Pauline took another sip of her tea and noticed how everything – inside and out – felt foreign to her. The way she licked her lips, smirked before she smiled, held her cigarette and tossed her long hair, were movements that seemed to be orchestrated by a program unknown to her own memories and impulses. Even though she had her own thoughts, she started to notice strange images, impulses and ideas swimming around her brain.
She realized that she was oscillating between her own imperatives and the motivations that came from somewhere within – something hidden – yet obviously known by this body. She felt like an invading entity in a shell that still maintained cellular memory. Then Gary jolted her out of her daze.
“You know, I have to be honest and let you know that I think you’ve either had a psychotic break again or someone really did slip you a mickey.”
His kind smile and even tone kept her from losing her temper, although she was starting to panic about not being believed, in case that prevented her from getting back somehow.
“I can tell you everything. I can tell you that you are still alive in 2016; when Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and William Burroughs will die and how. I can tell you about my life and future events. As a matter of fact – I can tell you about your own life, although you’ll probably say that you’ve told me before or that I heard it from someone else.”
She was stunned when he suddenly started laughing loudly.
“That’s amazing! I should get Allen and the boys around to hear this, before we head back to Frisco.”
Pauline stiffened and felt an unfamiliar wave of fury rising up from her stomach. She had no idea what was about to happen as she tried to focus on keeping a lid on it – to no avail.
“Gary, don’t patronize me. This is no joke. How dare you belittle me in this fashion?! You’re just trying to make sure I don’t go back with you. Typical!”
It was like she was two people in one – splitting apart and yet circling and entwining each other. Noticing a flood of information swarming her brain, which included visions of Gary teasing her and not taking her seriously – even deflecting hers or Julie’s ideas – Pauline sensed an overwhelming desire to swallow some pills. She got up from the sofa and started pacing back and forth while dragging heavily on the cigarette. Gary flopped back in his seat and watched her calmly – still smiling.
“Jules – sit down. We can work through this, surely?” He then got up and walked over to her, like a careful child approaching a grumpy horse. “I only mentioned the boys because – and you have to agree – they’d probably find this amusing, but also – they might be able to help.”
Pauline felt like she had a million butterflies swarming inside her. She noticed a rushing feeling in her head and realized that she was about to faint. She stumbled away from Gary and over to an armchair, falling into it just in time.
While Gary fussed over her, she noticed the excitement over the idea of meeting other members of the Beat Generation, mingling with confusing thoughts about her anger over Gary’s spiritual superiority – whatever that meant – and the growing, gnawing desire to escape through illegal substances.
She was shocked to hear words coming out of her mouth that were not her own – including the high-pitched, pleading voice.
“Okay – yeah, like – get the gang to swing by.”
Her thoughts then turned to William Burroughs – thinking of him as Bill and secretly happy over the fact that she could score from him. Then she recovered what she assumed was one of Julie’s memories, which told her that Burroughs was in England, filling her with anger and despair.
The dizziness in her head continued as she tried to channel each thought into a sustained, internal holding pen. The overlapping memories and visions were flooding and crowding her panicked mind.
Gary went to the telephone and dialed while Pauline put her hands to her temples. Her head continued to be swarmed with unfamiliar memories and thoughts, as her own thoughts struggled to gain a foothold. It didn’t take long for Gary to finish talking and rush back to her.
She looked up at him as he put his arms around her. He was kneeling in front of her with a concerned look on his face.
“Gary – what year is it?” She managed to ask.
“Baby, it’s 1955. It’s nearly Christmas. Are you okay? Should I call the doctor?”
“No. No – please don’t. I’m struggling with all these visions fighting my own.”
“Why don’t you meditate? Remember? You need to still your mind and gain control.”
Pauline nodded. It was strange to notice memories of meditating with Gary and her own memories, where she dabbled from time to time with June, when the library hosted meditation and yoga events. She slid off the chair and got into position – surprised at this body’s ability to adopt the lotus position with such ease.
