Thursday, June 25, 2009

Take Me Now God! - Excerpt #4

[Authors note: For those of you following this story I have tried to simplify it. If you just started there is a series of excerpts and if you want to start at the beginning just copy and paste the following links. Note that this release is now Excerpt 1 as it was the preface but left out of the earlier releases. Have fun with the preface which is titled the Postmortem.]

Take Me Now God! Review
What a Novel Idea

Take Me Now God! Excerpt #1

Take Me Now God! Excerpt #2

Take Me Now God! Excerpt #3
Terminator Comet

(An Unauthorized Autobiography)

Copyright 2009 jiM PuTnaM

Excerpt #4


About 25 years ago I found out for the first time that I was worldly. Sounded good to me. Like a jet setter of sorts. Man of the world. Then I found out what it meant. Took a legion of Jehovah’s Witnesses to finally get through to me. I mean I was brainwashed as a Catholic since birth. Deprogramming takes some time.

I smoked. I drank. I danced. I swore. I fought. I believe in the country. I paid taxes. I liked holidays. And by doing some or all of the above I had somehow rejected God and was condemned to be stuck here in hell for eternity. It meant I was lost to the material world, forever banished to drift aimlessly in an endless sea of darkness and never see the light of the spiritual kingdom, or some such illuminating thought.

Learned that from the Watchtower, the National Enquirer of the Witness Kingdom. The only magazine with bigger distribution than Reader’s Digest. Back when I was still in intensive brainwashing I was told the Jehovah’s Witnesses, plus the Christian Scientists, Mormons, and about every other group that was not Catholic, was a cult.

That’s all it took to get me interested in finding out more. So I made it a habit to study all kinds of religions all my life. Ever wonder who in the world would let the door-to-door Jesus people in their house? I confess, it was me. Course I debated them as much as I debated the nuns and priests. Except the Witnesses never tried to exorcise me like my own did. I was always good for their witness quota if not salvation.

Of all the groups I studied I was most fascinated by the Mormons and Witnesses. The Mormons because of their commitment to the nation, the Witnesses because of their opposition to the nation. Then I found a lot of similarity between the Witnesses and the Hopi Indian. Lost tribes seem to have a lot in common.

Neither recognized the authority of the federal government. And while the Hopi were making their last stand in the desolation of the Arizona desert, the Witnesses were making their last stand in the desolation of Brooklyn. Besides, the Hopi had their ancient prophecies and the Witnesses had their Michael Jackson.

When I was a kid I always wanted to be a monk. Think the Witnesses reminded me of monks. After giving up all they had to give up, might as well be in a cloistered order in the mountains somewhere.

Two main things intrigued me about the Witnesses. First was their refusal to take blood transfusions for any reason. Second was the legendary ways they could beat the government out of taxes, OOPS, cancel that. I mean second was the importance of the 144,000 soldiers of God mentioned in Revelations.

Until I talked to the Witnesses, I never realized all 144,000 of God’s chosen would be Witnesses. Didn’t say much for the other 99% of the population, or the Pope. Of course they never could explain to me how there were only 144,000 of God’s chosen yet there were several million Witnesses. What happens to the rest of the righteous ones? Dinner for the seven-headed dragon I suspect.

Spent over a year in California living with Witnesses. Not in a commune or anything, they were fairly normal in living arrangements. But I went to the temple and debated with the elders for all hours of the day and night. They asked me for insights into all the other religions I had studied, and I asked them for tax tips.

Then one day my mission became clear. There had to be some reason for living with Witnesses for over a year, all the while subjecting myself to being branded a “worldly” person. I had been fascinated for quite some time with their refusal to take blood on biblical grounds. I could respect the position as well as their foundation.

But it seemed to me there should be an alternative to certain death, and a number were dying because of this religious belief. So I studied and ran across something the Japanese had patented called artificial blood. Now as long as the transfusion was not real blood, I saw no reason it wouldn’t be okay. And if the artificial stuff could help you survive long enough for your own system to replace the lost blood, then everyone wins.

After numerous discussions the Witnesses checked it out through their secret hierarchy and finally agreed to try it. It didn’t conflict with their teachings and might save some lives. Then the trouble began and my mission became clear. The artificial blood was not approved in the US. To get it approved, it had to go through the long and cumbersome process of Food and Drug Administration approval. Yet every day it seemed like more people were dying because they couldn’t take blood. New drug approval by the FDA was measured in years, not weeks.

