My Past

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My name is Marlo. I’m five feet two inches tall on a windy day, but feel much taller. I smile a lot, love dogs and have a heartfelt kinship with all animals. I also have a soft spot for elders and children.
I’m close to my family and honor the bloodline theory. This makes me especially protective of the ones I love if someone crosses them. Our family gatherings are treasured times and our delicious home-cooked Italian meals are five-star with a dash of dirty four letter words.
I’ve always been in tune with the “little voice” inside me and rely on my gut instincts. I consider it a gift I cherish immensely. I’m also mesmerized by rainbows which trigger a “happy dance” in my spirit and my body. Rocks also intrigue me and I believe that their age and particular formations “speak,” giving us important messages about the past, present and future.
I learned these things by aligning with Nature. When I’m calm in her company, words or feelings come into my being along with a sense of understanding and truth for “what is.” Oneness is achieved by connecting to the God-like essence and beauty of all living things, the trees, flowers, grass, you get my drift and appreciating their sweetness.
Whenever I find a bird feather, I feel it’s a blessing from a winged ancestor or friend who’s flying “the good blue road.” And when a group of pigeons or doves fly gracefully in sync, it tells me that Jesus is close, as if he’s orchestrating their flight and saying, “You are never alone, my child.” Why else would they hang around telephone lines? To me, it’s a sign of connection and communication.
I like to inspire people to see the “unseen” world where spirits flicker and their energy touches us on new levels of consciousness. The sadness from the loss of body contact can then be replaced by contentment as we reunite with the spirits of our loved-ones. This ability came to me as a young child, I would see and hear people who had passed away. In junior high I began relaying messages to my friends from their loved ones. Long story short, fearful adult reactions made me curb that gift and tuck it away until later in my life.
Now that gift is sought-after and I’m grateful for the divine guidance that stayed with me throughout my life. I’m also pleased with myself for listening to the signs and deeply grateful to my mom and dad for teaching me about discernment, intuition, the healing affects of journaling, and the peaceful power of expressing my true self. I feel as if I walk around with invisible angel wings tucked neatly in my shirt and am always available to help people who seek a deeper connection with their soul. You might say I plant seeds!
I’m also a strong believer in actions speaking louder than words though a well-written book with good intentions is lovely! Speaking of words, I have a fancy for lexigrams and can spend hours dissecting the secret meaning of a word.
Poetry is another fascination of mine which gave me the ability to ace my senior year English class by writing a book of poems. And last but not least, I stay young at heart by having fun, fun, fun and frequently playing elf-like practical jokes on my friends.
One more final thing—most importantly, I know we are all here for two reasons, to give love and to receive love.
If you thought I was only going to give you the good stuff, on the other side of the coin, I’m blunt to a fault and have a tad of a gutter-mouth (which I hope is balanced out by my sense of humor). I can’t stand cigarette smoke and “evil-eye” anyone who smokes around me.
I can be hard on myself and also boldly competitive with myself. I’m slightly impatient with others and have an extremely low tolerance for negativity, repetitiveness and people who are whiners, self-absorbed or disrespectful of animals and Mother Earth.

By the way, I’m working hard on curbing my prejudices and judgments so I can reach a state of perpetual acceptance. You might say I’m a work in progress, learning to be at peace with things I can’t change and roaring with courage to tackle the things I can.
In 1983, I lived on the top level of an old Victorian mansion in New Jersey that had been subdivided into three apartments. My place was the most unique and romantic, as well as the smallest—but it was ideal for me. The interior of my home was a mixed breed of antiques, Japanese and Native Indian items, family photos, books, hanging plants, and treasures from Nature. There was a vintage claw-legged bathtub and a hidden trap door leading to an attic that housed old furniture, glass bottles, and black-and-white photos of the original homeowners.
I had roommates—my handsome, white-and-orange, Himalayan cat, Patchouli, who was named after my favorite perfume oil, and two, colorful, chatty parakeets whose cage hung from an angled beam in the living room.
The coolest part of the place was a unique circular balcony off the kitchen. It was big enough for two chaise chairs and a large cobalt blue vase that I kept filled with seasonal flowers. A variety of wind chimes hung under the crown molding, serenading me on breezy days and nights. Patchouli loved to lie on the handcrafted railing and snooze in the sun. And I confess I did my share of nude tanning as well. Many nights I also rested there, staring at the constellations and admiring the vast open dark space.
