Catharsis is a story about a young black man trying to escape life in the United States of America and finding himself, love, and purpose in the wonderland of his mind. Michael Anthony, the main character, evolves from a most naive to a man of the world who is lost and alone. Along the way, he journeys to many places of wonder, meeting many people of color and temperament, and learning a lot about himself and life and living and love.
|Publisher:||Page Publishing, Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.29(d)|
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Have you ever been ... have you ever been to Electric Ladyland?
Chapter I – The Awakening
Can you smell it? You, I'm talking to you! Yeah, you. Can you smell it? The paper in your hand? Can you smell it? That faint musty Old Spice fragrance mixed with a dash of indelible black India ink. Man, it reminds me of how I started. You know, how I started writing this thing you're reading -- my autobiography. Hey, every word of it is true, but sometimes, I even have trouble believing it. It was like a dream, a fanciful fantasy that started out real enough, but hasn't ended. That's right, it hasn't ended! So, I decided to write it all down on paper before I forget how it began and all the parts between then and now.
How did it begin? Oh yeah! It's been a long time, but I can still picture the rain. Yes, the rain! The rain came furiously down as the wind blew all round, while I made my way haphazardly toward the brightly glowing object some distance away. I was cold and feverish, but I knew that my struggling was not in vain. Somehow I'd make it. Although the strength that once lived robustly within me had gone, leaving me weak and no match against this hostile wind and its furious friend, the rain, I pressed my body hard against the ground and struggled onward. "This is unreal!" I thought for a moment, but only for a moment, for the cold, the wind, and the rain reminded me of the reality of it all. I would raise my head occasionally to see where I was in relation to the glowing object. I felt compelled to reach it. This last time, I saw that I was almost close enough to touch it. Shortly afterward I noticed that the wind and the rain weren't as violent.
I struggled onward. To what, I knew not. But one thing was clear, I was determined to get there - HERE. After pulling my tired body a few feet more, I began to hear a steady, piercing sound, that grew louder by the second as the wind and rain were coming to a halt. Although I had not moved an inch for some time, I noticed the glowing object moving toward me. I wanted to run away, but I didn't have the strength and that piercing sound was just too much. I let out a scream in anguish.
At first everything was hazy, but shortly thereafter my vision was back to normal and I could see that I was in a cage of some kind. I tried sitting up, but for the lack of strength I couldn't. I could just barely control the movement of my arms and legs. After a while I began to think of how it all started, hoping that I could somehow understand what was happening.
Out of the silence I began to hear footsteps. It wasn't long before the smiling faces of a man and a woman appeared, gazing down at me. At first I thought they were giants, and I didn't know what to do. But after hearing them speak I did nothing except cry like a ...
"Ooh, mama's baby hungry?" she asked with outstretched arms, as if to strangle me.
As the days faded into weeks and the weeks flowed into months, so went my memory, like a raindrop against some speeding car windshield. I was the typical 1950s baby-booming brat -- unwanted, spoiled, and full of good Karma and bad TV. I think I was five years old when the light came back on. My memory was restored.
"Hey man, take a look outside and see what's hap'ning," a disembodied voice whispered into my ear. I rose from my bed, brushing the fog from my eyes and covers from my path, to set my feet upon a cold wooden floor. It was day. White light flooded my room from the window. Looking out past the Venetian blinds, I saw THEM. They were small; dark complexioned, little people (not aliens). I don't mean midgets. They were more like the height of gnomes or fairies. They stood motionless before a huge brightly glowing sphere that appeared to hover gently, just inches above the ground.
"Mama, come here. I got the Moon in my hands. I got the Moon in my hands!" I loudly exuded exuberant exultations of my once lost knowledge, while sitting upright on my bed nude; my hands and arms were outstretched as if holding something. It wasn't long before the smiling faces of my father and mother appeared, gazing down at me. My folks thought I was crazy. It didn't take much to shut me up after realizing their attitude, but I remembered what had been revealed to me by THEM - TRUTH. I remembered! Aside from the occasional visitation from THEM and me being abandoned by my parents and reared by my grandparents, I would say that I had the typical childhood living in a moderately large southern city during the 1950s. I was angry a lot of the time.
