I was to be discharged from the Navy in October of `64`. After two tours "In Country" it was great getting back to "The World". I had cash in my pockets, friends on the Beach, places to go and women to meet. California, what a place to wait out the time to discharge. I wanted a car to drive across the states on my way back home and being a Ford owner all of my short life, I decided to get the brand new, never before shown model of the up and coming 64 Mustang.
They normally come out in the Sept-Oct. months, but for some unforeseen reason, this year they came out early and were sold as 63&1/2 because it came out in May. I saw it ,I loved it, I bought it! It was a 289HPCI Fastback, competition Yellow 5spd. Wood trim interior, leather seats with galloping mustangs across the bucket seats and a full floor console. What a beauty and Really Fassssst. We [the "Stang" and I] were the hit of N.A.S.LeMoore.
There was a huge "going away party" for a friend of mine, off base, and I was running late. Several of the girls called the base to see what was keeping me and I told them I'd be headed out shortly. I jumped in the "Stang" and bolted out the gates headed to town on a clear, warm California night. The road was a two lane Highway almost "straight arrow" most of the way into town and I started to pour it on to make up time. There was no one on the road, no lights coming or going and I was doing 100+mph,just humming along. Had the Radio blasting, looking in my rear view mirror at the "Cutsie" stuffed Tiger resting in the back window, no cops, no worries and nothing but a good night on my mind. The road was flying by, the white dashes were almost a solid line and the world was mine. I was young, popular, educated and soon to be discharged like my friend tonight. What a great feeling.
I looked at the road ahead and for no reason at all I saw the front end of my car nose down and there were thousands of sparks flying past the fenders, they were beautiful sparkles of light flowing past the windshield with particles of blue, reds, and greens. It was a magnificent sight against the darkening skyline. At first I thought I had blown the engine but all the smoke and flames seemed to be coming up from the sides, where the wheels should have been and the increasing torrent of shimmering streams of rhinestone, crossing both fenders, appeared as a welder frantically sharpening the edge of a fine sword. Through all the smoke and sparks bellowing in front of me, some coming through the windows, I looked further down the road I was now tearing up at a frantic pace, and saw, in the far distance, a set of headlights coming in my direction. Just a pin prick of light mind you, but getting brighter and stronger as I careened toward them and them toward me. I thought to myself, "Wow, are these people gonna really see something strange when I finally come to a stop. I must look like a Roman Candle right about now to them".
Just then the front-end dug into the asphalt like a sharpened spade through hard, dried and crusted earth in the desert landscape, and in what was less then a second, the "Stang" flipped a head-over-heals, becoming completely airborne, and I felt myself coming out of the seat and hanging in mid-air, as the entire car rotated around me. In what I thought took minutes, I found myself upside down in the interior of the car, with my head where my feet used to be and my right shoulder was pinned against the center console, my head imprinting the chrome stick shift. I thought to myself: WOW, this is gonna hurt when we [the Stang&I] finally touch down, but for now both of us were as weightless as astronauts rocketing through the blackness of deep space: Then we did [land] and it did [hurt]] but now the car went from the head-over-heal flip, to long and furious barrel rolls, end over end, again and again, and with every one I would crash my head and shoulder into the center console and shifter. I could feel the broken glass from all the windows exploding with every landing. So as not to slip into unconsciousness, I managed to count everyone of those flips, thinking the last one I counted would be the Last One I'd have to count, but it took NINE of those babies to finally lose all the momentum necessary to bring us to a screeching halt.