The balcony overlooked the back yard where miles of ivy wrapped along the fences that outlined the property. Trellises, potted plants, and bushes were strategically aligned beside a brick path which led to a sitting area with a bistro table. When the weather was nice, this was where I would write, have tea and ponder.
I was proud of my home and loved having small parties or cooking for my friends. My favorite meal was homemade pizza with sautéed peppers, onions and garlic, accompanied by a crispy salad with my signature dressing; a blend of fresh lemon juice, rice vinegar and expensive, extra virgin olive oil.
I was blessed with many friends, but the only one I considered my best friend is Nina. We are more opposite than alike, from our looks to our personalities, but we’ve been best buds since age five. Nina married my baby brother, making us “half-blooded.” To this day, we share a bond that is unbreakable.
Career-wise, I always wanted to be a singer. I spent years in voice school and felt confident that singing was my niche. But after a funky experience with an agent who told me the only way a woman gets to the top is “by sucking a man’s noodle,” I decided to be my own agent. Ironically enough, it worked. In 1983, my singing career was progressing well and several times a month I ventured into New York to do background singing for original bands.
To pay the bills I worked as a cocktail waitress in a heart-thumping, hip disco. I made excellent tips, liked the nightly cash and enjoyed having my days off so I could venture to the mountains. My need to spend time outdoors with Nature and simply “be” was always in the forefront.
The fresh air and calming colors tamed my shadow-side—you know the side I’m talking about … the one that wants to gossip, flaunt her power and cause some mischief. Communing with Nature also helped keep my spirit peaceful, my body healthy and my emotions balanced. I’m still certain Mother Nature is the grandest healer on earth.
Overall, I was living the American dream, proudly driving around town in my bright yellow Volkswagen Beetle. Beep, Beep!
One particular day, I took a drive in the mountains to my favorite spot: the Watching Indian Reservation. It was only a half-hour from my apartment yet it felt like another world. First I stopped by a small ranch and fed a bag of carrots to some horses. They graciously nibbled on the treat as I stroked their soft noses and gazed into their soulful eyes.
Energized by their love, I continued on my journey. When I arrived, the reservation was quiet. I parked my Bug, grabbed the blanket I always travel with just in case the urge to picnic arises, and walked to a spot where tall pine trees flooded the area. It was magical.
As I waved the blanket in the air and spread it on the ground, thousands of pine needles scampered about. The sun’s rays beamed through the trees. I felt as if God’s hands were touching me. A telepathic conversation began with the nature elements, making me connected and at-one in the arms of Mother Earth. One of my favorite lexigrams is Earth and Heart.
I thanked God, my Spirit Guides, the Angels and all my loved ones for this life and all the beauty around me. I closed my eyes and allowed myself to fly. Pictures and events raced through my mind. It was unclear if I was in my past, present or future, but it was definitely a moment of peace. My breathing was slow and deep, putting me in a good place to receive information from my Higher Self. Little did I know that these particular thoughts and visions would beckon a series of life-changing events.
When I got home after spending hours in the mountains, I always felt tranquil, but on that particular night I later became restless. Something important seemed to be surfacing. Though I felt strong and happy, there was a quirky, unsettling, feeling in my stomach as well. I felt empty, and the emptiness created sadness.
It was frustrating to be having these feelings at a point in my life when all was going well. I was baffled, what could it possibly be? Was it a delayed “blue syndrome” from my recent break-up with a musician boyfriend after two years of dating?
My mind became my master but I didn’t want to be its servant. It felt like I was mentally playing tennis and my body wasn’t even on the court. After much back and forth contemplation, my gut told me that something I needed was about to enter my life.
I’ve read books about how we can feel restless, bored and agitated when our spirit is not in balance with our human actions. Was I out of balance? Was I working too much? Was I spending too much time alone? Did I need to meet up with Nina or some of the girls from work and do some female bonding?
I concluded that I needed to stop thinking. So I made a cup of herbal tea and cuddled with Patchouli on the bed while a soothing rainstorm pitter-pattered on the roof. I found an old 1947 black-and-white flick on television about an angel, ‘The Bishop’s Wife.’ The warm tea relaxed me. I didn’t want to miss the movie that was just starting, so I put a tape into the VCR and hit “record.” Within minutes, my eyelids drooped and my head nodded.
