I finally broke down and did it. I made an appointment with a Chaneller. Not someone who expands the variety of stations on your cable TV set, but rather a psychic medium who tunes into “the Other Side.” I don’t normally believe in this New Age, metaphysical, transcendental stuff, (and definitely don’t believe in ghosts) but my friend Tiffany, (one of these people obsessed with life after death) thinks I need a new blogging topic (all my friends somehow think I’ve run dry) and took the liberty of arranging a session for free.
She further claims that this Channeler is completely legit and highly renowned in the industry – – (btw, it’s not a very large industry, just a “Medium” one. Yeah, I know….Sorry! But haven’t you read that, “He who blogs after midnight is entitled to tell one bad joke.”)
And get this – – the Channeler’s name is Paul Pulseman and his tagline is, “Mr. Pulseman has his Pulse on the Pulseless.” How’s that for some good Medium Marketing?
Basically I’m supposed to focus on someone that I have unfinished business with because (Tiffany promises) I will supposedly get some much needed closure. I’m giving some thought on whom this should be.
Meanwhile, Mr. Pulseman emails me to confirm my appointment and advises me to do the following: Each day I should find a quiet space, close my eyes, and silently issue an invitation for the people that I want to make contact with to come into our upcoming session. I must specify the date and the exact time – – like these Souls have calendars and booked-up social lives??
Hmmmm, Let’s see – – how many people should you put on the guest list when you’re throwing a Closure Party? More importantly, what happens if someone has already been reincarnated? Do you get their voice-mail?
Still highly skeptical, I decide to go forward and make it my personal mission to speak to someone I never did have the chance to say goodbye to – – a husband who recently departed. Oops, I just knew I would make a psychic mistake right off the bat. The correct term is, “Crossed Over,” according to the terminology section on Mr. Pulseman’s website. Anyhow, picking a husband will surely prove, once and for all to Tiffany that Paul Pulseman is a fraud, which is one of my main goals.
Today is the sitting and I’m worried how to dress. Can a loved one who has “Crossed Over” look back and see things thru a Channeler’s eyes? (Maybe those who have Crossed Over prefer Cross Dressers?) One thing’s for sure – -I had better not wear that low-cut purple blouse since women who “dress to kill” really disturbed this particular husband.
Next I get a terrific idea. . . I’ll bring my newly published novel, so I can show off to The Other Side, what I’ve been doing on This Side – – with just a little bit of oxygen and a computer!
This is absurd, I chide myself. Nobody will be talking to me today. Except maybe “the great” Mr. Paul Pulseman.
It turns out Mr. Pulseman is laden with tattoos and quite short in stature. As I stand on my three inch heels, I am almost as tall as he is. He also has wavy hair, nearly as long as mine. And when he speaks, it is barely above a whisper while he offers me a limp handshake. This is good because this hubby was a real macho character and liked to be taller than other men and to have the firmest grip in the room. I note the tee-shirt Mr. Pulseman wears has printed on the front, “The sky is always bluer on THE OTHER SIDE.”
First he leads me through a meditation exercise with both our eyes closed. Or he tries to. I keep squinting through my lids to see if Mr. Pulseman is checking to see whether I’m peeking or not. I don’t like to be stared at when I don’t know about it. It takes us a good five minutes to establish enough trust in each other to know that we are both keeping our eyes tightly shut. When he counts to ten and I am finally given permission to look, Paul Pulseman has gone into an intense trance. Or at least he knows how to give a good impression of someone who has. Suddenly his eyes snap open and he looks wildly off to my right side.
Pulseman: There’s someone in the room who is very male. He’s an intimidating presence and just crushed my hand with a tremendous grip and called me an F-ing Midget.
Me: (okay, I’ll take the bait) Hi Honey. Well, I guess this is it. So Long, Farewell, Adios, Goodbye! Rest in Peace!
Pulseman: (bellowing) That shirt makes you look like a prostitute!
Me: Gosh thanks, Dear. But look, I finally published the novel. I know you’re “just dying” to read it . . . (holding cover of book toward ceiling.)
Pulseman: If you’re gonna be an author, dress like a damn author!
Me: You should talk. With that hair and those tattoos – – You look like some sort of Hippy Clairvoyant. Oh, wait. That’s what you’re supposed to be.”
Mr. Pulseman gingerly points one slender finger toward the ceiling to remind me that it’s not really him who utters these words. Of course it’s him.
Me: Tell him to say something that proves his identity.
Pulseman: He says you never used to call him Honey or Dear. And he doesn’t have to prove a damn thing to you and you should show some respect to your elders. Oh and also . . . get your long hair out of your face so people can see your beautiful eyes.
Me: Respect my elders? Wait a minute. Aha – – You Phony Baloney! I’m two years OLDER than this husband. Gotcha!
Pulseman: You’re two years older than your own father?
Wait a sec! Hold the phone! My Dad?? I am stunned. My father always did nag me to get my hair cut. I guess old habits “die hard.” I narrow my eyes and stare Pulseman in the face, willing him to back down from this charade. But his pupils dart spastically off to my left side.