Wow, I thought, what a ride, and am I glad it was finally over. I almost expected a few more bumps and grinds, but after a few seconds I managed to collect my thoughts. I couldn't see anything but blacks and grays and tried to reach my face to focus my glasses but they were no longer on my face. I thought I might have lost them on the first or second somersault I encountered, but what did it matter if it was the first or last, they were gone, and as I reached around to feel for them, I noticed it was not only Extremely cramped where I was stuffed, it was now getting much hotter. The odors and creaking noises caught my attention and I could feel the heat and the smoke was starting to choke me. As would a blind man, I inched my way around in the opposite direction I felt that the heat was coming from, and after crawling over what was left of the front seat, the broken glass, the twisted metal and broken wooden parts strewn beneath my body, I felt what I thought was that cutsie little stuffed Tiger and I figured I had made it to the back window. I'm sure the flames were licking at my feet because the soles of my boots were getting pretty hot, and I knew I should get out of there as fast as Tigger[ the girls named the cutsie little Tiger, Tigger] and I could before the flames toward what was the front of my car would reach the now cracked and spilling gas tank. I had no desire to go out in a Blaze of Glory, and I do mean Blaze. The Glory held an enchanting thought but just fleeting. I managed to crawl out of what was left of my back window and fell to the ground.
Knowing I had just filled the Stang at the base, and I only drove for about 10 miles down that Highway, It was pretty evident that I had to gather myself together and make space between the burning car and myself. I could barely see the flickering flames through the now billowing smoke but it was too close for comfort and I could still feel the heat on my face and hands. I no sooner got to my feet when I heard an explosion and the shock blew me for what I figured was another 20-30 feet through the air. I started to get up again while wiping my face so that I could see where I was in relation to the car and the flames but no matter how hard or how fast I wiped I just couldn't get what I now knew was blood covering my eyes. I decided to reach around for where the blood was gushing from and found a hole in the right side of my head, above the hairline over my ear and decided to plug it up with Tigger since I felt my fingers were too small to stop the bleeding and I could kinda wiggle them in the side of my head. Thank GOD for Tigger, I thought, at least now I wouldn't bleed to death. I managed to clear most of the blood away from my eyes and tried focusing on the burning wreck to get my bearings. I had to make my way out of there, I wasn't sure where, but I figure as long as I'm walking I'm in better shape then the "Stang" was cause she wasn't going anywhere.
Just when I figure I've got things assessed pretty well; The what happened, The where was I, and conscience enough to initiated what damage control available to me to stop most all the bleeding, I hear these Angelic Voices way off in the distance, they're calling out my name and seem to be getting louder and louder." Lou", "Lou baby, come over here", 'Come to us"......and I'm thinking.... No Thank you, I've gone through enough tonight and I didn't need any more surprises. Besides, I was way too young to die and coming from a rough&tumble background I was born and raised in, I pretty well knew which direction those beautiful voices were calling me to. Hell NO, I won't go! I started thinking of the gang fights and the bar fights and all the fist fights I'd had from Brooklyn on out to Long Island and all those bars across these United States I'd been in and out of, and now I was getting ready to fight my hardest fight with the baddest dude in the Universe and I knew I wasn't ready. I needed a little more time and training for that Devil round.
I guess the funk I was in was worse then I thought because I felt these hands reaching me and pulling me in a direction I didn't think I wanted to go, but after a few of the shock waves had passed, I realized that those that were pulling me were actually holding me up, and, they were five of the girls from the party I was going to. When they noticed I hadn't shown up yet, they decided to come to the base to hurry me up so that I wouldn't miss out on that going away party, although, I almost had a more dynamic going away party just a few minutes ago, and I was sure mine was more memorable then just falling down drunk and stinking of puke. It was their Headlights I saw headed my way just prior to the crash, and they were hysterical watching this car flipping and careening down the road right before their eyes, bursting into flames. But the real Horror was when they found out it was my car. What a bummer, they went from ladies of the Night to Angels of Mercy in just a few eye opening, ear splitting, jaw dropping, breath holding minutes. All I remember them saying was "you better not die on us", and I wanted to do them that little favor so I flipped them a "thumbs up" sign. It was about all the strength I could muster by then.