Focusing on her breathing, she slowly but surely slipped into an even rhythm. Doing her best to ignore the dueling thoughts, she felt the anxiety quietening down and soon cleared her mind. She wasn’t prepared for what happened next.
The feeling of floating took over her, but she maintained her composure while wondering if she was levitating off the floor. Opening her eyes, it was obvious that she was no longer in Gary’s living room. It seemed so be a large, crystal sphere – but dark and sparkling. Staying in the lotus position, she looked this way and that – feeling that she wasn’t alone.
Sensing a presence but not seeing it at first, she called out – speaking in a voice without employing her mouth.
She looked down and saw an etheric body in place of a physical one. It dawned on her that she was probably out of her body. Then a strange sensation came over her, like a buzzing in response to something external, which soon materialized in front of her.
A silver mist twisted and turned like a glittering mass with a murmur of tiny, golden birds spilling forth. Then a being broke through – looking like a man with a mirror for a face – without features or hair, appearing from the waist up. His torso, arms and head were glistening and crystallized – much like quartz imbued with silver particles. The mirrored face seemed to be reflecting the universe.
Something about this being made her feel totally at ease, but she was surprised when she heard him speaking telepathically in a deep and silken voice – sounding like molten metal filtered through crystal flutes.
“Where is your body?”
She wondered which body he was talking about. Before she could answer, he spoke again – obviously able to read her mind.
“Earth – Millennium Pisces era. Your latest incarnation.”
Surprising herself again while responding telepathically, she finally accepted that she was truly out of her body – or Julie’s body.
“I think it’s back in 2016 – in Melbourne, Australia. I seem to have traveled back in time to another place and another life, but I don’t know how – exactly.”
The being sent out a single, golden bird – as small as a box of matches – which fluttered around her etheric body three times and then flew back to the being. Pauline watched as the bird was absorbed through the mirror face – momentarily lighting it up with a flash of gold light. The being floated closer to Pauline.
“You accessed a portal, which only a few have the power to do.” He said.
Pauline wasn’t sure how to respond, so she waited – mute.
“I am your Oversoul. This is our first conscious meeting. Now that you have crossed over a threshold which is hidden from most humans, you must learn the Universal rules.”
Pauline was dumbstruck. She felt fear and awe running through what she assumed was her consciousness.
“Could I ask some questions?” She asked hesitantly.
The Oversoul waved his right hand slightly towards himself.
“I already know them. Here are your answers: It is not for you to know who else can access your portal. I am neither male nor female. We only appear to our charges according to their preferences in terms of sexual and emotional affiliations – until further developed. You can access any time, life, world and form – provided you obey the laws – which I will reveal to you. Also – reincarnation is real – across all worlds.”
The little birds swirled around him as he continued.
“Your spirit name is Doelanda. You are a 9th level transient – which means that you are free to wander in all directions, all dimensions, all times. Finally, you will find your way back to your current incarnation – by returning to your point of entry.”
Pauline’s etheric head was swimming. The Oversoul moved even closer, until it was only three feet in front of her. She felt like she was being imbued with sparkling energy.
“Now – pay attention to these Laws. Record them when you are back in the body you now occupy.”
Pauline felt the need to gulp but she was in spirit form. She nodded and waited for the Oversoul to continue.
“You must never use the portals for personal gain. You must never tell anyone about the portals. You must never attempt to thwart your karma or change history – in any of the worlds you visit. The portals are doorways to different levels of existence, where you can experience many incarnations and emanations. Use them to elevate your understanding of yourself, other people in your life and the universe.”
Pauline was surprised to feel like she’d heard these laws before. They seemed familiar to her, like they had been imprinted in her DNA. She couldn’t help but ask a pressing question.
“What about rules in terms of time-frames – like – how long can I stay in any world?”
The Oversoul began moving backwards, as the golden murmur of birds started flowing back into the mist surrounding him.
“Long enough to learn – however – the longer you stay, the further you stray.”
Pauline panicked over the obvious fact that the Oversoul was leaving. He was being swallowed up by the mist.