Pulseman: (high-pitched) I’ll bet that novel you wrote has tons of run-on sentences and ill-placed commas. Just like your eighth grade report on Hemingway did. The one that earned you a C-.”
Me: Mama?? You aren’t invited here today. I already made my peace with you a year after you passed away.
Pulseman: It’s “weren’t invited,” Missy. Still mixing up your tenses, I see. And it’s “Crossed Over,” not passed away.”
Me: (apologetically to Pulseman) Mama was an English teacher. And a stickler.
Pulseman: (head jerking to the right again) Lydia! You never told me our daughter got a C- on that thing! I should ground your butt for a month, Young Lady! Your mother went too easy on you. Letting you date That Jerk instead of insisting you study.
Pulseman: (looking up just above my head) Hey, baby. It’s “The Jerk” here. Wow, been a long time since I’ve been on top of you. You’re still looking pretty hot. Remember when we went to third base on my motorcycle the night before I crashed into that brick wall?
My first boyfriend?! Geeze, I wonder if my parents have ears that they can cover?
Pulseman: (gravelly Brooklyn Jewish accent) So? You’re wearing my good pearl earrings? You knew they were supposed to stay in the safety deposit box until you became a big shot Best Selling Author. Doesn’t anybody bother to listen to a Grandma anymore?
Me: Look, take it easy everyone.
Pulseman: Quite the family you have here. In addition to having a degree in Paranormal Psychology, I’m a certified psychotherapist. Why don’t I conduct a family session right now to help with some of this dysfunction you have going on.
Me: (yelling) I am NOT dysfunctional. This is ridiculous.
Pulseman: Don’t raise your voice to me, Missy. Or you’ll never get my special, “Heavenly” brisket recipe that’s being held in your trust fund.
Amongst a bunch of clatter and family squabbling, Paul Pulseman discreetly leans over to inform me there are now several Aunts, Uncles and Cousins quietly sitting in the back of the room, their hands neatly folded in their laps, (wearing cowboy hats and bandanas) waiting patiently for their turn to speak. This doesn’t sound like any kind of behavior exhibited in my extended family.
Me: Listen guys, can we just agree to disagree here? You didn’t leave me enough inheritance to keep coming back for more sessions.
Now Mr. Pulseman eagerly reports back to me in a hushed tone, confirming that the relatives in the back are actually here for his next client, a woman from Texas. They got the time wrong and arrived early. They hate to be late. However, he continues, they are quite impressed with my attitude and hope their own niece will be just as good-natured.
I shoot Mr. Pulseman a look that says, “You are one Whacked-Out Psycho Dude.”
Pulseman: Sorry about all this. Sometimes these things happen. What’s the name of the individual you actually came hoping to talk with today?
Me: (if he’s so intuitive, why doesn’t he know?) It was a husband.
Pulseman: (sobbing) Oh No Jack, our darling girl has become a Widow!
Pulseman: Now, now, Lydia. It was all that bacon and ham. And that good for nothing gentile never got his lazy ass off that sofa I built for them.
Me: Stop it everyone.
Pulseman: Will someone tell a poor old grandmother just how the husband actually passed on?
Me: Don’t you mean “Crossed Over?” And I stabbed him.
Pulseman: Hear that?? I told you we weren’t strict enough with her, Lydia. Now she’s a murderer.
Me: Will you relax and chill out? It was the husband in my novel. I had to kill him off; he was raping other women characters who dressed too seductively. I just came here today to test out this “Life After Death” mumbo jumbo and prove to my friend that it’s all just a big crock. If any real husband HAD shown up, I would have known that you were a Fake.
The room is suddenly filled with tremendous whining and complaining. Lots of upsetting accusations flying around bemoaning (or moaning?) the fact that I don’t care enough to base my fictional characters after each of them.
I put my hand over my ears and stand up, preparing to take my leave – – but first I wave to the Polite Relatives who are just “killing time” in the back of the office and carefully mouth the words, “You are sooooo lucky!”
As I exit out The Other Side of Mr. Pulseman’s door and into the peace and quiet of This Side, I am extraordinarily grateful to be back in the Land of the Living, where life is always predictable and sane.
During the drive home my cellphone rings and I’m surprised to hear Mr. Pulseman’s voice on The Other Side of the line.
Pulseman: How did I do?
Pulseman: Tiffany traded the lowdown dirt on your family for discounted sessions with me. And in exchange, you’re going to write about me in your blog because you’ve run out of interesting subject matter. Good advertising for me and a chance to get Freshly Pressed for you. It’s a win/win for everyone. Kills two birds with. . .
Me: I’m gonna strangle Tiffany.
Pulseman: That’s nice. Come back and see me next year and I’ll arrange a visit between you two. By the way, Pulsemann is spelled with two n’s.
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LOL That was really good. I can see why you got the award.
And by the way, it’s almost always after midnight. 🙂
Hi Tom! I just found this remark now but thanks so much for reading my older stuff!
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That was a fun read. Thank you for writing this story. Ann