I must have dozed off because I woke to the sound of an eerie whistle blowing in the distance. A low rumbling followed. At first I thought it was the TV. But after I muted the television, I realized it was a train from the next town over. When it rains the air gets dense, so a train whistle sounds louder and closer then it actually is.
An unsettling feeling came over me, the same queasy sensation I felt earlier. It made me think about the recurring dream I’ve had about a train. In it, I’m rushing down the aisle frantically looking for a certain passenger, but never find him or her. My Mom thinks it means I’m looking for some type of relationship which I unconsciously feel I’m missing. As accurate as this sounds, I haven’t figured out who I’m actually looking for.
I suddenly felt detached and very far away from home. This was not the first time I had this feeling when hearing a train, but the sensation had an extra-eerie vibe this time. I closed my eyes and prayed.
Within moments I was in an altered state, what some people might call an out-of-body experience or astral traveling. For me it was quite normal, like being two places at once. I call it “dimensional drifting”. It’s a sense of connecting to the spirit world while staying rooted and sufficiently aware of my surroundings, like when I’m in the mountains and “drift off” as my body rests on the ground amongst the trees. Time seemed to stop.
When I opened my eyes, Patchouli was still cuddled next to me. Only a minute had passed according to the clock. The television was still muted and the whistle was still blowing.
I continued listening to the train pounding down the tracks, causing my psyche to ache as if it was coming to take me somewhere. Unlike times when I had purchased a train ticket and boarded a train, this felt like the train was boarding me. While my soul yearned to step up the steep metal stairs of a big black steam locomotive, my human self was scared.
The night following my bizarre train experience, I was working at the disco with five other waitresses. It was Saturday, couples night. We knew whoever got the back section with the booths was in trouble because it meant there’d be no good tips tonight.
I looked at the schedule posted in the break-room. Fudge, it was my turn to get lovers lane. The couples would sit, drink, smooch, talk and waste a perfectly good booth as they nursed the same drinks for hours. I used to imagine that under the tables their hands were doing things that should be done in hotel rooms or the backseat of a car—anywhere but my waitress section.
Four hours into the night, something life-changing happened when he walked into the club, time slowed down. The music, the voices, the bodies, they all faded. All except him.
He was beautifully handsome. At first glance, I knew he was there for me. He was meant to be mine; I was destined to be his.
Like a dog in heat, I could have tackled him on the spot. His long, wavy brown hair plus his funky-styled jacket, knee-high furry boots and skin-tight bell bottom jeans all turned me on. My eyes followed his every move. My body was numb yet vibrating.
It wasn’t just his appearance that grabbed my attention, it was the way he walked, confident and proud, head held high. He was a leader, a humble leader, I sensed.
He seemed familiar, as if from a dream or another time when I dimensional-drifted. I continued to watch closely as he walked to the far end of the club. I felt he was my soulmate or rather, my soul remembered him. He was the “other-half” that people talk about, the one who makes you feel at home and safe.
I stood in the dark corner of my waitress station. Get a grip, girl, you’ve seen cute guys before. But as the words rolled off my tongue, I knew in my heart that this feeling was not completely of this world. I snapped out of it when a guy from one of the booths signaled for another round. It was their third and still no tip. I called the order out to the bartender while thinking, get it yourself, you pain in the ass, don’t you know my dream-man just walked in?
I took a time-out from the dreamy bliss and cheerfully delivered the drinks. The disco dude paid with a $50 bill. I counted out his change, making sure to give him several $1 bills. Winking, he tossed two quarters onto my tray. I returned the wink, secretly knowing I’d given him the cheap vodka but charged him for the expensive stuff as I pocketed the difference.
Grinning, I skedaddled to my station feeling victorious. My eyes zeroed back in on the Mystery Man. One of my waitress friends came to my section and told me “the good-looking big tipper” was a Hollywood stuntman.
“A stuntman?” Geez, I had pegged him for a musician.
“What’s the matter, Marlo?”
I lovingly shook her arms: “Hey! Can’t you see I’m drooling over this guy?”
“His name is Thomas.”
“Yeah, he’s in town having fun while the Screen Actors Guild is on strike.”
“Hmm … well, whyever he’s here, I got first dibs.” I thumbed my chest and grinned.
“You’re too late. One of the other waitresses said she was going home with him.”
“Who do you think?” She pointed to the classy-trashy waitress hanging all over Thomas. His grin made it seem as if he was enjoying her attention.
“Just look at her! We’ll see about that. And to think I was going to ask all you girls to go clubbin’ with me one night next week.”