“Wait! Will I ever see you again? What did you mean by the further you stray?”
His voice was distant now.
“I will be at hand.”
She felt a pulling in her solar plexus and in an instant, she was back in Gary’s room. There was a sense that she was more in control now. Feeling the vibrations of the body, she made a mental note to learn more about Julie, so she could research her once she got back to 2016. Gary was hovering around with a worried look on his face.
She liked the kindness in his eyes.
Getting up from the floor, it took all her effort not to blurt out everything she’d experienced while meditating. Had it all been a vision or had she really traveled to another dimension and met her Guardian Angel?
Gary took her into his arms but she pulled away instinctively. Even in another life, her loyalty to Jon was ever-present.
“I’m sorry, but I told you. I’m not who you think I am.”
“Then who are you?” He asked sadly – and quite annoyed.
Before she could answer, a loud, male voice boomed on the front doorstep, followed by heavy knocks.
“Alright Gary, open up!”
Gary went over to the door and opened it. Pauline gasped when she saw a handsome man followed by an earnest, bespectacled man behind him. She nearly fainted when she recognized them as Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg.
“Come in, come in. Julie’s passing through a crisis so it’s all hands on deck!”
Jack stepped in carrying a bottle of red wine. He shyly nodded while Allen pushed past and raced over to hug her. She was thrilled with being in the presence of such great writers, whom she’d admired since her teenage years. It was all she could do to stop herself gushing – even though she’d already told Gary about herself and she assumed – was about to share her story with Allen and Jack.
Allen led her over to the sofa while Gary and Jack went into the kitchenette to fetch glasses and peanuts. She found herself shuddering every time she looked at Jack. It was different than seeing photos or video. In the flesh it was so real that it almost seemed like it wasn’t them at all. There was also something about Jack which reminded her of Jon. She was then distracted by Allen leaning in to address her.
“So, Julie. Gary tells me that you’re going through some kind of crazy, cosmic trip. I hope it’s not anything to do with pharmaceuticals.”
He grinned and rubbed her back, while she stared and smiled idiotically. Over his shoulder, she saw Gary’s worried face watching her every move, while Jack sipped his wine and leafed through a notebook. Something hit her right at that moment. She remembered one of the laws her Oversoul had mentioned, about not changing anything. She wondered if telling them all about who she really was and where she came from, might change the course of history.
She also remembered the time travel movies she’d seen in her life, which all dictated the butterfly effect – meaning that any minor change could result in a major catastrophe. Even though she felt like her influence would be small, she decided right then and there – with Mr. Allen Ginsberg staring and waiting patiently – to keep her story to herself.
“Oh, well – who knows? I think Gary might’ve been right in the first place. Either it was a psychotic break or someone slipped me a mickey!”
She looked over and saw Gary smile.
“Pay the doctor a visit, Jules. He’ll set you straight.”
Jack looked up and gave her a furtive smile. He turned to discuss Gary’s poetry with him, while Allen started talking about schizophrenia and stream of consciousness.
“It’s easy for supposed professionals in the medical field to explain away true revelations and spiritual experiences as either drug-induced fantasies or mental aberrations, but there’s plenty of unequivocal evidence to suggest…”
As he went on, Pauline noticed that she couldn’t take her eyes off Jack. It wasn’t only the fact that he was a famous American author – alive and breathing right in front of her. She realized that there was an air about him that continued to remind her of Jon. Simple gestures and his hushed voice, punctuated with the occasional loud burst of enthusiasm seemed to jerk at her heartstrings.
Allen continued to talk as she felt a new revelation hit her. If she had time traveled back to a previous life – could it be that Jack Kerouac was a prior incarnation for Jon? She knew that Kerouac died in 1969 – which was the same year that Jon was born.
Then Jack interrupted Allen from across the room.
“Don’t get ahead of yourself, buddy boy!”
A chill ran through Pauline’s veins. Jon often made that statement when walking their dog – Roman.