So they asked me to help them, to find the short cut. With my federal experience I was to get the approval of the government for experimental use of the artificial blood. From day one I ran into an endless series of roadblocks. Before I was through my little humanitarian quest was to expose bigotry and discrimination to a degree I never suspected was possible in the land of the free.

I appealed to the chairman of a US Senate Committee for help. A famous Senator with a bunch of famous family members and a famous political dynasty behind him. One of his aides was assigned to help get the FDA approval. When I explained it to the aide over the phone, he asked if it was the same cult that refused to take blood transfusions. I said yes. He said they deserved to die. I figured that meant help would not be forthcoming any time soon.

So I played my trump card. I played back the tape of the phone call. The tape where he said they deserved to die. Then I told him the next time he heard the tape it would be playing on 60 Minutes, national television. Damn Catholics. I can say that, I was one. Seems there was a miraculous transformation. I asked God’s forgiveness for my tactics then thanked God for helping me get it done. No conflict there.

We got the waiver shortly after. Too late to save the father of a Witness I knew. But the very day of the approval people started being saved. Later a story appeared in the Watchtower. Don’t remember if it mentioned me. I never saw it. Doubt they could mention how worldly people help out. Wouldn’t look good for recruiting. I was already off on a new adventure. But I always liked the Witnesses. They’re into the End Times too.


As I sit and watch the daybreak
and the sun lights up the sky
I cannot help but wonder
why such beauty is a lie

For the beauty that we gaze on
is not within our grasp
the peace within that dawning morn
can’t be made to last

And so my search continues
as I travel on my way
in my quest for understanding
I have only this to say

As I travel to the cities
that people call their homes
I cannot help but wonder
why so many are alone

Dissent and animosity
that’s growing from within
makes everyone an enemy
though you view them as a friend

Don’t try to understand me
or make your love be known
for I was born to wander
no place to call my own

So as I journey onward
and fade with time till dead
forget you ever met me
but remember what I said

The answer I can’t find here
from two faces of the day
so now I must continue
and once again I say

Like a rolling stone I have no home
like the winds of the west I never rest
like the birds of the sky I’m free to fly
like a ray of hope I live then die


Whoever coined the phrase, “life is cruel” was an eternal optimist, I know. Take the subject of near death experiences. If life were simply cruel we’d get one of these in a life time. But near death experiences were a way of life with me. If I’d known the near death stories could sell so many books I would’ve kept notes from day one. And I’d be rich by now.

The first happened almost before I even had a chance to get my diapers wet for the first time. They took me home from the hospital, and our apartment promptly catches on fire and burns down. The Ex says Satan was just trying to make me feel at home. I had a better idea. Figured it was either my older brother not willing to share the attention with a new baby, or mom trying to cook to impress me. Either explanation made more sense than Satan. I vowed to keep my eyes open after that. Probably explains why I was never able to sleep.

After moving to a new place I was sitting out front in a stroller with the bottom plate off. I started pushing with my feet and the next thing I knew I was sailing down the long, sloping stretch of sidewalk leading to a concrete flight of stairs with no help in sight. Was airborne for a short time as the stroller rolled in mid air and I smashed my face into a step halfway down. Even my permanent teeth were damaged and they weren’t out. Had so many stitches it took until high school for the scar tissue to not be noticeable. Guess my head had to grow into my injury.

The next couple of near deaths were medical related. Had the mumps so bad I couldn’t eat. Into the hospital for an IV. Then a measles induced fever brought me back again, to be packed in ice before my brain fried. Got a couple of years off before I came back with a bang. This time I drowned in a lake at summer camp. Both brothers stood watching as I sank under for the third and final time. I would have killed them if I hadn’t been busy dying myself. They thought I was playing around.

During this experience I managed separation from my body and was that strange. Was able to watch myself sink to the bottom of the lake. Resigned myself to die. It was quite peaceful. Didn’t see any angels or tunnel leading to brilliant light No spirits were waiting to guide me home. Guess I wasn’t near enough to death, or to heaven.

When I hit bottom I had muscle spasms and my legs bolted out straight, slamming against the bottom, and propelling my nearly limp body to the shallow end where counselors were waiting to grab me and bring me back to life. I was okay. Think my desire to get even with my brothers helped me through it.

By now I was beginning to feel immortal. Five attempts to die and they kept throwing me back. There would be many more. Like the time my younger brother and I were bored so we stole a box of rifle shells from a neighbor’s garage and tried firing them by smashing them with bricks. When that failed we tossed the whole box in an incinerator and had to run for our lives when the fire set off the ammunition. Felt like a front row seat at the Battle of Normandy.

