Memoir, Personal Essays, short story, zuckerisms

Sneak Peek

Here’s a little sneak peek of a new (semi-secret) project I’m working on….

My life began falling apart in the fall of 1990 when I was getting close to turning 50. Seventeen years before, I’d left medicine to do missionary work in central Minnesota and then start up my own venture capital business. Medicine was always my first love, so I kept my medical license current every year. I found investing in new medical start-ups incredibly exciting and I was good at it. But as 50 approached, my work running venture capital funds and start-up companies had stagnated. Worse, I had none of my former enthusiasm. I was drained. All of the motivation that had made work so enjoyable – raising capital, pursuing investors, searching out nascent medical technologies with all the right stuff – was gone.

When my girlfriend of five years, Elaine, broke off our relationship with, “I don’t want to sleep with you anymore,” I plummeted into a depression that I couldn’t seem to crawl out of. I don’t mean that I was just blue or sad like I’d been at various points in my life. During those times I’d be out of sorts for a few days before returning to my old self. This time I was shrinking inward.

I was no longer sure there was an old self to return to. The whole world seemed out of kilter, like I had just stepped into The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. Everything was skewed – redrawn by some architect with a twisted sense of humor.

For months, sensations had been overwhelming me. Some were bodily sensations, some sensual, and almost all of them had an otherworldly feel to them. I was still me, and yet, I wasn’t. I was seeing things around me as if I was seeing them for the very first time – things that must have been there all along but I’d never noticed them before. My hearing tuned itself to a higher frequency. I suddenly noticed things like the whirl of the air in my good ear as I biked around the lakes. My vision telescoped in on details I had never bothered to notice – the throat of a bird, the luminescence of a flower, the music that clouds make. Sometimes, they were so poignant that tears would come to my eyes. Even my thoughts didn’t seem wholly my own anymore.

Looking back now, I know that I had suddenly become aware of the invisible aspect of our world – those unseen, unheard, unprovable things that exist all around us. Sometimes, I’d feel blasts of unspoken angst from colleagues when we tangled over sticky topics. Their facial expressions would say one thing, but there were emitting something quite different and I saw things that they were hiding.

Other times when I was in a deep conversation with someone, I’d be overwhelmed by epiphany and tears would begin to stream down my face. Sometimes, a secret they were keeping – something I could never have known on my own – popped into my head and spooked the hell out of them.

Other incidents were almost comical – like the powerful pain I had if I snuck a late-night nosh from the fridge that shot up from the wart on my left big toe. If I began to lie about something, I would suddenly drop words out of my sentences, forcing me to start the sentence all over. Worse, until I told the truth, it kept happening. Once, on a Saturday morning while I was cleaning my kitchen, I had a premonition that a horse I’d never heard of was going to win at Canterbury Downs, the local track for Minneapolis-St. Paul. I actually went to the track thinking, ”can this be for real?” Sure enough, not only did the horse exist, but it was running at 7 to 1 odds. I laid down a bet of $50.00 to win and came away $350.00 richer. So, I wondered, “is it possible to know the future?” If, as Einstein’s theory of relativity claimed, there was no such thing as linear time and everything is happening all at once – past, present and future – did this explain it?

That’s all I can share with you for now, but be sure to check back on the blog for more snippets of this top secret project!

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