Chapter II – Fly Away
Drifting down from the heavens on a beautiful summer's day to the fair and fairly diligent metropolis of Richmond in the gloriously glamorous commonwealth of Virginia was a very black, jagged tiny piece of powdery substance, consisting mostly of carbon SOOT. Although it seemed to be an ordinary piece of soot, it wasn't. This piece of soot was far from ordinary, for it was on a mission to find me. I, at that time, was no longer the young black child who was mostly misunderstood by my family. I was a tall, handsome, intelligent, and strong twenty-year-old man, home from the war after being honorably discharged from a two-year tour of active duty in the United States Marine Corps.
I was visiting my foster father and dearest friend, Bill Woodruff, at his perfectly square, plant-filled office. Bill was a psychologist, and I, at the time of our first meeting, was a misunderstood and slightly mixed-up juvenile delinquent (adolescent - for you non-fifties folk). As we spoke fondly of past experiences, I could sense a strangeness in the air. No, I hadn't silently flagellated while sitting across from him. He obviously noticed the faraway look on my face for he asked, "Mike, are you in there?"
"What, what did you say?" I responded slowly. "Did you say something?"
"Yes. I asked if you would mind if I close the window? You don't seem all here for some reason. Where is your mind?" It was déjà vu. I knew every word of the conversation before it was uttered. It was wild, but I went with the flow.
"Ah, yeah, go right ahead and close it. You know, it's funny; but for a beautiful summer's day it got a bit chilly - no, cold - in here suddenly," I spoke haphazardly.
Just as he was about to close the window, a gust of wind chilled us both. Unbeknownst to me then, more than cold air blew in through the open window. That small jagged edge piece of carbon (soot) drifted in and landed gently on my shoulder, unnoticed.
"Ahhh! That's better, don't you think?" stated Bill as he returned to the large cushy black leather chair that stood patiently behind his desk awaiting him. "That's a nice ring you're wearing; where did you get it?" he asked.
"I got it while in Cali, just before coming home to Richmond." I said while admiring my birthday gift to me; a solid platinum band with the symbol of Pisces. I glanced down at my watch and noticed that I was late for my date with Barbara. Hurriedly I rose from my seat and said, "Man, I got to go. I was supposed to pick up Barbara five minutes ago."
"Barbara, is it now? When did you meet her?" he queried with a smile as he got up from his chair.
"A friend of mine, Larry, introduced me to her yesterday," I replied while he walked with me toward the door. "I'll call you tomorrow, okay? I want you to listen to Coltrane's latest album."
"Sure, why don't you bring it to the house Sunday, and bring Barbara. You two can stay for dinner too," he said as he extended his hand for a friendly handshake and a loving fatherly embrace.
"Yeah, you're on! I'll, I mean we'll, see you Sunday," as I spoke I saw love and pride in his eyes for me. It felt good! I felt good as I walked out the door.
I left the large, overbearing, overpriced office building and proceeded up Broad Street looking for a taxicab. As I walked, I mumbled to myself, "She's going to hate me for being late."
"More than you can ever imagine," a soft, sweet, feminine voice commented.
After taking two steps more, I stopped and turned around to see who said that. When I didn't see anyone in the crowd that I recognized, I continued to walk on. The same voice spoke again, "If you seek the one who speaks, look on your shoulder."
"Who said that?" For a moment I could plainly see the faces of my parents as they appeared that very night when I received my revelation at the age of five years. The people about me looked at me as if I were crazy.
The voice repeated, "Look on your shoulder!" This time I hesitantly obeyed. I looked to both of my shoulders and saw nothing but a tiny piece of soot. I just couldn't figure out who had spoken to me. Was this some joke?