Once my kid brother and I snuck into the basement so I could play priest again. We flattened the bread into hosts but the light in the old coal room where I intended to say Mass was off so I moved a folding chair under it and reached up to the chain. As the light came on I realized I was in a pool of water and then I lit up with the light. Bob knocked me loose from the arcing electricity through my body

Was swimming in a lake near a diving platform when lightning struck out in the middle. I dove under the surface just as the electrical charge came sizzling across the water. The guy I was with was caught hanging on the platform trying to get out and was severely burned in a circle around his chest. But he lived.

My eighth near death experience was in 8th grade when I had the brain concussion and slipped into a coma. Trying to be a hero in football playing without a helmet. We won, I lost, I had total amnesia and no idea where home might be. That night I slipped away in a coma and three days later I came back to life. What else could possibly go wrong? I wasn’t even in high school yet.

There was the time I plowed into two deer at 5:00 am doing 80 miles per hour. After the car finished rolling down a hill I woke up with a deer in the front seat beside me. Or the time I was towing a car and fell asleep. Both cars went into a slow motion spin out in the rain, then we disappeared backwards over an embankment and slid down into a ditch.

Once I was driving an MGB convertible and pulled up to a stop sign. At the last second I eased off the brake and rolled a couple of inches forward. Heard an odd whooshing sound, turned my head to the left and saw a hunting arrow sticking out of my head rest. If I hadn’t of rolled forward the arrow would have been in my neck. Some idiot was down the block playing Robin Hood.

The day after I graduated from high school my buddy and I were racing along the Pennsylvania Turnpike for NYC when a typhoon hit. We were in a VW bug trapped in the middle of a bunch of massive semi-trailers. At the bottom of the hill the road was flooded so we held on for dear life as the VW plowed into the water. With semis beside, behind, and coming toward us in the other lanes, it didn’t look good. Somehow the VW magically bounced up on the island dividing the turnpike saving us from instant pulverization.

When I was working in politics doing an investigation of fraud in federally funded programs I was driving a federal car and the windows were blown out by shotgun blasts. Never a dull moment. By then it was clear, I couldn’t get out of here. Some called it luck but I wondered. What was so great about not being taken?

I was caught in riots in New York City, Washington, DC and Omaha. Floods and tornadoes tried to get me. Strange things kept happening around me even when they weren’t happening to me.

In all I guess I had about 20 chances to write a best seller before they finally tapered off a few years back. Blew them all. There are some stories we just aren’t meant to share. She said it stood to reason, they wouldn’t let me out. A demon’s work is never done. I suppose that’s about right. Might make leaving this time a little harder. But I like challenges.


Little Jimmy strolling down the street
hear the pitter patter of his little feet
watch him scream and yell so loud
always heard, above the crowd

Well Jimmy met his match one day
while in his stroller he did play
a trip so fast was his to take
down the walk, without a brake

He had no wings but he did fly
right off the ground into the sky
but fat round kids must come back down
and so he crashed, upon his crown

Now there’s a lesson to be told
about this cribbled kid once bold
flying’s not for kids to do
cause then the people, will laugh at you

Little Jimmy strolling down the street
hear the pitter patter of his little feet
watch him scream and yell so loud
he’s always heard, above the crowd


What if I never get my life together? Then what? I mean, I tried growing up but found that entirely unacceptable. Now what the hell am I supposed to do? My life has been out of control since I got jerked out of the womb against my will. I mean, there was a mistake. I was supposed to be born to a Rockefeller or maybe a Mellon. They could afford me. But to my family. No wonder they had to pull me out. I had no intention of leaving until the mistake had been corrected.

I’d do a life review about now but I’d die laughing before I got through it. Not the way I want to end this life. Besides, there’s too many other people in line to knock me off. Wouldn’t want to spoil the fun for them. Of course I’ve already disappointed all those people that predicted my demise long before now. I call it debunking the psychics. They had no business making such predictions.

Guess I’ve just about tried it all by now. Can’t think of much more I have the energy or will to attempt. Did some interesting things I think. But my mother would never know. She has never figured out what I’m doing. Every time I’m around her she tells people something newer and stranger about me. Like the last time she said I was a Fed for the last 20 years. What the hell does that mean?

I haven’t been anything for five years, let alone twenty. Guess she might not approve of the things I’ve done. That would explain changing my history. If I hadn’t of caught my teachers changing history all the time I might not have understood. Mothers can change history, any history, especially when it comes to their kids. They don’t like what you do, they make up a new story.