They had a suped up 4dr Fairlane that they had skidded in a hasty "Huey" and had crossed the Median to reach me and the Stangs location when they saw it finally come to a rest. Now they were trying to whisk me into the backseat of it, and rush me back to the base hospital so I could keep my promise. Three of the girls got into the back seat and the remaining two girls laid me across their laps. Then the two jumped into the front seat and gunned that Ford toward the base as fast as they dared and believe me, they Dared. As I lay across their laps I heard one of them say through her tears," Look, Lou saved Tigger" and when she reached for the stuffed animal she was horrified to see the blood start gushing from my head again and immediately replaced Tigger to it's lifesaving duties. Another one noticed my hand bleeding from all the glass and tore up her skirt to make a bandage. I was thinking how great these girls were for not worrying about the mess I was making on them and their car. I suddenly found myself, sort of sitting up right, looking out the Back window of the speeding car, amazed at watching the burning and smoking blob that once was my "Stang" as it faded in the distance.
I felt a little cramped with my head presses against the roof of the Fairlane and then I looked down to see the three girls crying and shouting hysterically to the driver to hurry up, when it hit me: WOW. that's me on their laps and there's nobody home! I'm looking at what was left of my poor, crumpled Mustang from out the window, and the other me is just laying there without a care. I tried to tell the girls I was alright and they could stop the crying and slow down a bit. I reached for the driver to get her attention and she turned her head slightly toward me but she seemed to be talking to the girl holding my other head and not to me because she was saying that she was going as fast as this 8 banger would go and I looked at the 110 on the speedometer and thought well hell, I could go through another crash again, that last one was now a piece of cake but I don't know about that other me laying on the girls laps, he looks in pretty bad shape even to me. I felt no pain, no fear and I was with 5 girls speeding down the Highway, Me and Me, What a night so far!
It's a good thing the girls had a base sticker on their car because the Guard at the Gate barely had time to wave them through , they were way ahead of him and through the Gate in a flash, shouting to him that they were going to the Hospital. I kinda chuckled and waved to him out the back window as we flew bye but he never waved back. When we pulled up to the Hospital, both girls in the front ran out like it was a relay race and they hit the doors running. I started to get out and headed for the swinging doors when they were back already with two corpsman and a gurney. I stepped aside to watch them load that other me on it and as they whisked him away, I watched the other three girls compose themselves, and all five headed toward the Emergency Room. I decided to follow since no one seemed to notice me and I wanted to see what all the commotion was about. There were nurses and corpsmen and a Doctor all fussing about and a couple of the girls were at the front desk giving information about me to the desk clerk while the rest of them were pressing their noses against the Operating Room windows. I walked down the corridor and looked at some of the people sitting on the benches and chairs, apparently waiting their turn to be attended to, but there was the other me at the Head of the Line, so I excused myself and headed there also.
I walked straight through the doors and walked around the doctor and nurses that were tearing off my clothes and swabbing me down. The doctor noticed the large hole in the side of my head and was cleaning it up when the corpsman that was standing toward my side asked if he could stitch up the gash on my hand. The doctor said it would be OK since He [the doctor] didn't think I would make it anyway. He said something about having to put a "Plate" in my head but that I had lost a tremendous amount of blood and didn't know if I would survive much longer. The Nurse asked if she should have the base Chaplin standby, so the Doctor lifted my dog tags. When he read "Agnostic" and Blood type "O neg." He said " I don't think this Kid would care but you can call him if you want"! I thought that was a bit insensitive, and I wasn't happy about a corpsman practicing on my hand either, and thought to myself, I should lodge a complaint, but just as those thoughts flickered past, I started to float up toward the ceiling. It finally hit me that I could see myself on the table being operated on desperately and I could now see the me that was mostly translucent floating above it all. I looked around as I floated higher and higher and noticed the dirt and dust on the florescent lights in the OR and thought, Somebody's gonna hear about this too, when I heard the doc say "Tag`N`Bag Him, we're not going to need that plate nurse. Corpsman, are you done on that hand?". "Yes Sir, he replied and the Doctor said :"Fine, sheet him for now son." I knew what was going on just then to the me I knew, but I wasn't ready for what was about to happen to the Me I now was.