I was about to brush the piece of soot away when the voice screamed, "Don't do that! It is I, the heart of Young Girl Sunday Blues, Summer's daughter, and I have taken the form of a piece of soot. I have journeyed too far to be brushed aside." I looked around one more time to see who might be playing this joke on me when I realized that the people passing me by didn't seem to hear what I had heard. "Now do you believe me?" the voice spoke gently. "You are not crazy, nor are you hearing things. It is just that I am communicating to you mentally. I even have the power of letting you listen to your thoughts."
"If you, whoever you are, can do that I'll believe you." Then I distinctly heard what I, at that moment, was thinking, "Are you shittin' me? There has to be someone somewhere playing this joke on me. Is this Candid Camera?"
As I turned completely around looking at people to see if anyone had heard; the voice spoke, "Now do you believe me?"
I snorted, "I'll be a son-of-a-bitch!"
"I can hear your thoughts, so there is no need for you to speak aloud; just think of what you wish to say. That's it. The reason why is simple. I was sent here to bring you back with me so that you might search for Rosen Forest."
"Rosen Forest. Yeah, I remember THEM mentioning this place - Rosen Forest," I thought.
The voice intruded upon my thinking, "There is more, but you will learn soon enough. As for now, it is time to go."
I wondered how we were going to wherever it is we were going and where was this Rosen Forest place and did it have TV, when suddenly I felt myself rising off the ground, floating upward. The people all round me began to stare in amazement. Some even pointed their fingers and shouted for the police. As if the police could do something other than look. It was wild. I was scared as I slowly ascended above the buildings. But as I became more comfortable with my state I became less frightened and my assent became more rapid. At one point, I even got cocky. I was traveling and I didn't much give a damn how or where.
"Hey, out of curiosity, what's enabling me to fly?" I asked.
"You are not flying, you are floating. It's the only way you can travel through the D.C.B.A.-25."
I thought, "What the hell is the difference, and what is this D.C.B.A.-25?"
"Michael, floating is to rise above, flying is to flee, and the D.C.B.A.-25 is where one may see the people of the world, what they are and what they could become. We are passing through now. Look down and you shall see."
I saw an island below us where once was Virginia. The voice told me that it was the Island of Theorists and Stylists, commonly known as the Land of Troublemakers. As I stared down at the island, I saw people speaking to others through loud speakers. There were people such as Richard "The Milhouse" Nixon, Eldridge Cleaver, Paul Rupert, Rennie Davis, The Reverend Cotesworth Lewis, Sharon Krebs (rudely in the nude), Ernest Che Guevara (on 20/20 with Geraldo), Arsenio "The Man" Hall, and so many others it wasn't funny. But around the island was a purple sea of people - the same people - cooperatively living, learning, and loving together.
"Hey; that's heavy, but what do the letters 'D.C.B.A.-25' mean?"
Her sweet gentle voice entered my mind softly and said, "Decadent Charismatic Bourgeois Aristocrats minus Twenty Five Percent of Reality. They are a bunch of jerks who really just want to live the good life in Buenos Aires."
We continued to travel upward until we came to a cloud that was just above what the voice called the Sun of Reality. There we stopped. The voice told me to sit and rest for a while. The piece of soot gently left my shoulder and floated around to confront my face, I was eyeball to soot.
"Michael, it is time for me to leave you. For you must find your way to Rosen Forest from here. But as you travel remember this: no matter how beautiful things may seem, you must not stay in any place too long. The lands through which you will travel are not your destination. I must go. Remember what I said." Her words reverberated as the speck of soot faded into nothingness.
Chapter III – The Search for Rosen Forest Begins
I stared in fear and wondered what the hell was I to do. I looked around in bewilderment only to find nothing but whiteness. In which direction do I head? I shook my head and exclaimed aloud, "What have I gotten myself into now?"
Wait a minute. She said rest. I pondered for a moment. "Yeah, that's what I need - rest. Yeah, sleep!" I began to feel woozy and tired. "I think I had better lie here for a while before I go anywhere. Why do I feel so dizzy and sleepy? What's happening to me? I feel as if I'm going to black out. What the hell is happening? I can't see. It's just black. Wait, my eyes are closed. I'll just open them. They won't open. This is a dream; a bad dream. Wait a minute Mike, get control of yourself. All I have to do is open my eyes and wake up. That's all, just get control. It's all a dream. Yes, that's all this is, a dream. And all I have to do is just wake myself up. I am going to open my eyes and wake myself up. Wake up dammit!"