“I still want to go!” She smiled and scooted off to the break-room as I studied the long-haired cutie-pie and his male friends who were sitting at a table by the dance floor.
I sensed Thomas was pretending to be a hotshot. In less than two hours, the stuntman had tipped all the waitresses $100 bills and invited them to his house for an after-hours party. I was the only waitress he hadn’t met.
But I had a plan, so I asked my friend to cover my station. Then I put on some lipstick, fluffed my hair, slid the gum I was chewing to the side of my mouth, and waited for the right moment to make my move. Standing in front of him at last, I realized he was even more handsome and sexy than he’d seemed from across the room. His skin was naturally tan and fresh. His eyes were dark chocolate yet light from loving life. Inside I was screaming “hallelujah” while outside I remained cool as a cucumber. I looked him straight in the eye. He looked straight back at me. There was a connection, but he casually ignored it.
I said in a friendly, yet business-like tone as I shifted my eyes to the rest of the guys, “the club would like to buy you all a round of drinks.”
Thomas laughed. “Look at all the drinks in front of us.”
His friends agreed and also laughed. But I was quick on my toes: “Yeah, I can see you have many drinks. But these are free, on the house.”
His friends laughed louder, almost heckling me. My tongue flicked my gum from its hiding spot and I began chewing as I shot a dirty look at them.
Thomas replied, “Free? Hmm, not many people are giving out free stuff. That’s very kind of you.” I smiled. “We accept,” he said in response.
His friends went silent and raised their brows, riveted on our interaction. Even though I was thinking not-so-nice stuff about his nosey friends, my smile stayed constant.
“Oh, wait a minute!” Thomas exclaimed. “You’re here because you heard about the tip.”
His friends repeated what he said and laughed again.
I was getting pissed. By now my jaw was chomping up and down on the gum. “Yep, I sure heard about the tip.”
In raised octaves, his friends mimicked me. It took all my patience to keep from flipping them in the back of their heads with my angel wings. Thomas just watched me. Lord knows I was not interested in the tip. Well, not very interested, but it would make this a good night after the puny tips I’d gotten so far. You see, I wanted the whole package— Thomas and a tip.
I stood my ground, grabbed a few empty glasses and soiled napkins, then took a step away. “Have a good night, boys!” I chimed, acting as if I didn’t have a care. I turned on my heel to go.
“Wait!” he said. I turned back. He continued: “What’s your name?”
“Marlo,” I tried to sound sexy without acting sexy.
“So, Marlo, do ya have another piece of gum?”
Gum-gum-gum, he wants gum. I always had gum in my purse, which was in my locker. So I replied nonchalantly, “I’ll be right back.”
“Wait! One more thing—if you find a piece of gum, I’ll give ya $100 bucks.”
I laughed. This guy really thought I just wanted the tip. Minutes later I was back at his table with bad news, “Believe it or not, I don’t have a piece of gum.”
His friends cackled. But Thomas just smiled and hopped off his bar stool to stand in front me. His presence forced me to lean back.
“How long have ya been chewing the piece in your mouth?” he wondered.
I answered without thinking, “Just a few minutes.” It had really been a few hours.
“I’ll take it,” he said.
Oh crap, I thought, I already beat the heck out of this piece. But if he wants it…
“Okay.” I reached into my mouth, pulled out the wet sticky gum and handed it to him.
His friends moaned. Thomas stuck it in his mouth, began chewing, and sat back down on his stool. I smiled so widely my cheeks hurt. Grossed out, his friends wiggled on their chairs. Now I was the one laughing as I took a step away.
“Wait! Your tip.” He reached into his pants pocket. “Uh-oh, I ran out of cash.”
I snorted and grinned. He borrowed a $20 from one of the guys and slid it onto my tray. His friend glared at me as I winked and pranced away. I knew this was a good sign.
Back at my station, I bit my lip and shook off the magnetic energy from this encounter which was still jolting my petite body. There was some strong mo-jo brewing.
I took a few deep breaths and remembered the feeling I had the other night about something coming for me. Was it him?
At the end of the night he invited me to his house for the big party. I played it cool and said, “I might stop by.” But inside I was jumping for joy.
Like a Hollywood superstar, he had two stretch limousines waiting in the parking lot. Thomas and the boys got into one as all the waitresses piled into the other. I decided to follow in my own car then I could leave when I wanted.
