Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Trippin' With Jack Tripper

Sometimes dreams about the departed are just dreams, but many times I think they are actual contacts. If this was a real contact, then my respect for a beloved icon from my youth has increased even more!
In my early teen years, I was an awkward creature with greasy hair and Martian headgear who was often the target of cruel jokes. I was a total nerd who had started smoking weed to take the edge off the intolerable agony of being victimized by my peers, but I was still a very innocent kid who thought that a blow job was blowing in someone's ear! I gained solace retreating into the science-fiction worlds of Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica; the action-packed worlds of Starsky and Hutch and Baretta (Did Robert Blake ever end up doing the time for his crime? Shit, talk about having your innocence shattered--Baretta was so cool and Blake had been one of "Our Gang," for cryin' in a bucket!) and the feel-good fun worlds of Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley, Welcome Back Kotter, What's Happenin', and Three's Company. I remember imagining that I would grow up to be beautiful like Joyce DeWitt and Suzanne Somers, and I would have a cool friend/surrogate big brother like John Ritter to make life fun.
I had a particular affinity for John, as I always enjoyed physical comedy, and he was a true genius. Plus, he was a nice guy in real life, not one of those people that played a nice guy but in real life was a jerk. John really inspired me. I wanted to be as gorgeous as the women he worked with, but as funny as he was. Like many people, I was shocked and saddened by John's untimely death a few years ago.
On the morning of the second, I had come home and was ready to get some sleep. There is some upheaval within my family. My parents are talking about moving to Arizona to be closer to my brother and out of the cold winters, which I think they should. They want for me to move down there too once my son graduates from high school. I can see reasons why this would be beneficial, but also reasons why it wouldn't. And at my age, in no small part due to my mental illness and being improperly treated for so many years, I still rely on my parents financially for a number of things. This is a great source of shame to me. I feel like I owe them. I would like to not be relying on them any more.
"It wasn't supposed to be like this," I said sadly. "I remember when I was thirteen years old and wanted to be a famous actress. I guess I really wanted the acclaim and acceptance because I was such an outcast in real life. I don't want the hollywood glitz and glamour crap any more, it's such a lie. But it's sad to not believe that any of my dreams of making it in a creative field can come true any more. It's sad to lose the belief that one has in youth that one day everything will be wonderful."
I wasn't thinking about any of the shows that I enjoyed in my early teens, just about my ability to delude myself that one day things would be better--that I would be a "star." I no longer want to be a "star" in that sense. But I guess I would still like recognition for the things I put a lot of myself into--my writing, for instance. However, the hope is gone.
I always work on meditation and try to consciously astral project when I fall asleep. Usually I'm too tired and if anything end up wandering brainlessly about and don't really remember anything that happens. I had it in my mind to look for my co-author. I'm sure I babble incoherently at him a lot of the time as he keeps me safe from lower astral entities. I rarely remember what happens but often I wake with the feeling that he was guarding me and think that it was kind of him to take it upon himself to do so, seeing as being with an incoherent astral wanderer is probably much like being with an Alzheimer's patient.
I wasn't thinking about John Ritter. I hadn't seen any Three's Company reruns in a couple of months, since they did the marathon on TV Land. But suddenly as I wandered about, there was John Ritter! He said hello and that he'd like to talk to me and show me some things. We wandered around the set of a television show and he told me that he really had enjoyed acting and making people laugh, but hated the lies promoted by the industry. He did a few slapstick moves for me, tumbling over the couch and the like, and got me laughing. I got up and joined him, remembering how much I always loved the Three Stooges. We acted like complete lunatics for a time. Then we sat down and he told me how much he appreciated my kind thoughts for him and said that everything he did was for people like me. I thought that was really nice. He talked about missing his family but accepting what had happened to him since it wasn't like there was anything he could do to change it.
Eventually he said that he realized that I no longer wanted to be a Hollywood icon or even necessarily to act on film (though I wouldn't pass up an opportunity to be in the right kind of film if it came along and asked real nicely!) and said he could certainly understand why. Hollywood is basically bullshit and contrived images and very little of the glamorous perfection you see is authentic. He thought it was too bad that instead of being a medium for inspiration that most Hollywood productions had become a medium to make ordinary people feel inferior. That's certainly not what people like him were about, I know. He said to me that although the shape of my dreams had changed he certainly hoped I could recapture my enthusiasm and my belief that I could "be somebody."
"You already are somebody," he said. "You just need to let that young enthusiasm out again and let it help you show the world how special you are. It isn't stupid to have dreams. I hope you don't let your hopes die entirely. You're a special person and I'm proud to have someone like you appreciate what I did."
I really felt like I'd made a very special friend and so deeply appreciated that he'd take the time to come and talk to me. I could feel that it was time for me to go. John gave me a hug and a handshake that ended in a funny bow from him and he walked me out of the studio. I walked into a bright light and woke up a few minutes later for the inevitable ultra-pee that happens when I've actually been able to sleep for a decent length of time.
I realize that all of this could have come from the depths of my subconscious, but there's a certain feeling when one actually meets a departed spirit in their dreams/astral adventures. This had that feeling all over it. Whatever the case, I know that John Ritter is the kind of person that would extend this sort of kindness to another. He was and always will be one of my favorite entertainers--and one of my favorite people as well.
Here's to ya, John! A great all-around guy who deserved the adulation he got. At peace, but not at rest because he's still got things to do. Don't worry about this guy--just send him your best. He'll appreciate it. When we extend positive energy to one another, it extends much further than we can possibly imagine.
I'm very grateful for this experience, whatever anyone may believe the explanation is.
Peace to you,


Amanda said...

You're right. This is too beautiful to be "just" a dream...

Cheesemeister said...

Well, I thought so!
Thanks for the thought!