I was about to attempt to reach the girls that were now crying and hugging each other but instead of going forward, I was being pulled backward and upward. I had no sense of fear, none of loss, actually all I felt was wonderment and curiosity and an anticipation of what was to come.
I entered what I thought looked like the Holland tunnel, without the cars and traffic, and the ability to see what looked like light at it's end. It was dark but not black, the path was slightly illuminated from what I thought to be the Sunlight shining from the other end. As I was being drawn toward the lighted end of the Tunnel, I carefully looked around, even squinting to see into the darker recesses. I passed what I thought to be very religious men doing what they would do when praying to their GODS. They were all dressed in their finest garbs, robes, togas, head dresses, loin cloths and the like. Most of them were off to the sides of the tunnel, but one of them, that I seemed to float right over, looked oriental with a long grayish Fu Man Chu, sitting there in the middle of the tunnel, with his hands clasped and his feet crossed. Since I had just completed two tours "In Country" I figured he must represent the last of the religions I sought to make my own. I was raised Catholic but withdrew from that faith at an early age and delved into many others from the Mian to Koran to Hopi as well as all North and South American Native beliefs. It looked like they were all represented here. When I floated past the monk just below me, I thought he could actually see me because it appeared like he began to smile a smile of passage. All the other Religious men were mumbling sounds of prayer and were moving their arms about as if making gestures of a Blessing. I wasn't sure if they were Blessing me or the Tunnel. I noticed none of them were actually standing or sitting in the Tunnel but appeared to be levitated. I wanted to stop and speak with some of them, maybe ask a few questions like who they were and how long have they been here, but I was being whisked away toward the Light. I saw wisps of smoke I believed to be incense, it came from all portions of the Great Tunnel from one end to the other. I could see and smell but I had yet had the sensation of touch since my feet were never touching the tunnels floor and I seemed to be traveling squarely in the center as I drifted toward the end. The closer I got to the end of the Tunnel, the brighter things got, and as I neared the end, it was like coming face to face with a huge canvas that was just recently blazed in the brightest white of whites. An empty canvas, ready to be painted upon and I awaited that painting. Then in an instant, my entire life, starting from birth through the present was flashing before my eyes like a strobe light at half speed. Frame after frame, some parts in freeze frame, if only for a second, then on to the next. I felt as if I was being subjected to a test to see if this was in fact the me that was supposed to be here and then it ended as fast as it had begun. The last scene was that of a rolling mass of metal finally bursting into flames, and I was looking at the canvas again.
While staring into the vast whiteness I glanced down to look at my body and use it for a reference, only to find the translucent outline I once had was no longer there. I thought, How could this be? Am I now part of this empty white canvas, but if I were, then where are my thoughts coming from to be asking these questions. Instantly I recognized a brilliant glowing ball of gold headed my way. It grew larger as it grew nearer and when it reached about the size of a beach ball, just above and in front of me it radiated brilliantly and transformed into an indescribable Being of pure LIGHT, now levitated right in front of me. It was larger then the tallest person I had ever seen, wider then two of me but so evenly proportioned as to be of Magnificent Stature. It's features were outlined as if made with a fine ink quill. Hair, face, robe all Golden and flowing as would an electric charge perhaps even a nuclear charge. This was energy personified and as it's form took on a more solid shape, all that was behind It did as well. It was as if the Entire canvas of white I had come to at the end of the Tunnel was now alive and I was part of it. Other figures appeared in front and behind the Being and myself. Soon there was activity all about, above and below, on every side, more beings, each of different brightness, sizes, and hues. Structures and landscapes sprung from everywhere all in a crystalline state, all inhabited by these lesser light beings, some winged, most not, Some fully formed, others not, yet even others that appeared only as glowing Orbs of light and color, bouncing as would bubbles in a glass of carbonated water.