Just wish she’d fill me in before me introduces me to people that think I’ve done something interesting. Although this last incident didn’t sound interesting to me. Maybe she finally gave up on me. She used to tell people interesting tall tales about me. Like I won all kinds of Emmys, was the governor of some state, or maybe that I’d made some spectacular archaeological discovery, like finding the lost continent of Atlantis or the ancient Hopi prophecy tablets. They were creative. A Fed? Now that’s boring.

Sometimes I think I’d like to take a peek inside her head. Then when I start to sense what is there, I run. What little I saw reminded me of Grand Central station under construction. Total chaos. Be hard to live with that I suspect. After having us for kids she probably feels like she’s been the victim of a psychic bush whacking. Someone once told me, and it might have been the Indians, that it takes four generations for the sins of the father to surface in the heirs. She found a short cut I guess.

But then I’ve never been a mother whose idea of dinner was a nice sit down meal at the country club. One whose idea of housework was what room service people did. She was groomed for royalty and stuck in the middle class. What are you going to do without the servants? Panic I guess.

That was why my first area of learning was home economics. Never understood that term either. Cooking, cleaning and sewing doesn’t translate to economics to me. It was more like survival. Then again, I made it an economic enterprise in my youth. I used to charge my brothers to clean up their mess. Then charged them to iron their shirts. I usually reserved my cooking for myself. I was more interested in seeing the long term effect of mother’s cooking on them.

Developing such a pattern in your youth can adversely affect you later. You don’t trust people to cook for you. And heaven help them if they so much as touch your laundry. I had my own particular way to fold things. And everything had a place. People still see my place and pronounce me anal retentive, yet another degrading term. Ever notice how only the total slobs call you that.

When you share a room all through your youth and have to fight for clothes and food, you get to be rather compulsive about your things. So few things can ever truly be yours in that kind of environment. I guarded them with my life and went to extremes to protect them from the marauding masses in the family.

Both my mother and father came from families that made pack ratting a science. Thus I inherited that genetic flaw as well. Both grandfathers were in the pack rat hall of fame. I did my best to keep up the family tradition but could never hold a candle to those masters.

Then I marry someone whose idea of something old and worn out is when you get it home from the store. I was looking for trouble there. Here I was the result of years of biological breeding to be a master recycler, a savior of all things old, and she wants to throw away anything with dust on it. Doomed from the start.

Kids are stupid and I was a kid once. Amazing the hindsight of maturity. Do you realize if we mastered hindsight we could never make a mistake. And how boring would that be? I always learned far more from mistakes than by doing something right. Isn’t learning supposed to be all about finding out what you don’t know, not doing what you do know?

Some people really get turned on by genealogy. I never did. It seemed to me that the risk of exposing dark secrets was always greater than finding out something good. Why else would your family’s past be shrouded in mystery? My dad did a massive family research project once. I never did see the results. But I saw bits and pieces.

That was how I knew Emilia Earhart married into the family, shortly before disappearing from the world. And how I learned that the little girl who testified against the witches in Salem was family. Talk about karma. After all those witches got fried because of my ancestor I suppose we were cursed for all time. Maybe that explains all the strange things that happened to me. Even the first causalities of the revolutionary war were family. Always looking for a good fight. Figured the British Empire would be a worthy opponent.

I leave the genealogy to the Mormons. Let them preserve my past. They can even convert all those dead souls from my family tree. In a way, its reassuring to me to know that long after I’m dead the Mormons can still come along and reinstate me into the good graces of the spiritual kingdom. Of course I never thought of Salt Lake City as the New Jerusalem but it has to be somewhere.

At least I’ve resolved the religious dilemma this lifetime. I decided to be a multi-religious zealot. I’m a Jew for Hanukah so I get 8 days of Christmas. Then I become a Witness for the other Christmas and birthdays so I don’t have to give gifts. I’m a Buddhist into self-transformation when I don’t want to go anywhere with people I don’t like. A Celtic Druid when I’m stoned, or is it surrounded by stones?

I’m Native American with a love for the Earth when it’s time to mow the grass. Mormon when it comes to marriage so I can have a few wives. Chinese when I can’t stand kids. A Muslim when I want five or six extra breaks during the workday. I’m an evangelical Christian when I want inspiration and a fundamentalist Christian when I want to trash the government and all other religions. Finally, I’m a Republican when the Democrats are in office, a Democrat when the Republicans are in office, and Independent when I think about it or when I’m around Perot.

In summary, I just am. Life is good.


