Meeting so many of Whitley’s fans at the book signings for The Grays in Seattle, Portland and Los Angeles was a thrill. Many of you wore green and I know you did it in support of me and I thank you so much. The Green Man gets around–in Seattle we visited one of Whitley’s relatives who has just lost her husband. It was a late marriage, after many tragedies, for both of them, and he was a really great guy. I was able to bring her the Green Man message and I hope she took it to heart. Then, when we got home, I found out that the partner of a gay man we know, who was very sick, had just died, so I sent him the message as well.
After the book signing at Powell’s, we spent a day in Portland and went to the zoo. We went first to the butterfly exhibition, where a butterfly rode around on Whitley’s shirt until a zoo attendant removed it with a feather duster. Then we visited the elephants. An extraordinary thing happened there: Whitley felt as if he was in communication with one of them. It only lasted a moment, but it gave him a realization of what communication between species can be like. It was reminiscent of the communications he has had with the visitors. We saw a man sitting on a park bench across from the elephant area and Whitley whispered to me, “That man is in communication with them all the time.” Despite the fact that he couldn’t have overheard us, the man turned towards us and smiled.
In Seattle and Portland, people told us that they want us to reprint The Path, so we will. They also asked us to start up the prayer group again, but Whitley has decided to make it a meditation group, so look for that in the near future. They also want Whitley to appear more often on Coast, so he’s going to contact both George and Art with ideas about shows.
At the Portland sighting, I was engaged in conversation by a young man who told me his wife had been diagnosed with a brain tumor. Her stay in the hospital sounded a lot like mine, and he wanted to know what they should expect. I told him that she might find she has strange deficiencies at first, due to brain injuries, but that other parts of her brain will eventually compensate for these and he said her doctors had told her the same thing. I remember how I couldn’t read a watch when I first came out of the hospital and I still think I have some trouble recognizing people. I always just tell the people I’m meeting up with that I’ll be wearing green pants, so THEY can recognize me. I still have some strange glitches in my eyesight, but at least I no longer have to watch movies with one eye closed.
He told me his wife now has a shunt in her head, just like I do, and I reassured him that although it’s supposedly made of metal, it doesn’t set off airport metal detectors. I always have a speech ready about how I have a “medical device implanted in my skull,” but I’ve never had to give it, because I always sail right through, while men around me who have too much change in their pockets are stopped to have a wand waved over them.
In the airport for our flight back home, I saw a female soldier wearing the distinctive desert camouflage we see soldiers wearing on the TV news. I had promised myself that whenever I saw any enlisted people who are obviously stationed in the Middle East, I would go up and thank them. I told her, “Thanks for being there for us” and I think she was glad to hear it.
At Dark Delicacies in Burbank on Saturday, I was amazed to see the line for signing books was composed of so many different kinds of people. Men and women, old and young, dressed in conservative, casual or even gothic-looking clothes, some of them with children in tow–there was even a priest there, wearing his clericals! I don’t know if he’s a horror reader (Dark Del is a horror bookstore) or a UFO experiencer. Then I suddenly realized, “He’s here for the Green Man!”
The wife of the man I met in Portland, the one who has the tumor, is named Kari and I want to dedicate this diary to her and let her know I plan to say a few prayers for her. I don’t think her husband is going to need the Green Man message yet and I’m glad about that.
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