I joined the Army because I wanted money to go to art school. The Army was offering money through the G.I. Bill, so that was appealing to me. I wasn’t really doing much at the time so I thought it would be a good time to go into the Army, get the G.I. Bill and get out. So that’s what I did, I joined the Army. I wasn’t there for very long before I realized that I really did not like the Army. All the rules… I felt like I couldn’t really express myself as an artist in the Army. So on the weekends I started doing things to escape. I would take a lot of over-the-counter cough medicine. There is a drug that you can find in some of them and it is a pretty powerful hallucinogenic if you take enough of it. So on the weekends I would be doing that and one weekend I did it three times in a row, popping a whole box of cough medicine. It’s really horrible for you. But those hallucinogenic experiences were quite memorable and powerful and very interesting. The one that sticks out is this: I remember it was a full moon and there was a storm blowing through and it was rainy and then not, hot and clear, then rainy again. I remember looking at the moon and trying to manifest what I wanted in my life. Everything became so clear to me. I really wanted to get out of the Army and go to art school. I couldn’t sleep that night and the next day, I couldn’t sleep the following night, either. My whole chemistry, it seemed, had changed in my brain, my thought patterns. Everything seemed very primal and instinctual with my thoughts. I knew what I wanted and I knew how I was going to get it. It wasn’t being in the Army and it wasn’t following the Army’s rules. So I decided I wasn’t going to follow their rules and I wasn’t going to participate with what they were doing. Even the basic things like dressing in your BDU’s and shaving and shining your shoes and all that sort of thing. That was just not important to me. So they obviously knew right away because I just stopped doing everything. They knew that something was quite different with me and it sure was. They called me into the first Sargeant’s office and he looked at me and he said “Sit here. I’ll be right back.” So I’m sitting there and I’m thinking “I don’t want to be here.” So I walk out and I walk off the base. I was thinking to myself that I really wanted to start dating. There was this really cute looking female that was living a ways away and so I went to hit her up and see if she was available. I kind of freaked her out. I walked into where she was working and I confessed my attraction for her and she didn’t know how to react to that. I put my arm around her. She freaked out and ended up calling the police. They picked me up to take me to the MP’s (military police.) They knew something was wrong with me and they were trying to figure it out. I told them right away what I had been doing, taking the cough medicine. The MP’s said “You need to sit down here.” I said “I don’t want to sit.” Suddenly, the room fills with MP’s and, for a moment, it’s sort of like a stand-off. Then they rush me and they tackle me and beat me until I had to sit down, physically. The next thing I know, I’m being given breathalyzer tests, and they hog-tie me and put a gag-ball in my mouth. They put me in a prison cell and I sat there for hours. Finally they take me to a hospital. My thought pattern is totally over-stimulated, I haven’t had any sleep for days and I’ve been hallucinating. The hospital is trying to figure it out and I told them I would give them a urine sample and whatever they wanted but this is what I did. So they took me to the psych ward where I stayed for a couple of weeks. They diagnosed me with bi-polar disorder. They said I was manic-depressive and that I had this manic episode and that they couldn’t have me in the Army anymore. In fact, they said “you were fine when you came into the Army and so we must have done this to you, so we’ll pay for all of your college.” I got processed out of the Army, they paid for all my college, all my books, all of everything and they still give me money every month because of what I went through. I got out just before 9-11. A lot of my buddies went to Iraq. Some of them are dead. I could have very, very easily gone to Iraq and experienced that because my enlisted time was up a year after 9-11. When 9-11 happened, they kept all those soldiers for years after their duty time was over. Now I make my living being an artist. I lucked out incredibly.

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One evening I was with a couple of my buddies in my buddy’s barn, unloading some stuff for his Mom. It was out in the middle of nowhere. It went super quiet for a second. We all look up at the same time and there are these two orbs, red and orange, glowing, and they are going silently from here to the bridge, maybe 100 feet away. Right as they were about to hit the trees, they flickered off. They made no sound and they had hovered right over us.

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When I was about 10 years old, my best friend and I discovered that we were fascinated by certain, strong smells. We liked the smell of mint so we decided to go through his parent’s trash to try to find a discarded tube of mint toothpaste. We found it. Mmmm, it smelled g-o-o-o-d. We also found some coffee grounds… which smelled great! We  used an empty coffee can to hold our new smell treasures. We started to mine my parent’s trash as well. A nearly-empty lipstick tube had an interesting smell and so that went into our can. The peach pit passed the test, too. Every day for a week or two we searched for, found and collected smell treasures. We put them all in our can and at the end of each day we would bury our can of treasures at the base of a pine tree in a small grove at the edge of the cow pasture that was between our houses. Every morning we would dig up our treasure and examine and smell each thing. After a while summer came to an end and school started. We hadn’t looked at our treasure in a couple of weeks when, returning home from school one day, we saw that the dairy farmer had cut down the little pine grove and had bull-dozed the stumps. We ran to look for our treasure can but we never found it.

