Stalking the Average Man:
Copyright © 2014 John Axelson
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Cover by Geri Nolan Hilfiker.
This work would not have been possible without the forty-four years of overt friendship and surreptitious guardianship of Ed Koenig. It is dedicated to a masterful teacher, Jeanette Morrow, the loving memories of Eric and Mary Lee Axelson, Paul and Elizabeth Koenig, and Michael Monty, each of whom left this place better off than they found it. Special thanks to Britta Young, Brenda MacPherson, and Lia Avalos for their support, Geri Nolan Hilfiker for reasons contained in this work. Also to cameramen Robert Whyte, David Wilson, Sean Bobbitt, and Manny Alvarez—a multi-beer stranger whose insights and actions probably saved my life a couple of times. You can decide.
The following events originally occurred within a non-linear teaching scheme designed to force me to reorganize my lessons before I could claim their content as my own knowledge. Presenting my results in a coherent chronology required that I also provide fly-on-wall notes, based on what my teacher must have known to administer a given lesson at a particular time.
Phase One: The Seduction
Phase Two: Crossing the Bridge of Reason
Phase Three: The Fifth Intercession
Phase One: The Seduction
My name is John Roger Axelson… “Axe” to many people throughout my life, because it is more easily recalled and less strenuous to say. My parents were loving and tolerant, and I enjoyed a comfortable middle class upbringing devoid of undue trauma and tragedy, with a small caveat; we sometimes battled because I was a chronic under-achiever unless the event interested me, and school never did until I took a college broadcasting course.
Stints at preparatory jobs soon led me to working in the big leagues, as a soundman for network television news, increasingly on the road because I could travel without a nanny, and I worked well under pressure. When I was teamed up with cameramen of extraordinary abilities, I graduated into an elite realm of broadcast journalism. The rest, as they say, is history…
Three hours off the plane from working my first war, I was telling tales in the Cellar Blues Bar in an effort to come to terms with what I had seen; my mouth ran freely from fresh scents of death and obscene scenery for hours. As colleagues fell silent, and subdued barmaids quietly served us, I began borrowing from ‘bang-bang’ folklore to recreate the sense of danger and revulsion I had yet to realize now isolated me from their world. And always would.
But when a local beauty—a regular who had always been indifferent to my advances—finally saw me as a fascinating man the template for my post-traumatic behavior was set. I was thirty years old, smart, get-your-pants glib, and rolling in blood money.
Ironically, maybe inevitably, by my sixth sojourn into man’s dark side I was enduring real incidents I had ‘borrowed’ from other crews, and talked about as if they were my experiences. I also began having déjà vu events that influenced some of my decisions, without their underpinnings being evident to others. As a free spirit working in the staid business of television news it did not cross my mind that I had become too familiar with these irrational circumstances. To the contrary, I thought I was becoming uncommonly wise.
My twelfth trip into the lunacy became my last when British Immigration denied my visa renewal. This unexpected event caused me to fly to Vancouver, Canada, to see my best friend, Ed, and to check out the freelance market for soundmen. During this stay my polished tales of crappy ways to live and die enthralled his friend, Tom—an executive at a post-production company—who offered me contact numbers in the film and television industry. He also suggested that my experiences would make an excellent screenplay, an observation I saw as schmoozing from a shameless visionary seeding new business, but the idea stuck.
In the end, I stuffed my worldly possessions into three nylon sail bags and flew back to my hometown, Toronto, because I knew more people in the industry there. This reasoning turned out to be problematic because events had changed me, and not for the better. Sixteen months later, I was again considering moving to Vancouver when a regular call from possibly my only friend by this time reminded me that he’d put me up at no cost if I moved there. Shortly thereafter my professional world blew apart on the same day that I received word that I had been awarded a Screenwriters Development Grant, so I repacked my sail bags to start over in Vancouver as a writer.
I landed with a fifty percent advance toward expenses, and six months to complete my project; there was nothing standing in my way except my penchant to lead myself astray by following flashes of inspiration that had little to do with established elements of my plot. As a result, I lost valuable time trying to make these insights relevant to my climatic surprise, which as it turned out was on me: with only three weeks to go, elements of the flashes I had coaxed into my story merged to allude to a better climax than I had been crafting. I was not so concerned about getting the balance of the money, as I felt gutted by the fizzling ending that screwed up the potential references offered by the review committee. This meant I had to consign my first professional credit to silence, and start over.
Ed saw that I was troubled, by what he didn’t ask, and on his dime invited me to join him, Tom, and two others at the Avalon Gentleman’s Club to find a broader view of life than my own colon was then providing. Fortuitously, nearing the end of this evening Tom made a double entendre comment intended to have me speak about my version of the bang-bang, and I told him about an incident in a place I called Goodbye. Because it ultimately involved helicopters, this tale led me to explaining the problem I had with my screenplay. Tom dedicated brief seconds of thought to my problem before saying I should upgrade one of my helicopters, then offering me a business card on which he had scribbled a phone number, he said, "A friend needs help converting her book into a screenplay format. She’s a looker," he said seriously.
"Maybe later," I said to not seem unappreciative, but I had a lot to do—his suggestion was a perfect solution.
