The Voodoo I Do: 28 January 2021

Wire frame computer-generated outline of a human face and head

The word “voodoo” makes it sound more mystical and maybe a little more sinister than intended, but in my adult life, I have had this ability to feel something is wrong or not quite right with people I am close to, no matter where they are or I am in the world. It’s not a fail-safe system. It’s not like someone running to Lassie to tell her every time little Timmy is stuck in the well. The voodoo doesn’t always fire up, but when it does, it usually is pretty spot-on. It’s kinda like a gut instinct, in a way.

I wrote about this feeling I get in my blog yesterday, and it’s an interesting subject, so I thought I would write more about how it works for me.

When I was younger, I used to have pre-cognitive dreams. I think people would think I was a little strange for saying this at the time, but I would have had a dream where something pretty mundane would happen, and that sequence of events would unfold in real life later, although the ending or some minute details would be different.

One year in my childhood, I finally got to prove I was telling the truth. I accompanied my Dad to a market in Minneapolis one year. I think I was about or older than 10. We were taking a break at a bunch of tables set up in an area where hallways met an elevator lobby. There were small windows letting light illuminate the tables. Something in the way the light hit the Cherry Coke can on the table made me remember.

In those moments, I would get dazed. My Dad saw this, and he asked me if I was okay. I told him I was having a déjà vu moment. Doubt oozed from him — yes, I could sense that too — so I explained the events that were about to happen. One thing stood out strongly from the dream: the elevator doors opening, with a few people coming out. The man in the lead, talking, in a brown patterned suit jacket, would have a distinct tie on — I could describe the pattern — and it would be bright red. They would walk to the hallway behind me.

The events unfolded exactly as I had told my father in the seconds after I told him. Everything was exactly as it happened in my dream, except the man’s tie was bright blue instead of bright red.

I don’t know what Dad thought of it except at the time his mouth was agape and he looked surprised.

Around the time I was 14, the dreams morphed from actual events to more symbolic dreams foreshadowing a future event. There was the odd shared dream as well, where I’d have a dream with another person in it, and a mutual person would hear the dream from both of us.

The climax to these dreams — for a while at least — came when I dreamt about two coffins in my church. I was walking up the main aisle towards them standing in front of the altar. Both of them had the top part of their covers open, but one casket was facing one way and the other casket was facing the other way. Both covers were facing away from me.

In the closest casket was the mother of one of my classmates I’d known for nearly my entire life. She was this dark-red, purple-ish color down one side of her face, the side facing away from me. It looked as if her skin down the middle of her face was bisected into normal flesh color and this other color.

In the further casket was my father. He looked normal.

My attention kept returning to my classmate’s mother. Why was she that color? Why only on half of her face. What did this all mean?

A few weeks later, my classmate’s mother was struck by a car and killed.

I was extremely unconsolable, nearly overcome by grief. This dream showed her in a casket, with half of her body bruised by the accident. What would happen to my Dad? Would he be next?

At her funeral, I cried very hard. It probably could have been described as ugly crying. Like a “good boy”, I tried to hold it in but the sadness was strong, and the pressure to erupt won.

After the service and at home, my Mom sat on my bed next to me as I cried. I explained the dream, how part of it had come true, and now I was worried about Dad.

The part about Dad never came to pass. It was different, just like my childhood déjà vu dreams would have elements that were different or would not come true as well.

There have been other dreams too.

The dream I had during high school, where I am in a European toy store with my Oma, and I start talking to a very attractive man while we both admire a very European toy I would later find out both he and I had as children. After the conversation finished, my Oma (who had been dead for about 4 to 6 years by this point) told me I would love that man very much, but he would hurt me very deeply in the end. That man ended up being The Man I Once Loved.

The dream I told my doctor about in 2001. I was in a plane, people were getting panicked, and the plane tilted. I could see the buildings and maybe an expressway or train tracks below and knew it was New York City somehow. And then people began to scream before the dream ended. And I had other dreams of planes crashing, every other night. 9/11 happened a few months after that.

It morphed again several years ago to where I would get this gut feeling, during my waking hours, that something was wrong. (Sometimes also I would have a dream where the person was crying or was upset. But mostly now a feeling develops in my gut.)

Over 5 years ago, when The Man I Once Loved and I were still talking regularly, I had a very strange feeling something wasn’t quite right, and that whatever was happening was sudden: time was of the essence. Reaching out, I found out he had to rush home to be with his mother, who was dying.

In the last few weeks, I’ve also had this feeling about another person in my life. In my waking life, I’d also get hints leading to him, one of the most in-your-face ones being someone on the game show The Chase looking uncannily like a younger version of him. So last night before I went to bed, I reached out on social media, which is really the only way I know how to get a hold of him since he’s (self-admittedly) not very handy at technology, and by this morning, he’d gotten back to me (which was amazingly quick). Without going into too many details, he said the last few months had been hard. Again, the voodoo working its magic.

That’s the best I can explain what that “voodoo” I get has been and how it has changed over the years as I’ve gotten older.