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In 1988, when I was in kindergarten, former President Richard Nixon moved into my town. This was the town I grew up in. I was very young so I didn’t know what a president was or anything like that, but my mother knew who Richard Nixon was. For Halloween that year my Mom took us out trick-or-treating. Of course, she took us to Richard Nixon’s house. That was her chance to see a former president. Eventually, we get to the door of his house. My mother rings the bell and, sure enough, former President Richard Nixon comes to the door. I didn’t understand who he was but I did understand that this was Halloween and that we would go to people’s doors and they would give us candy, so I loved going to people’s doors. So he comes out and he gives us Bic pens. Not with his name on it or anything, just ordinary Bic pens. That was it. That was the time I met Richard Nixon.

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This was a three-day experience. It started with this dream where my teeth fell out. I was in a dental chair and I could see these dental  tools in front of me but there was nothing I could do about it. My teeth kept falling out. I had really important things to tell three friends – my previous girlfriend, my current girlfriend and my best friend, who is also a woman. In my dream all three of them were walking away from me and I wanted to tell them all of what was going on but my teeth just kept falling out. It was the scariest thing. I woke up in a sweat, crying. I had a little pet mouse that I had just gotten and I woke up and I felt that death had entered the room and, it was the craziest thing; it just felt really intense. I looked over at my mouse and my mouse had died. I didn’t know what to do. The next day there was this crazy, hot, tropical wind-storm going on outside. I was walking down the street and my ex, whom I had not seen in a year, was walking down the street and I told her what I had wanted to tell her. My friend, who I hadn’t talked to for a while, sent me an e-mail and I told her. My current girlfriend, the one last person that I needed to tell this thing to, I got up the courage and called her and told her. Right after that, I had another dream and the dream was me putting my teeth back in. I had articulated how to pick up the dental tools and how to put my teeth back in. I felt like I had completed my mission.
Up in the Hood River area I had a VW van. Its emergency brake did not work. I had two kids with me and I’m driving down the road and I see a sign that says “nectarines.” I think “Oh, I’ve got to get some nectarines.” So I go up this road. It’s a dirt road. It curves around and then it goes up a hill to the house that is selling them. I drive up there, park the van, get the kids out of the van and then realize that I did not put it into first gear when I parked. It starts to move and it’s heading down this steep hill, front-ways. At that point, the wheels must have turned because it curves around and falls over onto its side. Then it pops back up on all four tires! It crosses the road and stops. I can’t believe what I am seeing. It is against all rules… How can this be? I walked down close to it and I see that it had fallen against a very big post, pushed the post over and then the post sprung back up, pushing my Volkswagen upright! The accident caused the post to pop out of the ground. I thought “Oh, dear!” I walked back up the driveway to the woman who was selling the nectarines and I said “I’ve done something to your post. My van hit it and it popped out of the ground.” And she said “That’s wonderful! I’ve been trying to get that post out of the ground for years!”

Summer of 2010, I went to the Oregon County Fair. At that point I had been going to the Fair for 25 years. I never snuck in. Everybody sneaks in. Well I never snuck in. I decided to sneak in that year. I was 47 years old. So I had to scale a 13-foot fence to get in. I got in, it was late at night, dark, and we’re walking around. We stopped and talked to a couple of guys and this one guy says “Hey! You guys like shrimp?” And I say “Yeah, we LOVE shrimp!” He says for us to go over to his place as he has 500 pounds of shrimp. So we go there with him to his booth and we eat some shrimp and he has about 60 cocktail sauces. So we try all these cocktail sauces. We eat all these shrimp and we go on our way. Later on that evening, I walk up to some guy in the dark, in the randomness of this festival I walk up to this guy and I say “Hey, tell me a story.” So the guy says “O.K., I’ll tell you a story. I’ll tell you a story about a man named Dwaine who likes to eat a lot of shrimp and his van broke down in California.” Then he said “end of story.” My name is Dwaine, I like to eat a lot of shrimp and a week prior to that, my van broke down in California.
It was 1986, or maybe 1987. I had a certain kind of familiarity with Ronald Reagan, Jr., mostly because of the skit that he had done on Saturday Night Live, doing a parody of Tom Cruise jumping on a bed with no pants and white socks and singing. Anyway, I was having a time in Manhattan with my friend, Paula, and we were walking down 5th Avenue around 9 p.m. and here comes Ronald Reagan, Jr. walking toward us on the sidewalk. Paula was chatting about something to me, but I saw and recognized Ron as he approached us. You know how, in the city, you make sure to make room for others on the sidewalk. Well, he stepped to the right to make room for us, just as I moved us to the right.  So, he moved to the left, just as I moved us to the left. We stopped, locked eyes and laughed, and made room for each other, just as
Paula was getting the gist of it.  As Ron walked past, our shoulders brushed.   Then, I said that that was Ronald Reagan, Jr.  "What? How do you know? You mean, Ronald Reagan?" she shouted, and turned to look.  So did I.  Ron heard her, looked over his shoulder and saw the recognition, and started to run up the sidewalk, soon out of sight.

