I’ve been reading a book by Fate Magazine, which publishes weird accounts people send in of strange but true stories. Are they true? I don’t know. But strange things exist in this world, more than we know.

One thing I wanted to do was write down some things that are “paranormal.” They are all things I have experienced, but I know that there are others I forgot when I was young enough to think this was normal– that everyone did it.

When I was 10 or 11 I “saw” two boys spray painting our sidewalk. They did it, but not when I saw it. I saw it before they did it.

When I was 15 I wrote to a young man who had been a teacher of my middle sister’s day care, back when I was 10 and 11. I wanted him to know that our family still remembered him and his kindness and his jokes. My folks were furious when they saw an outgoing letter to a young man in the mail box. I opened it and, when they had read it, I sent it off. About two weeks later my mother came in and asked me if I had received a reply. Without thinking about it, never having had a thought of it at all, I said, “Tom was in a bad accident and a friend of his died. He is in the hospital. But he’s well enough now to get the letter and they are going to give it to him today.” About a week later, I got a letter from Tom. He was in the hospital, he said, and had just received my letter the day I told my mother he would. He didn’t tell me about his friend dying and we didn’t keep in touch with anyone else from those days, but I believe I was right. Tom changed his whole life and became a mortician after he got out of the hospital. His personality was very different as well.

When I was 16 I was going to have to take a Regents exam, the New York state finals, in Geometry. It wouldn’t have been a big deal except that I had only passed a single quiz all year long– and we had one every week. Now I would fail the class unless I passed the final. It was multiple choice, which would help, but I thought I should hedge my bets. I asked two girlfriends to think about me as they took the test and tell me the answers. (They went to a different high school but all Geometry students in NY take the test at the same time on the same day.) I didn’t hear them tell me anything, but I did pass. In fact, when I went to my teacher to see what I made he asked me what I thought I made. I told him I knew I had missed 12 and that the year before I thought I had missed 0 but had missed 5, so I thought I made an 83. That is exactly what I made on the test. If it wasn’t telepathy, it was a miracle.

When I was 17 I was in Louisiana going to school. I would walk across campus and near a big old oak tree, at least two hundred years old, I would be able to talk to my friend Rex. Now Rex was in Houston and he never said he could hear me, though I asked. But I know I really heard him. I was talking to him once, hanging out at the tree, and he said he couldn’t listen, that he was busy taking a test. I hadn’t talked to him in a while physically so I called. Sure enough at that time on that day he was taking a test in his Spanish class. He said he did all right on it, so I guess I didn’t bother him too much.

Also that same summer I was walking across campus and I realized something was wrong with Rex. I went to my folks’ house. My mom said to call him. I told her there wasn’t any point because he wasn’t home. Later I told her he was okay. She asked if I had called. I said no, that he was out of town. I also told her he’d be home on Monday. So when I called on Monday afternoon, I said, “What happened?” He’d been mugged at Hermann Park, knocked out, and someone had stolen his keys and his car. A friend took him to the hospital and then the friend’s family offered to take him away for the weekend to their cabin. So he was okay when I said and gone when I said.

That spring (1979) Rex had been in Spain and I had “checked” on him by walking to the old oak. I felt that this way I knew how he was doing.

The fall I was 17 I had an experience on the other end of this. I was with a guy named Bill and I thought something, didn’t say it, just thought it, and he answered me.

Once, in my early years in college (1978-1980), I called my mom and told her that something was wrong with my Grama Helen. I told her that she needed to call her, but that grandmother wasn’t home at the time. It turned out she had been hit by a car, but was okay.

When I was 18 I thought that Mike was in love with Becky. I didn’t think anyone else knew it, but I thought it was true. It turns out that it wasn’t. But it’s the only one that wasn’t.

Back in college we hung out a lot and played Risk. One couple in our group had married, James and Chloe. I told Chloe not to marry him; I didn’t know anything I just didn’t like the way he treated her. Pretty soon after they got married though, I would quit playing and give all my pieces to James whenever he was losing. I am sure my friends thought I had a crush on him, but I didn’t. Though she hadn’t said anything to me, and didn’t to anyone for three years, I knew he was beating her. And I knew that if he lost, he’d beat her. By giving him my pieces, I was hoping to short circuit the violence.

The spring I turned 19 Mike was in Dallas driving and I was asleep in another city. In my sleep, not a dream, I heard his voice call my name. It got softer and softer and softer. I knew that if I didn’t answer before it stopped, that I would never hear him again. I woke up screaming his name. I asked about it. My best friend had been driving in the car behind him and realized he was falling asleep, but she didn’t have any way to wake him. She saw him head towards the edge of a bridge and then make a violent correction, like he’d woken up. He didn’t say he’d heard me, but I like to think I woke him up.

When I was 19 I was dating a boy named Tommy. One day I told my mom, “Tell Tommy when he calls that I am washing my hair.” Then I went to my room, did some stuff, and got in the shower. When he called, I was washing my hair. I wasn’t expecting a call from him and he didn’t often call, but I knew he was going to. And my mom didn’t even question my statement. They were too normal to her.

The spring I turned twenty I went to my friend Rex and told him that I knew that he was gay. He said he wasn’t and asked me why I would think such a thing. I told him that I knew and that I still loved him and it didn’t matter. It was another year before he came out of the closet.

I was seeing a psychologist that semester, because my friends were worried about me for some reason, and I told him about knowing things I hadn’t been told. He quoted someone, not attributing it, and then said that I was being plagued by demons. The demon thing bothered me then and still bothers me now, but the quote is what caught my attention at the time. I knew who said it, even though I had never heard him speak about the topic and it didn’t have any unique speech patterning in it. I went and told him I knew it was him. He was appalled. He asked why I would think it was him. But he did admit he had said it. I hadn’t even known he had seen that psychologist. I certainly don’t think the psych guy helped him.

The fall I was 20 I was asleep. I needed to be asleep. I’d been up late and it was finals week. But in my sleep I realized that Mike was still asleep and he had an 8 a.m. final. I did not want to get up, but I didn’t want him to fail his final, either. So I got up and went across the alley to bang on his door. “Mike, wake up! You are missing your test!” I sat outside on the gas meter for about a minute and a half, till he came running out the door, putting on his shirt, with his shoes untied on his feet. Then I went back to bed. I am not sure I ever told him I’d been asleep, so maybe he thought I was stalking him.

When I was 20 being on the receiving end of someone else’s supernatural hearing happened again. I was visiting a church with some friends. While we were singing, I wondered why the windows in the church were a certain way. Keith, a guy I barely knew, leaned over and told me the answer to my question. This ability of Keith to know what I was thinking continued. He came over to my apartment once when I had been thinking of him and talked to me about what I had been thinking. Once, when he was overseas, I suddenly realized he could hear what I was thinking. I laughed and told him that it wasn’t worth listening to. He wrote me after that and said something about it. I haven’t seen or heard from him since.

The summer I was 20 one of my friends was upset and went off. Instead of going after him, which would be normal for me, I went and found another friend, one the first didn’t know well, and sent Dwayne after Rodney. It mattered. They were both in the same situation, turns out, and Dwayne was able to offer good advice. Rodney didn’t take it, but that’s his own choice.

I vaguely recall in the spring of my 21st year that Andy B was in some kind of trouble and I knew it beforehand. Nothing spectacular though.

So I guess I don’t recall anything like this happening after I came back from Europe when I was 22. That was half a lifetime ago.