I could stand it no longer, every emotion I had ever known was welling up in me 10 fold. Just when I thought to speak, to question, the Being spoke to me. It's voice was as a chorus of voices, not male not female, not loud not soft, not deep but perfect and all encompassing. As I looked at the two gigantic, magnificent beings dressed in Brilliant capes just off to It's side, IT said," that is Michael and Gabriel. Michael has chosen you as his and Gabriel shall teach you the ways." I looked past them to another Large Being, so beautiful but darker in contrast, as was the sprawling robe it wore. This being had eyes that pleased but pierced with it's gaze, and the Light Being said "that is He who has been cast out. You who I have given choice may go with any of these of your choosing." I thought as I had a choice, and Michael had already chosen me then I would chose Him. He appeared so strong and mighty, as did the others, but in his eyes seemed a fire that was drawing and captivating to me. Gabriel's eyes were softer and gave more in an understanding manner and I thought "Oh how absolutely Beautiful are these Beings". I then looked to The Being before me and It's eyes were full of Love and warmth, authorities and compelling. He seemed to have approved of my choice, Then said to me "You will be my soldier and you will go with Michael for a while. Gabriel will come to you at times. I will send others to you and your fruit shall not fall far from the tree in the time of the Gathering."
Just then I saw 5 Orbs of Light. They seemed to be playing, swirling round and about the Being and myself. They had appeared from the outlying landscape and I noticed they were all the same size and shape but of different hues as subtle as shades of rose petals, save one which had a bluish hue. Two of the pinkish ones seemed exactly alike, the other two were yet deeper in shades of red and orange, and before I could ask, IT spoke and said "They, like all here are of you, who are of me, but these will come to you and you will care for them more. They will fly apart but come together at the time of the Gathering." I thought The Being might be telling me these were my children but I was only 21 and not only had never been married but had no plans to. I didn't understand how all this was of me and me of HE when a magnificent crystal serving platter appeared and it shimmered the colors of many rainbows. In an instant it shattered into thousands of pieces, each piece brilliant in its own right. Ever so slowly now all the pieces began to rejoin themselves to once again form the original serving platter once again and I now knew what this Being of Light was showing me, we pieces are the platter. I was just one of those thousands of pieces, as were all those I was seeing here and those back in the "World". Now my mind was still trying to ponder The Gathering. As I thought what could this mean, The Being answered, "Here you will see the signs that bring forth the Gathering", and with that I saw frames appear like screens on a TV set. When I looked into the screens, the visions would gather up, pop off in an image, and enter my mind. I felt as if I was being pushed back with it's impact. They were only glimpses but they were so realistic, as if happening right there in front of me in the now. I could not turn away and then it seemed that I had become a part of each of these visions. There were scenes of men in uniform killing other men in uniforms, I recognized some of the insignias and some were from the USA. There were also thousands of them not in uniforms killing even more thousands not in uniform. It was like looking at toy figures moving on their own, mowing down other figures, different countries, different Nations, different Religions, different weapons, different Decades, but always resulting in hundreds of thousands dead and dying. I wanted out of there, I could feel the pain these people were suffering. I asked the Being why was this, and how long was this to go on, and The Being said "Man will prey on man, Until Man will pray for man".
The next vision was of floods, many of them spilling across the Earth on different continents in different seasons and I am again walking among it, feeling the force and taking in the smell of Death. Hundreds of Lives and acres upon acres of crops were lost as well as hundreds of stock and wild animals floating away into the abyss. Then I was watching Volcanoes from around the world erupting, first one then another. The molten Lava burying whole towns and villages and the people and animals within them. I gazed among the ruins and saw little left of what once stood there. The last vision I saw in the screen were of Earthquakes destroying sections of almost every continent. One was a massive one in America, most others were in Europe and the Orient. Again thousands are killed, structures are crumpled, the landscape leveled and I turned again to the Being and He said "There will not only be more of what you have seen but there will come a time when it will all happen at the same time and it will come the same time of mans greatest sins". I didn't have time to ask, when HE said "They will turn from ME and claim themselves like Gods." With that Michael beckons me to go with him and I am now part of the Universe. Novas, Suns, Planets, all that I looked at from the Earth, not so long ago, or was it?
