The Gifted One: The Journey Begins
Perfect Bound Softcover
What do you need to learn to live your life to the fullest? Maybe nothing? Maybe everything? Only you know and maybe you’re not sure? What do you need to know to help you with feelings of lack of fulfillment, anxiety, depression, loneliness or abandonment? The Gifted One draws his knowledge and experience from a source that predates time, as we know it, and he wants to teach you… as he taught Citybear. The Gifted One: The Journey Begins does not pretend to have all the answers for living a happy, productive and successful life; however, from the time you begin your journey, you will never see your life the same as you do today. You will see more clearly and deeply into the life’s mysteries with its joys, sorrows and challenges. Once you have been introduced to this new knowledge, you will never be able to go back to being the person you are today. You will be the new and improved version mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. For those of you who are willing to risk change and accept the challenge of working toward the fulfillment of your dreams, as well as improving the quality of life on Mother Earth, fasten your seatbelt for the ride of your life.
The doors of the PATH train banged open at 33rd Street and the momentum of the crowd moved me toward the stairs that led to the street above. I remember thinking that New York in February could depress the Good Humor man, when I felt the tug at my sleeve.
I’m always paranoid in Manhattan, so my alarm bells went off when I felt the touch. I turned and looked directly into the bottom of his chest. Like a child looking up at a tall building, I tilted my head back. My first thoughts were… So tall! So thin! A giant scarecrow with a man’s face.
Then the odor; he smelled like the New Jersey Turnpike near the Linden Oil refinery. Like rotten eggs. It made me gag.
I was ready to pull my sleeve from his skeleton grasp when I looked in his eyes. They startled me. There were no pupils; each held a sparkling green iris. They looked more like emeralds than eyes. Overpowering. I couldn’t look away or, think and then, regaining my composure, thought, “Is this really happening?”
My mind began to scan everything I’d ever experienced and, like machine gun fire, questions whizzed through my consciousness. Why is the giant so thin? Why hasn’t
he spoken? Why can’t I move? Followed by my warped mind whispering, Maybe he wants to tell you your fly is open? That you’re losing altitude! My thinking works that way. Making fun of things, especially scary stuff, takes the edge off.
In a plaintive, yet jovial tone he said, “Friend, may I, a weary traveler, trouble you for some coins, so that I might purchase a cup of liquid refreshment?”
“Whew! He wants a handout. Give it to him and get out of here. Maybe it was
starting to make sense?
When I put my hand in my pocket, I remembered that I deposited my last quarter in a parking meter in Hoboken. I only had tokens for the train.
Then I thought, Why not? Give him a dollar and have it over with but, when I went through my wallet, the smallest I had was a five.
The seconds that had passed since he tugged at my sleeve seemed like minutes.
His eyes! They’re so weird. My thoughts kept ruminating about his eyes. I decided to give him a five.
I handed it to him but he didn’t take it. Then I said, “Here you go; get something to eat with your liquid refreshment.”
He held out his hand and I placed the bill in his palm. He put it in the right hand pocket of his wrinkled black raincoat.
He had been carrying a stained brown shopping bag in his right hand and what looked like a short, metallic club in the other. He had put down the bag to take the money. As he did, he put the club in his left pocket. After he put the money away, he turned his palms toward me facing up and bowed his head.
“Holy Moly” I murmured to myself. I thought he was going to start to pray but instead, he took a step back and gave me the space I needed to escape.
I was halfway to the stairs when I heard, “Mac…Mac…Come back…please…I beseech you!”
Beseech? I thought. Who says beseech in the New York subway? I could only think of clergy and milk crate philosophers proclaiming the end of the world.
“Mac, I have a gift for you!” he said.
He didn’t have to offer a gift. I was already on my way back. Sister Martina, my fourth grade teacher, was the last person I can remember saying beseech. I think it had something to do with one of the kids who kept blowing his nose and disrupting the class. She was losing it. Beseech was the final warning before she went over the edge to the place where nuns go to reclaim their sanity. Beseech was serious. Like when a cop says, “Please step out of the vehicle.”
As I walked toward the mystery man, I believed I didn’t want, or need, whatever it was that he thought was so important. What I needed to do was lose fifty pounds; get my blood pressure out of the stratosphere; find a new job; make more money; repair my strained
family relationships and most of all, learn to relax. For a long time I felt like a gerbil on a wheel and I wanted desperately to escape.
“Mac! Just a few seconds of your life…I have it here for you…I have been waiting to give it to you for a long time.”
Why me? They can pick me out in a crowd. I could be wearing Hell’s Angel’s colors with ripped dungarees and they’d still know I was a soft touch. It’s a curse.
On my way back, I saw him rummaging through his bag.
“I have it here. I know it is here. Just a moment. Ah! Yes! I have found your treasure.”
And he handed me what appeared to be a ledger. Like everything else about him, except his eyes, the book looked worn, no, more like ancient. As if many fingers had caressed its texture before mine and, in doing so, left miniscule deposits of oil that had darkened the fabric. The cover, if my guess was correct, had become a repository for the DNA of everyone who touched it. If it wasn’t a scam?
My internal alarm bells were still sounding and I thought, Maybe I’m on Candid Camera? Maybe a Gypsy was going to pick my pocket or, already had. At the same time that I checked to see if I had my wallet, I noticed the odor was gone. Instead, there was a fragrance of freshness and I wondered if someone had turned on an exhaust fan. It smelled like the forest after a morning rain shower and before the heat of the day. I thought, Too much input. Not enough answers. I’m on overload.
When I looked at his eyes, he said, “My name is Theophane. I am a gift bearer. My job, I should say, my vocation, is to travel the world and reward kindness and compassion wherever I find it. The world is such a mess you know, so much evil…but there is also great good. I am here to recognize those who deserve to move to the next level and you have passed your first test for consideration.
Test? What was he talking about? I gave him a handout? No big deal!
“You could have walked away when you remembered that you put your last quarter in a parking meter. It became more difficult when you realized that the smallest bill you had was five dollars. It was here that you earned your gift. You were no longer afraid of me. My smell and clothes did not matter. You thought I looked hungry and you presented your gift knowing that there was nothing I could do for you in return.”
I interrupted him, “What do you mean by consideration?”
He answered, “For the privilege of allowing me to help you to change and your assistance in helping to heal our ailing planet.”
I was working on processing his answer, when he continued.
“The book I have given you is what you need. What you really need. I know about your health, your job, the family, your book and the money problems.
How does he know all this? I thought.
Then he said, “As you suspected, the book is very old. It is much older than you imagine.”
He smiled, closed his eyes, bowed his head toward me and turned away. I stood there in shock as he took the metallic club from his pocket and unfolded it into a cane…a white cane with a red tip.
My last memory of him was watching the bones of his shoulder blades undulate under the worn, thin fabric of his coat, as he walked with the tentative gait of the blind, his cane acting as a scanner, while his right hand held his bag of treasures.
Andy McCabe has his Psy.D. in Applied Psychology from Rutgers University and is a full time professor. He has presented stress management and self improvement programs for the United States Navy, hospitals, police organizations, educational institutions and major corporations.
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