’” had the generalized overall result being beneficial, certainly positive, and nice feeling upon post examinations of my necessarily subjective experience of the undocumented events as remembered “after the fact”.
What I learned was simply ‘jaw dropping.’
The unqualified result was that, astoundingly, I had never listened to my gut up until the age of 46!
My life had been sucky. Or not, depending on one’s perspective that is relative to one’s “taste” and “experience”. It’s whatever. Since then, I have been on “THE” most chaotic wild ride in memory! THE SEDUCTIVE PART in adventure stories is this other fact, that this adventure is a part of the most mind-bogglingly creative and satisfying periods of sporadic creative output!
The crises, personally and in the country had also been, I am reluctant to use the term “seismic" living in the Bay area as I do, but it had been seismic!
In many, many ways that could be exhaustive at this point, yet profound, I was the same me, but in a different place and time. “
The a poignant question occurred to me, “what is the most consistent random thing to occur in my life?”
Without hesitation, the thought manifested within my expansive mind, “420”. The appearance of the thought, so suddenly and firmly declared within my mind, that I decided it lended the idea a sort of “firm, yet assertive feeling”, without the creep of some aggressive thoughts into the blank spaces of mental silence. Now my DNA dictates thoughrt must hunt down and fill those spaces, like a cat chasing a laser.
Aggressive? Nope go away. Firm and assertive?
“Why hello, I like the cut of your jib! You are obviously too charming to not have clearly landed before me due to your credence. Yes, obvious validity!
Now mind you, I am not a pot smoker. Sure, in the past I liked to “loosen the screws”, but for me the experience was “losing the screws altogether. Has anyone seen my glasses? How about my keys?”
You feel me.
Since I was 16, you would not credit as believable how many times I have wondered, just what time is it was? What makes us slow time down like that?
I would look at a clock, and, you guessed it, one out of ten times, exactly 420! Those are high odds for such a random occurrence!
It happened so much that I have been using it as a running joke for over 10 years now. Going as far as to text my partner every time it happened to try and share the weirdness of it.
It did not occur to me to wonder, “I wonder what it could mean in relation to April 2020?”
At least not prior to last Nov. My brain has had to many thoughts pulling shady, “The Apprentice style” tricks on each other for a chance at filling the juiciest empty real estate in my hypothalamus, to ever make time to “plot", or “manipulate" anything. I have successfully kept one surprise I made to spring on anyone, ever.
That was three torturous months.
When the thought did finally occur to me, the first thing I thought was, “I wonder if this is when I am going to die?”
My ‘gut’ reacted when I considered it. So, I considered it more.
Now this is the part of the story where it REALLY gets to the lottery.
When I was twenty-two, and just out of the Marines, Texas had just started the state lottery. Looking at the odds of winning, it occurred to me that the best random odds one could have would be to pick one set of numbers at 21, or 22, then play those numbers with odd regularity until I died at 127, and have a better chance of winning than any other strategy.
Let me tell you, I was SO impressed with myself. Especially when each number I chose had a special significance. OF COURSE, I told my family, my friends, strangers, little children, EVERYBODY about my brilliant plan.
I talked about it so much, my friends and family knew my numbers without the need for hints.
After two weeks of being fully the most annoying pleasant intellectual in all West Texas, my roommate and I were parked in front of The Colonial at 9 pm. Terry was in the store, and my gut went crazy!
I had the “darndest” feeling that I should buy a ticket, BUT I only had 5 dollars, and we were headed to the dollar theater to watch a movie. $1 to get in. $2 for a large soda, and $2 for a hotdog or nachos. So, in weighing my desires, I found getting a soda and hotdog outweighed my need to buy a lottery ticket, and realize again I was paying “the poor man’s tax” as my father was want to call the lottery.
I had decided.
Shut UP gut!
Then Terry got into the vehicle.
“Aren’t you going get a lottery ticket??” He asked significantly, leaning over towards me, and wagging his eyebrows to indicate he was only half mocking my intellectual prowess, which was profound, yet untested at such an early age.
I then had to explain to him my well-reasoned excuse not to purchase a ticket, even repeating my father’s moniker for the gambling game.
“Alright!” Terry said.
We went to the movies.
In those days, the theater would put up the numbers next to the movie screen on drawing nights. I was watching the trailers when Terry punched the holy living hell out of my shoulder.
“What the F Ter-,” Terry interrupted my indignant anger, “Look!” he said loudly, pointing. Following his pointer finger I saw at the end of it, my lottery numbers. Loud, recriminations ensued.
That was my first gut failure and will long live in the annals of family history of missed chances.
I have had many times from then to my present 47 years where, every time I ignored my gut, I later learned I should have listened to my gut. It was with this infallible information in hand last Dec, I decided TO follow my gut for ONCE in my life. Further, I decided to combine it with another observation regarding my life.
That observation was my life seemed to, without intent, be the most cliché life that I am aware of. So much so, that if I am in an unusual situation, or witness to one, and I can think of an absurd situational cliché similar to what I am witnessing, then further picture an even more absurd cliché that involves me, then it will probably happen, and then leave where ever I am because I am tired of experiencing absurd clichés in my life.
As a brief example of what I mean, I have actually been in a situation where a hot, beautiful, younger woman was BEGGING me to be with her, and my response in that moment was, “No, not until you tell me something personal about you. It can be made up, I don’t care, but it has to sound personal.” To which she said,
“Shut up and GIVE it to me!” I then responded with, and I am being completely serious, I said, “But I want to get to know you as a person!”