We traveled toward the beginning of it all, the inner portions of the Universe. Kazillions of planets around Kazillions of Suns and the closer to the center we approached the more concentrated the number of Galaxies. It is like the Plate you saw, the largest part, after it shattered was at the center and those parts that shattered first were sent the farthest from the center, So is everything in the Universe. All is but a circle within a circle wrapped in a circle. Each level, each dimension is but a layer of the original which is without end. I watched as millions of Orbs systematically entered the many Planets before me. They appeared as Bees flitting from flower to flower, pollinating each, one after another. Michael took me closer and I could now see that so many of these Planets had life on them and the Orbs were joining with the creatures of these Planets. Not every Creature was the same on every Planet but they all had some commonalities, a head, a body, extremities and the Light Beings would animate them for a time. We headed away from the center now and Michael said that Gabriel would have more to explain to me and that He, Michael, wanted me to know that He was pleased with the many times He had called on me to do His bidding and that I performed my duties well. His parting words were "You will never again be made to forget"!
I was journeying back to where I knew Earth would be and watched as Comets and Asteroids casually passed by me or I passed them. The colors of the gaseous cloud formations were striking. I started looking at these infant galaxies as one would cloud formations back on Earth, imagining what shape they were taking on, This one a boat, this a bird with wings, this a scarf floating in the breeze, till I recognized what was the Constellation ORION and I knew I was getting close to my destination. While drifting through ORION, I noticed two Blazing Celestial Bodies racing parallel to it's center, looking as Twin Arrows exiting from an Archers Bow and headed straight for the "Blue Marble" of home. Immediately a vision of Millions of people crying because of the devastation of portions of New York City came to me. I became aware of a strange feeling I had not known previously, and I thought that might be because this was the city I had grown up in. I saw a huge Earthquake, a magnitude of 8.6 in someplace named EUREKA. A ham operator or radio announcer was directing thousands of people migrating from areas of frequent disasters to places of safety. A space station appeared to be falling from the heavens because of an internal explosion. Missiles were being simultaneously fired into space from several Nations. I thought the Light Being had shown me all there was to see but these were different, stronger and there was no pre-screening as before. Gabriel appeared beside me, I thought because I had felt shaky, but it was to explain the now sprawling Galactic View of my Galaxy.
The Sun was expanding and spewing off Huge ecto-plasma balls, more then it has ever done in it's past, and in the very direction the Planets would orbit through. I could not take my eyes from the Earth and as I watched what effect these eruptions would have on the Earth, A large Mass passed me, larger then any of the Planets known to me, and as it passes, I see the Earth wobble wildly as would a top toward the end of its spin. The rotation stopped and slowly started again but it was tilted now and I was drawn in closer like the zoom of a lens. The ash clouds that had engulfed the Earth thinned, and like a tack welded piece of metal being dismantled, I could see the Ocean bodies starting to rise, first the Pacific, along the "Ring of Fire", then the others, synchronistical. As the waters shifted upon the landmasses, the landmasses started to sink under the waters added pressure upon it. When the pressures equaled out to the spin of the changing axis, the Earth no longer looked as it did moments before. It was newer, cleaner, more beautiful with darker Greens and lighter Blues. Some of the new landmasses looked similar to a few of the other Planets I had recently visited with Michael. People were upon this Earth and appeared happier and more content although seemingly living like the Native populations of old. Cities, built by the Ancient Ones, that were buried beneath the Oceans were now being populated by the surviving people in this new world. I saw Tribes joining tribes and small Nations forming, but it was what I didn't see that made my heart burst, there were no more wars, true peace and happiness had finally befallen on mankind. Gabriel now tells me that this is His message that I must take back, to let others know that there is little to fear, for the Earth will go on forever, as did all the Planets I had visited. I am to tell the world to look to ORION, and they will know when the new world will come upon them. I ask Him "What of the others there on Earth, during the change?" Gabriel tells me that all will be lifted, some will be lifted higher then others and no longer enjoy the physical plane, while some will be left on the Earth to replenish and rebuild the physical, they too will be of a higher elevation then any that are living there now!
