What's In a Name?
By Summer Bacon
When I was 16 years old I met a 24 year old, wonderful man, who I will call "J" in order to protect his identity. He was a drummer in a rock band in Los Angeles. He was very short, very funny, and very wise. His eyes twinkled, and his stylish mullet emphasized his strong features. To compensate for being short, he wore boots with six inch heels, which fortunately were in vogue due to David Bowie's popularity, and a rock band called the New York Dolls.
I truly believe it was love at first sight for both of us, but he was involved with someone else (in fact, engaged, if I recall correctly). I remember when he came over to our house to see our recording studio, and I was trying to make coffee for him. As we conversed, he stood quite close to me, leaning against the counter. I was painfully aware that his incredibly beautiful and feminine fiancé was seated on the couch just fifteen feet away from us, yet J's focus remained completely on me. I had butterflies in my tummy, and I was shaking so badly that when I scooped the coffee it went flying everywhere. I was terribly embarrassed, although the look in his eyes showed me that he thought it was rather charming.
Shortly after this meeting, his fiancé returned to their hometown on the east coast, and it was soon apparent that they would not be married.
The attraction between us was very strong, especially mentally, and we were soon meeting in person and talking on the phone at every opportunity. I'd never found someone who could match the speed at which I thought and spoke about life. I'm not bragging about this. In fact, my brain moved so fast in thought that it drove me nuts, and I so wished I could slow it down. Many years later I later learned that these "thoughts" were actually voices of my guides and angels communicating with me. But, meanwhile, all I knew was that I felt so different than everyone else, and this lead to feeling lonely even when I was in a crowd. I constantly sought people who could actually talk about more than the weather, hairstyles, and television shows, and who wouldn't laugh when I would admit to such things as actually seeing air (to me, air has density, which I have come to know is energy). J was one of those people.
Our "affair" was very brief, platonic, and passionate. For the first time in my life I felt I was with someone who truly understood my heart and my brain.
To my chagrin, J soon returned with his band to New York in hopes of playing the clubs and being discovered. For the long months that he was away, he wrote to me almost every day. His letters were long dissertations about so many amazing things, and every day I flew to the mailbox in anticipation of his next one. He wrote about philosophers, writers and politicians. He quoted from Nietzsche, Dostoyevsky, and the poetry of the eccentric Charles Bukowski. He cracked jokes, and spoke of his deepening love and affection for me.
Then, one day in December 1977, I received in the mail a dark blue journal embellished with gold. The note that was included read:
Here's a bit of something I've been working on for a few days. I wanted to send you me, but alas, I'm unable to fit into an envelope. What I've done is sent you parts of me in these pages. I hope you enjoy me. - J."
At first I thought he had gifted me with a blank journal, knowing that I, too, was a writer. But, then I opened the journal and gasped, and fully comprehended what he had stated in his note. He had filled every page with poetry of his own, written in his own handwriting. He never capitalized anything, barely punctuated, and always wrote his "y's" backwards, with the tail of the "y" pointing to the right rather than to the left. It was his signature style. His poems were deep, often sad, introspective musings about himself and other people. He had deep insights into the darker side of humanity, the homeless, the lonely, the heartbroken. His poetry often read like short stories:
"...oil slicks from
the water, glistening
like sweat on
a cluttered desk of thoughts
that shuffled through me
even as i slept,
can i be
more like velvet
on this frightened november nite?..."
I read page after page, absolutely enthralled. And then, on the very last page I read this:
"i could be called
by any name,
they're all the same.
but, when hearts
speak in terms
of 'his' and 'hers,
call you mine.
call me yours
-J.B.B. - 1977"
Yes, he did eventually return to Los Angeles to play the circuit there. I returned from my trip to Europe around the same time (a graduation gift from my father), and J and I met again, picking up where we left off, absolutely inseparable, to an ad nauseam degree as far as my mother was concerned.
I will never forget an impassioned debate that J and I had on a street corner in Westwood, CA one night. I had been talking about all of the things I wanted to do with my life: write, become a spiritual teacher, have a talk show on television, become a professional golfer, join a bowling league, and more. J glared at me and said, "Summer, you can't do everything in one lifetime!" I argued vehemently in return, "Why not? Can't I dream? Why can't I be a professional golfer?" to which he responded, "Do one thing, and do it well! There's not enough time to do everything!"
I laugh at the memory of this because, if I could talk to him today, I would say, "Well, guess what? I have done it all, and more!" And this, because I did do one thing very well: channel spirits. You see, in the early days of my trance mediumship, I channeled dearly departed loved ones, celebrities, and a professional golfer named Babe Zaharias who landed a thirty foot putt right on the edge of the cup (I couldn't hit the broad side of a barn). When I bowled, I often channeled my maternal grandmother was had been an excellent bowler. I would close my eyes, call on her, and she would move my body, and I'd open my eyes to see a perfect strike after strike. In fact, my scores were so high when I channeled her that a group of women gathered at the lane next to mine asked if I would join their league. I didn't. I always kind of felt that channeling Grandma was akin to cheating.
I think of J quite often, and I do know that he is now happily married to the woman he met after we split up, which both delights and surprises me. When we were together, I was looking for marriage and children, and that just wasn't his thing. I guess it's his thing now. But, back then, he was an extraordinarily talented drummer who was chasing his dream of becoming a superstar. He did find some success as a studio musician, and his brilliant mind eventually landed him back on the east coast as a political writer. (Sometimes I wonder what I would do without Google.)
In 2013, as I unpacked my things at my condo in Sedona, I found the little blue journal embellished with gold. I smiled as I flipped through the pages, from the first poem entitled "Summer" to the last one about names. I closed the book and caressed the cover, dusting it off with my palm, preparing to put it on my bookshelf. I ran my fingertips down the spine, and gasped in astonishment. There on the spine, stamped in gold, were the words: "Peebles Press." Dr. Peebles' publishing company!
I never cease to be amazed by this adventure called life.