Really? What!?? I always knew, deep down, I was a lesbian in a ruggedly rough looking, but strangely attractive male body
And I meant it! I realized the irony of the situation as well as the cosmic humor of the organic interaction.
My friends said that I could get struck by lightning on a cloudless day. It was so ridiculous, even my friends and family could only agree with the sentiment.
Back to 420.
So I combined “Cliché” with “420” and came up with the conviction, not mere supposition, but conviction that the “Big One” was going to happen in the San Francisco Bay area on, you guessed it, 4/20/20.
- *For those too busy for historical references, “Big One” in this context refers to a geological tremor, of OMG proportions. If I had lost some of you to a more debauched definition for “Big One” when associated with San Francisco, no worries, I added some useless but fun filler for the rest of us to read until you came back from your “wonderings”. We are not judging. **
I further backed this up with a dream I had my first night in the area. I dreamt that I was on a roof with another guy and water was swiftly rising and overtaking us, and I was yelling.
“Whiiich waaay do we swim for the Beeeerkeley Hiiiills?!”.
Not a normal dream, but one of those super lucid, real feeling ones. Like jelly in your boots in the morning…
I had had 5 of them in my life. One of THOSE 5 was a dream where I standing on a cliff on the west coast overlooking the ocean, and there were meteors, several of them trailing huge smoke trails behind them, and I said in the dream, “And behold, a mountain was cast down from the heavens, and this is the 6th seal”
I quietly began telling friends and family and those I like to go camping or be out of town on 4/20. Hell, I was so convincing, my sons and partner were trying to help pack so we could get on the road at 2 am on 420! It was such a mess despite all efforts, I took that as a sign I should just chill and not drive to the border of OR to wait.
The border of Oregon, OF COURSE because, during our research, we discovered that our RV Trailer Park of extravagant plushness, was encircled on three sides by liquefaction zones. LIQUIFACTION ZONES! We were also within a 15-minute walk on our other side to the Hayward Faultline. As well as 5, not 4, not 6, but 5 volcanoes that had active within enough historical time, to add a nice hysterical flavor to our familial rash of survivalist instincts!
Did I really want to see if, in another cosmic cliché, I was a prophet?
“Oh man. Please no. Not in the middle of a pandemic with apocalypse feelings like this happening with everyone in twenty-seven social interactions I had been having lately. I even read a couple chapters of Revelations. The only thing more catastrophic than reading revelations with serious intent to understand is our local crazy on the street corner not carrying an “end is nigh” sign. OMG, he is carrying a sign! I will get burned at a stake for sure!”
I reasoned one of two things were going to happen come 4/20/20.
One, my talent for identifying unusual, but true patterns in meta social data was more that I wanted to actually have, or two, I had a lesson to learn and needed to reevaluate some of my life choices.
- Not doing anything would be irresponsible, where doing something COULD save some lives.
- If nothing happened, no real trouble for anyone, and I didn’t broadcast across the internet, and set myself up for being an I-D-I-O-T publicly.
- Only privately, and within a small circle of people who would either need to be stopped from making more of my prophetic powers than is seemly, or hopefully, they could accept the above reasons as fair, and let me learn said lessons without too much joking about Nostradamus or even considering crossing a pandemic border to then go into a more serious lockdown for 14 days of shame, or anything.
I mean, I DID tell them the same thing as in this paragraph BEFORE 420, so I have a very reasonable, and self-evaluating insanity.
- my partner says I must inform y’all that we had been planning a trip to OR for many months before our invisible stalking COVID frenemy began crawling up both legs at the same time
It being June 8th now, you can figure that I learned the lesson of not associating entirely subjective experiences into any kind of designation of anything prophetic or inane. Trust me, I am not that guy, which is exactly why the whole collection of things felt MORE probable. People were like, “Man, Adrian is saying this. Shit! Maybe something IS going to happen!”
I realized my hair was not on fire, IRONIC considering I have been bald since 28, and humans are silly as hell.
We are hardwired, from our “it would be unpleasant if a lion ate me right now,” days to urgently identify patterns discerned from the confusing 5 port data fire hose that Existence has pointed our way. Our only release being sleep, and even then we are so geared to identify patterns, we dream about our experiences while night shift attempts to audit the data we have and discern any smaller, subtle patterns that indicate “danger" hidden or unnoticed within the retained memories of our experiences.
SO, subconsciousness is like a concerned after thought to being eaten, which might say, “at least it looked REALLY unpleasant when uncle got eaten, and that lion wouldn’t stop eating him no matter what we said, then uncle was gone. Maybe I HAD better make sure I am not missing something.”
Make no mistake, hyper vigilant pattern matching is as bad as procrastinated understanding. The best solution I know of is to simply accept that everything just IS, and be aware and observant of incoming groups of data, no matter what my ‘gut' might think, and especially if they have a curly mustache, a black top hat, a dog named “Snively”, and are asking me if I could possibly lend a hand with the broken down, windowless van he is pointing towards.
*Pattern Aggrandizement of Self-Delusion in no way whatsoever, needs to be credited to me when bringing up who coined the phrase, but if necessary, you may use Sabrina Siebert, 42, from Troy Michigan. She IS the boss. I merely dictated this answ-..
- NOW I bit my tongue AND my cheek!! Damn gum!
- she is giving the evil eye, but smiling, and denying, and now looking down at her phone. Mission accomplished.
- Owwwww! Stop it…
Feedback in comments! THANKS!
Adrian ‘Yobi’ Blumberg
Pilgrim | Trail Finder | Listener
YobiWorks Studios, DBA
Request a consult through this webform: HERE