I was now before the Light Being of Gold again, those 5 orbs were still darting about. I wanted to stay and explore this realm with all the other light beings but I was told I could not. I was brought here to go back to tell the others who would be coming after me, that if they would spread the Love they brought with them to the physical world they would know their Creator eagerly awaits them. The Being told me that should I ever have questions of the heart or mind, that He will answer them, if I only look within myself, for that is where He will dwell. From this time forward I need only think it to be so and it will be so for I would forever know the truth. I was told there was much work left undone and that He had set a road of rocks before me that I must sweep away for passage. Many will be set before me that I may help in my presence, and more I will not, but that I must not set aside wrongly, for a soul should not be lost within my heart. I asked how I would know and before I received an answer I was being whisked away through that darkened tunnel like a dust bunny in a vacuum, with about as much control as a runaway freight train.
I awoke to a nurse scrubbing the encrusted blood off of the right side of my head. My body was racked with pain. I screamed at the nurse for what I felt was her lack of compassion and she had a shocked look on her face. "Oh my God, Welcome back sailor. We thought you were a goner for sure." I asked her where was I and how long had I been here and she answered: " You've been in a coma for seven days now. They thought you died on the operating table and was going to ship you to the Morgue when the assisting corpsman noticed some movement under your sheet and rushed you back to the OR. The doctor checked you out and he was amazed to find your vitals were returning to normal but what really floored him was the hardened crust that had formed over the hole in your head seemed to have sealed most of the damage. He decided he didn't even have to put a steel plate in your head any more as it had healed sufficiently on it's own in the time you were gone." I said " you mean that practicing corpsman that was sewing my hand in the operating room saved my life?" She said "Yes, but how did you know he was sewing your hand? You were unconscious the entire time you were in OR and never came to until just now." If she had only known all the things I knew from that time she would have surely gone in to shock. I took the brush and towel from her hands and said I would finish the job for her and she thanked me and said she was going to notify the doctors that I was alive and conscious!
I looked across the dorm and saw several sailors and a Marine lying in their perspective beds. The Marine looked familiar and was situated closest to me. He smiled and said "Hey, Mr. Chuck [a handle I picked up overseas] You missed a hellava party last week". I replied "So I am told", but you should have seen the one I went to, it was a real mindblower." He told me I made the local papers and a picture of what was left of my car was photographed and on the 2nd page of the news. Then he said " I bet you're glad they are going to sign your discharge papers and not your Death Certificate like they almost did. " I joked and said "yeah, you know those Navy doctors, in and out, they'd sign anything to get their Liberty passes". The doctor finally arrived and started to check me out. He seemed genuinely interested yet amazed at my seemingly miraculous recovery. He checked the side of my head first, then ran his hands over my arms and legs. He asked if I could stand after giving me the "follow my fingers and how many are there" doctor thing. I jumped out of bed and he stood aghast. He asked if I could raise my arms over my head [thinking I could not] and when I did he asked if I could slowly reach my toes [which I did] and then he sat me on the bed and started to talk to me. He told me I was a medical miracle. Not only was I not supposed to still be alive after the massive blood lose but the mental trauma of my head injury would at the least make me a vegetable. He also said that the injuries to my legs and arms alone should have kept me in the infirmary for another two to three weeks. Yet there I was, everything working fine, actually as good as new, not even any black and blue marks to show what my body had been through. He said he had to admit it was truly a marvel and when I asked if I could be returned to Active Duty, he said he really couldn't see why not. He signed my hospital discharge papers and I was returned to my Squad the next day.
It was good to be among the living but I knew it was a far, far, better place I had been, then any place here on Earth will ever be again. I remembered everything that happened to me in that other place but spoke non of it to anyone because just the mention of having been dead was enough to make people twirl their fingers near their brain when they thought I wasn't looking, and some times I wasn't looking, but I knew.