Many years later, in 2001, my man, Jon, and I were traveling up the left coast
in a rented Lincoln, taking 2 weeks to go from LA to Seattle. We had finally made it to Seattle, just days after the earthquake that had shaken the city and closed lots of spots.  Anyway, we were walking through Pike Place Market when Jon asked me to please wait while he ran back to the car for something. So, I was hanging out next to a leaning wall when I saw a couple of young businessmen walking toward me, and one of them looked up and  said to his companion, "Hey, look at that guy.  Isn't he a famous actor or someone?  No, wait, it's Ronald Reagan, Jr.!"  I turned to look, and, sure enough, there he was walking toward them, from behind me.  As he walked by me, our eyes met and our shoulders brushed, and then he started to run up the street, away from us all.
My name is Sky. In Durango, Colorado after the National Rainbow Family Gathering in New  Mexico, I was with some friends at the “Food Not Bombs” house. We’re in the front yard of this house one evening smoking cigarettes and we see, above the trees, these vibrant green sparks. We all run out into the middle of the street because we think that someone is setting off fireworks and we want to see them.  We see more sparks in the air but we don’t really see any fireworks going off.  We’re waiting for something to happen but nothing did so we thought that maybe  it was a dud. So we start to head back to the house when this thing in the air comes bobbing around. It is oblong, two long spheres connected longwise. They’re floating. In the apparent front one, there is a green light. It was the most vibrant green I have ever seen. It was shaped like an upright rectangle. It was where you might imagine would be the driver’s seat. The white stuff that the thing was made out of was like tissue material… it looked like a cross of tissue and light. But it’s not pure light and it’s not actual tissue. This thing is bobbing in the air. There is no noise whatsoever. My dog was there and he wasn’t barking. He just seemed to be just as in awe as we are. We were all there with our jaws dropped. This thing bobbed along about fifteen feet off the ground. It’s bobbing along in the air and it comes to the corner of the street. We didn’t feel scared, we were just in awe and fascinated. It gave me a child-like feeling. This thing seemed to be a living organism. It bobbed down to about eleven feet off the ground and got to be just about four feet away from us. The two spheres were about two and a half feet across each. It stops bobbing and it is just sitting there in the air, floating like something in the ocean would swim, like a jellyfish would swim. Then it turns to “look” down the other road (we were in the yard of a corner house) and then it turned and “looked” at us. It seemed to notice us noticing it because it startled, there was a little jump like it was startled. It turns and goes down the road that it had been looking down, goes about three or four houses down the street, goes higher, turns and goes above the roof of a house, shoots out into the sky and gets as small as a star, zig-zags across the sky, circles a few times, does a little spiral thing, and then shoots across the sky and goes under the horizon. Since then, I have seen other things. I have never been under the influence of anything when I saw these things, which I am grateful for. It drives you a little mad, though, because I had never questioned anything before. Seeing stuff like this opens your eyes to other things, things I would have never considered. And the things I have seen since then, I would have never inquired about things like that.

I was at my friend’s house and we decided that it would be fun if we played with the Ouiji board. So we started using the board and it was spelling out really weird things, like this girl’s name that no-one knew. Then it spelled out “I am opening up the gates of hell.” We had all the lights out and my friend started crying, only it wasn’t willful crying, and then her thumb started bleeding. Then the board spelled out these numbers. The next day we Googled the numbers and it turned out to be a code name for this demon who had a million arms and a million legs. We Googled the girl’s name and found out that it was a girl who had been murdered.