As I started the engine, I saw something on the windshield. I stepped half-out and reached for it. At first it looked like a bookmark, but I realized it was a train ticket. It read: “The 440 Train—First Class seating to the next chapter of your life.”
What the freak? A train ticket? The Four-Forty Train? It felt like something mystical was happening again. This was too weird, The Limo Driver honked his horn, signaling me to follow. This snapped me back into the present. I tossed the ticket onto the passenger seat and accelerated.

On the drive, all I could think about was Divine Timing and the profound connection I felt with Thomas. Call it fate, destiny, karma, whatever you like but I was living it.
At the party I learned Thomas was also a musician. He had just written and recorded his first song. This made sense since I gravitated towards rockers and his look did not match my vision of a stuntman, which I thought of as a scruffy-looking guy with missing teeth who drank whiskey. I must have watched too many Westerns as a kid.
But this modern day stuntman was lovely, dahling, simply lovely! I was captivated by his gentle power, child-like innocence, strong independence, determination, and financial success. I came to this conclusion by observing his personality, energy and also the location and size of his big beautiful house.
One room was dedicated to his work. It was full of autographed movie scripts and souvenirs from television shows and films. I felt like I was walking through a trophy room in Hollywood. On the walls were photos of Thomas with movie stars, celebrities and women lots of women.
I noticed one photograph in particular, Thomas was wearing a pilot’s uniform. He looked sexy in sunglasses and a captain’s hat, his long dark hair hanging beneath it. His smile hinted that he had just achieved something or was just about to achieve something, maybe with the sexy, tall, black woman in a stewardess uniform standing close to him. His arm was around her shoulder and I couldn’t help noticing how close his hand was to her breast, or was I seeing more than was really there? I felt a twinge of jealousy. I really like this guy!
While we girls were huddling in his living room over drinks, I made it clear to my friends that I felt a connection to Thomas and really wanted to get to know him. In a flash, they all but kicked me out of the way. One waitress had the audacity to offer to share him with me. No thanks, I don’t share my sweets, and I don’t do rub-a-dub-dub three hynees in a tub.
The other guys flirted with the girls but it was obvious that Thomas was the big fish everyone wanted to hook. Oddly enough, all of us girls went home alone that night. It seems he was more hell-bent on entertaining us then getting into our panties. Darn, darn, darn! He was not going to be an easy catch, but I honestly liked the challenge.
I decided to keep the train ticket from my windshield as a memento. I hid it in an old book that had belonged to my Grandmother. I had the feeling one day it would come in handy.
Later, I phoned Nina and told her about the magic man I’d just met. She was used to my gut-intuition stories and, though she teased me a bunch, she had a genuine respect for my opinion.
Over the following weeks my life continued as usual but Thomas stayed in my mind. Coincidence or not, we were constantly running into each other at convenience stores, diners, nightclubs and parties. At a few of the gatherings, we stood in eye-range and checked each other out. But he always had a group of guys and girls with him so it was hard to get too close. When we did look into each other’s eyes, however, there was an intense feeling of recall and kinship that yearned to be explored even though he always got antsy and silly.
I was definitely experiencing something brand new. I wanted to be right about our strong connection and I also wanted to be intimate with him more intensely than any guy before. But something told me to proceed slowly. This knowing guided me to a new understanding. I wasn’t used to surrendering, but a stronger force than me was at work here. So I gave permission to the Universe to steer me in the direction of my highest good. I truly believed that if it was meant to be, it would be.
Then it happened—as quickly as Thomas entered my life, my magical run-ins with him suddenly stopped. I heard through the grapevine that he was traveling back and forth from here to California. Yet he never reached out to me. I yearned to chase him but instead listened to my inner guidance. I was also bothered that my gut instincts were so far off about Thomas. It made me wonder if I was losing my touch as a woman along with my gift of insight.
I was continually playing mental tennis. But after one too many mind-boggling replays, I wrote in my journal to get some healing. Through this process, I literally wrote off our connection and accepted the fact that I was simply mistaken. Some things are just that simple … aren’t they?
I was relieved to learn from one of my waitress friends that Thomas was engaged to a stewardess who was African-American. I would never have guessed he was in a relationship, based on the way he acted with all of us women. Then I remembered the photo in his trophy room. I wondered whether his fiancé was the beautiful black woman. Maybe she wasn’t a stuntwoman after all—and I hadn’t lost my touch…