When I finally opened my eyes, I wished I hadn't. I saw that I was inside something, but yet, I wasn't. I couldn't understand the madness that was happening to me. It was a trip! I was surrounded by something. Bright, vibrant colors were flashing on and off, wild whirling colorful designs whizzing by my face, and unusual sounds and vibrations entering my ears and shaking my body.
All of a sudden I realized that I was moving. I was more or less being drawn toward something, like a magnet attracts metal. What it was that was pulling me, I didn't know. I felt that I must have been getting closer to it because I was moving faster and faster. Then suddenly upon the vast horizon of colors and shapes I could see it, but I still couldn't identify it. I was headed straight for it and moving faster by the moment. I screamed in exasperation, "Help-p-p-p-p!"
"Ouch!" I yelled, while simultaneously swinging my right hand across my body to kill whatever it was that stung me. "Wait a minute, Mike. If I'm dead, why the hell did I say 'ouch'? I must be dead. I have to be. Otherwise I couldn't have lived through all of that whatever it was. I'm no superman. All I have to do is open my eyes - my eyes are open!" I jumped to my feet, and to my surprise I found myself in a vast beautiful field full of beautifully colored flowers that looked like tilted square plates that were a rainbow of cool colors. Each flower had a different design on it. The smell was sweet and unlike anything I had ever experienced. I was surrounded by what seemed to be long-haired, head-banded Hippies. "Is this Woodstock?" I wondered aloud. Their faces slowly smiled at me. It was then that I realized they were nude! Shortly after that brainstorm, it dawned on me that I, too, was without clothes. At that very moment, a lovely little girl about the age of seven emerged from the surrounding crowd of Hippies. She held a bunch of the beautiful flowers in her hand. As she walked toward me, she uttered the words "Peace and Love" repeatedly while offering me her flowers. I was dumbfounded. When she reached me, she laid the flowers at my feet and kindly took hold of my hand to lead me back to her people. I followed obediently.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Catharsis: The Unleashing of the Unconscious Conflicts of Michael Anthony"
Copyright © 2018 Michael Tyler.
Excerpted by permission of Page Publishing, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
I. Part I: Breakaway,
A. Chapter I – The Awakening,
B. Chapter II – Fly Away,
C. Chapter III – The Search for Rosen Forest Begins,
D. Chapter IV – Fatima, Everybody's Next One,
E. Chapter V – Odori & Whew,
F. Chapter VI – Return to Mazeze,
G. Chapter VII – The Embryonic Journey Continues,
H. Chapter VIII – To Finally Meet Summer's Daughter,
I. Chapter IX – Have You Tried Love?,
II. Part II: The Beginning,
A. Chapter 1 – Them Made Me Look, the Dirty Crook,
B. Chapter II – Possession,
C. Chapter III – Anita Aquilar,
D. Chapter IV – Dinner,
E. Chapter V – I Luv U,
F. Chapter VI – The Start of a Journey Across Moon Country,
G. Chapter VII – So-Lo,
H. Chapter VIII – The Eye,
III. Part III: Alone,
A. Chapter I – Vietnam,
B. Chapter II – The Garden of Eden,
C. Chapter III – The Game Begins,
D. Chapter IV – I Kill Me,
IV. Part IV: The First Snow of Summer, After a Long Hot Winter,
A. Chapter I – Excuse Me,
B. Chapter II – Corpus Christi,
C. Chapter III – Escape,
D. Chapter IV – Love Reclaimed,
E. Chapter V – Love & Happiness,
F. Chapter VI – Meet the Aquilars,
G. Chapter VII – Rude Awakening,
J. Chapter VIII – Your Name is Les Cole,
K. Chapter IX – Come to My Senses,
L. Chapter X – Living the Life,
M. Chapter XI – Skiing the Zugspitze,
N. Chapter XII – Fuck You,