I was born one autumn morn
the offspring of a war
that I never fought nor saw
nor even tasted

And even though I tried
I could never run away and hide
I could never get away go back
so it’s good-bye

My father was a politician
I was a politician’s son
though I never felt my life
had been wasted

And even though I tried
I could never run away and hide
I could never get away go back
so it’s good-bye

Always walked in long tall shadows
of my next of kin
never could live up
to expectations

And even though I tried
I could never run away and hide
I could never get away go back
so it’s good-bye

Raised to be a dreamer
whose work is never done
searching for the answers
to life’s mysteries

And even though I tried
I could never run away and hide
I could never get away go back
so it’s good-bye

Looking back on where I’ve been
the prodigy of war
walked that lonely trail
of broken dreams

And even though I tried
I could never run away and hide
I could never get away go back
so it’s good-bye


After so many years of hearing people tell you how bad off you really are, there comes a point when you start wondering for yourself. The Ex was only the latest to suggest I needed professional help. Think it started back with the nuns in grade school. About ten years ago they finally wore me down and I went to a psychologist or counselor or whatever you call them.

The premise which I finally accepted was the question, why am I not happy. The lady I was with at the time was worried that I kept accomplishing all these great things over and over and never seemed to get any pleasure from them. Sounded like a good idea to me, to find out why. She was right too, I never did really get any pleasure from accomplishing things.

First the psycho asked me if I was happy. I said no. She asked why and I said I saw no reason to be. All I had to do was look around me. When she pressed for why I didn’t seem to feel a sense of accomplishment I said it was because I always had things going on which weren’t accomplished.

Once we won a congressional campaign we were not supposed to win and I felt no sense of satisfaction. We had pulled off one of the top upsets in the country and I missed it. She asked why and I said I knew how much work was required to get him ready to take office. And I knew how hard it would be to keep him out of trouble when he got into office. Why should I be happy?

When we got a television special I helped create an Arts and Entertainment network national broadcast I didn’t feel that great. I knew the many people involved and the incredible long hours it took to put it together. Same was true with the Emmy winning series for National Geographic I worked on. Awards were never that important.

Sessions after session went by and all we were doing was talking about all the things I did and why I thought there was still too much left to do to be happy. Eventually I told her I was tired of being the subject of her next book. It didn’t seem like I was getting anywhere with the counseling. Either she had to send me to someone who could test me for a real problem or chemical deficiency, or I was through.

Off to the real shrink. After extensive testing he called me in the office. I was expecting him to tell me some kind of mind altering drugs were necessary. Instead he said the reason you are not happy is because what you do is not important to you. He said my outlook was worldly, even universal, and that I was unable to look at myself as an individual capable of accomplishing what I thought was important.

Seems when I had answered his questions about what I wanted to accomplish by saying wiping out hunger, providing housing for the homeless, ending war, eliminating hatred, that it ended any need for treatments. He said I didn’t have a problem. It would just be hard for me to ever be able to relate to my own needs when so many others wore so heavily on me. And what I accomplished was insignificant in my mind to the things I was worried about.

So that was it. Two more times I went to see shrinks for opinions and both times the shrink said they didn’t know if I had any chemical deficiency, but they would put me on powerful drugs just to see how it changed me. Can you imagine that? Mind altering drugs just to see the difference? That’s like a doctor treating you for something that isn’t wrong. I think the real nuts are behind the desks in the shrink’s office. Then again, the same thing happened to me with the appendix. Maybe it is my problem.

Now I figure I’m destined for a life without fulfillment. That’s another reason not to hang around. If I wanted that I’d go for the mind altering stuff in hopes that me being in a catatonic state would be more acceptable to the people around me. If God doesn’t take me soon then maybe he will let me house the homeless or feed the hungry. I could go for a few miracles. Then I might find satisfaction in what I accomplish.


When I went away baby
promised I’d be back some day
as you watched me say good-bye
tears flowed from your eyes

You were young and I was funny
went in search of fame and money
down a path I’d never been
to start it all again

Didn’t bother looking back
rode those rails on down the track
in search of dreams I dared not seek
God I was so weak

Then one day I woke up
the dreams I chased were gone
they were so elusive
for so long

I didn’t understand it
those dreams were in my grasp
somehow I just couldn’t
make them last

Now I’m back at home again
looking for a long lost friend
the love I left so long ago
guess I didn’t know

How she waited by the phone at night
cried until the morning light
one day no more tears would come
the tears were finally done

When I set out down that road
to be free, guess I told
the love I left behind
I won’t be back no more

The highway that I traveled down
a one way ticket out of town
was more than she could stand
I was such a fool once more

I didn’t understand it then
when I got home I lost a friend
I realize the cost
of being free

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