"That works," he replied, sliding the card between my fingers. "Jeanette is expecting to hear from you tonight… shit!" he exclaimed, looking at his watch as if it had bit him. Dropping cash on the table, he left to meet his girlfriend. Soon thereafter we all went our own way.
Fueled by unnecessary nightcaps and thoughts of lacy undergarments, I made the call.
My name is Jeanette Morrow: I was standing beside my father on a Chicago street when I became mesmerized by the lights circling the marquee, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Without warning, I was propelled into a realm surrounded by countless points of light brilliantly pulsating with a life of their own. Then a cushioned rocking motion enveloped me in a sea of blackness, but it was light. I felt warm, but there was no heat or cold to compare sensations.
I was struck with an incredible calm and an illuminating clarity of mind so profound that fear became an outdated emotion. I felt as if I was cradled in the hand of something immense, yet benevolent and protective, when a deep voice began to speak to me.
He said his name was Kha-li, that it was of ancient Egyptian origin meaning All That Is, and that He was the messenger of the Universal Source. He spoke about the rise and fall of many cultures, of the future, and of the purposes of humanity in the twenty-first century. He said we were in an end-of-the-world-cycle of events, which was not a physical condition because life would and must go on; His emanations had always been clandestinely present in our world to keep Universal knowledge alive for the time when specifically skilled emissaries would facilitate our transition back to sanity. Now was this time. Some of these men and women were of the Original Family of Man—projections from sources whose beginnings pre-dated the formation of our Universe. Others were of Earth; having evolved over countless millennia, they were chosen by man to participate in this intercession into our ways. In part, this is how mankind recognizes their prophets returned.
Regardless of their source, all emissaries arrive among mankind in the traditional way. Some will be made aware of their purpose at a young age, communicating directly with their Source. Others will live lives designed to fulfill purposes that only direct experience can prepare them for, before they are apprised of their individual tasks. Kha-li said I was such a person, that I was entering a crucial phase in my life and things would not be pleasant, but He would never let me go. When it was time, He would again formally contact me to explain the true nature of my journey, and its purpose. I was eight years old.
Thirty years passed before Kha-li returned.
When my shock had sufficiently settled, He told me that throughout time an ancient entity I could call Saa-ra (saw-raw) had been his messenger; he had served her purposes while she had prepared the way for him. Saa-ra was my life-force; I was a direct emanation whose physical journey had been designed to experience the inequities of the sexes before I could reunite with her to facilitate the training of others. I was to be Kha-li’s messenger on the physical plane, and it was time to apprise other emissaries of their purpose. He explained this process:
For countless years mystics of various backgrounds had kept alive, and refined a teaching scheme known in our time as Stalking. In this instance, the term does not refer to the aberrant persecution of another’s welfare; the literal opposite is the case as the stalker’s goal is to free their apprentice from apparently reasonable behaviors that will cause harm down the road. Without exception, this is an excruciating process that comes with no guarantee of success. Typically the failure rate is high because there is no compromise in the teachings, and no candidate is allowed access to knowledge of true power lest they have acquired the disciplines to handle it. Otherwise, the teacher would be creating a tyrant. In the case of Kha-li’s emissaries, there is always another to take up the task.
Forerunners of the coming changes, most of which were unaware of their true missions and influences, had written about the nature of reality as conscious energy, of intentions as actions, and the relationship between free will and responsibility. I was to begin my studies with these written works while Saa-ra expanded upon them with practical applications. In addition, I was to write about my experiences with the Universe, and when it was time speak of my quest to a potential messenger of my own. His purpose included sampling the stalking processes that the emissaries had to master, for in this way only could he legitimately describe, to all who might listen, the mechanisms by which emissaries came to their knowledge and powers. Kha-li said the world would not recognize their prophets returned without these preparations orchestrated by Spirit, facilitated by emanations, and delivered by an average man who had experienced the end-of-times events until he became them.
I immersed myself in these writings, and Saa-ra’s lessons, while creating my own journal and providing for two teenagers.
Acknowledging my efforts months later, Saa-ra said that although the Universe’s teachings required considerable evolutionary energy, this guaranteed nothing: when I attempted to awaken my student to his potential purpose—he was on his way—I would see that only ruthless applications of the lessons, and selfless discipline on his part, would see him through. As it had been with me, he had no idea why he had lived the life he had chosen, the affects of which could make him the most difficult to teach of them all.
With this counsel delivered, Saa-ra said I was poised to dismantle the aberrant world-view my potential messenger had been conformed to embrace by experiencing mankind’s default form of madness. I was attractive by any measure, intelligent, witty, and available. Along with surreptitiously offering him an intellectually redeeming challenge, I would be irresistible bait when I arrived in the disguise of a divorcee to probe his beliefs for personal points from which he would not run, until he could not run. Saa-ra would direct me every step of the way.
Early the next morning, I inserted a floppy disk into my Atari 64 computer and called up files from my book in progress: Jeanette had suggested that we exchange samples of our work, to see if we were creatively compatible, and as a courtesy act of trust by revealing ideas we had not copyrighted. Confidently pleased over the clever ease and causal humor we had shared in our first conversation, I read the best of my potential offerings without feeling I had to commit to showing it to her.
You Taught Me Well