Ben Brewer has a revelation within a revelation when he discovers that the mind cannot always be trusted.
Ben Brewer has lived in Missoula since 2007. He is grateful for his family, including his wife Beth, and his 2 year old son Jack. Ben moved here for a girl and ended with up with a marriage, a mortgage, a child, a degree and a job in a cubicle. He is basically living the American dream and feels very lucky to be doing it in such a wonderful and welcoming place as Missoula.
This episode of Tell Us Something was recorded in front of a live audience on December 8th, 2015, at The Wilma in Missoula, MT. 8 storytellers shared their story based upon the theme “Illumination/Revelation”.
Today’s podcast comes to us from Ben Brewer and is titled "Sneaky Puppet-Master Little Fucker". Thank you for listening.
This was about twenty years ago. The summer between tenth and eleventh grade. And so I was home alone. I was--it was summer--I was sitting in my house, and watching TV. And just out of--kind of--out of the blue I felt like my skull dropped out from the back of my head and I was being pulled out through that hole. It was like right here, and I was being pulled back, and everything looked like in a Hitchcock movie where like they zoom in but pan back--or whatever. And I felt like I was being crushed, and it was very scary. I was terrified. I think I was probably shaking.
I'm not sure how long that lasted, but luckily my dog was sitting on the couch next to me. We looked at each other and he kind of talked me through it. And--he did--and it was helpful. And one of the things that I realized was I needed to face my fear. So I did that and I came out the other side of this feeling, and I pulled out of that. And all of a sudden things were really amazing, and everything was just beautiful, and magical, and bright. It was wonderful and everything was imbued with meaning. For example, the next day I went to go play pickup soccer with my brother. And we went to the field and played for awhile, and then I took off my clothes and started running around the field. And next to the field--I was in my boxers, but I was otherwise clothesless.
And there was a row of sprinklers next to the field we were playing on, and it looked like this wall of water. And It was full of meaning, and what I needed to do was get to the other side. I needed to break through that wall. So I ran like full on and dove through that wall, and skidded across the grass on the other side. And I got up and I was just covered with grass, but I had broken through it because that wall had meaning.
And then after that there was this team of like--I don't know ten-year-olds, practicing their soccer. And they were all like lined up practicing headers where the coach would throw them a ball and they would head it and then go to the back of the line. So I jogged over, covered in grass, basically no clothes, and I got in line. Like went up to the--waited my turn.
And this was another funny thing about this time--is that. The other thing that I had realized was that everyone else was already there. They were already feeling this--or like on this plane--this new plane. And so I was the last one there. So everyone knew already what was going on. So like I looked at the coach, and the coach looked at me, and we knew. And he threw me a ball, and I headed it, and then I ran off.
So, another funny thing that was happening at this time was we had a French exchange student that happened to be staying with us, then. So, my parents--I lived in Seattle, I grew up in Seattle--so my parents recommended taking him out on a tour. So I went to the museum. My parents had recommended going to the museum, and so we went there. But rather than like look at art, we went straight to the cafeteria, and I ordered us a plate of cucumbers. And, on the way there we had passed--some--a guy who was like passing out free condoms. Like out of a grocery bag, which I took because everything had meaning. There was a reason he was doing that. And so when they--when the lady slid plate of cucumbers over to me I looked at her because we were on the same plane, and I slid the condoms across the counter to pay for the cucumbers. And then we took the cucumbers and ate them, and left the museum.
So I also had like discovered I could tap into new--kind of--powers, and abilities that I didn't--you know--hadn't experienced before. So like, I met up with a couple of my friends from high school at a park. We were hanging out at a park and there were three of us, and I wanted to tell one of them--I wanted to tell her--that I deeply loved her. Like I was in--fully in love. But I didn't want to tell it in front of the other girl that was sitting with us. So I like--I'll do it in the mic--[snap]--and she fell asleep. And then I could tell my friend that I loved her.
And I, like walking around the city could see--look at buses and the images on the buses would move, and things like that. I could change my shape in the mirror. So I had abilities. So I also--around that time--a movie came out called Lone Star, a Jonathan Sayles movie, starring Matthew McConaughey. And I knew that that movie was really important to see.
And so, one evening my parents told me we were going to see Lone Star. And we got in the car and we drove to the movie theater and pulled up--except that the building that we pulled up in front of was not the theater, it was the mental hospital. And while I was figuring that out my dad had gotten into the back seat and was holding on to me while the nurses and staff at--you know--at the hospital came out to put me on the gurney. Which they strapped me on and wheeled me into the hospital. So picture this, I'm in the hallway on a gurney down the hall. On the left-hand side is like the solitary cell--like where they just put you to sequester you until they figure out what to do--I guess.
And so, while I'm on the gurney--which by the way--while I'm there I'm like this tenth grade like, boy. I was trying to like seduce the nurse next to me to--let me out of here so we can run away together. And so in the--but in that cell--they had to move the guy who was in that cell out of there to make room for me. So they--while I'm on that gurney I see him open the door, and they move that guy out. And that guy is Crazy! He's got like, the hair--you know--that's all matted, and he looks really disoriented, and confused. And he's like saying things loudly that don't make any sense. And so the moved him out and put me in there. And you might think that like, that was the point where I might have had a revelation--that I was not thinking clearly--but I did not.
So flash forward like a week, and many pills later. I left the hospital, and here's what had happened--was that--earlier that summer I had gone camping. I had gone on a camping trip, and I had gotten Giardia. Which, for those of you that don't know, Giardia is something that makes you poop a lot. And to get rid of that-- when I got back--I went to the doctor, and the doctor prescribed me a drug called Quinacrine, which is an antimalarial medication. Which isn't really used that much anymore because it has like--can have psychotic reactions, but I think he prescribed it because the one that they were using at the time had heart side effects--or something he was worried about. So that is kind of the gist of what happened and what my--the revelation I guess or this illumination that I had had actually was a side effect of chemicals that I took to fix my guts. And so, I guess what I learned was that--well it made it a little difficult to trust things like revelations. Because sometimes your brain--your brain can be a sneaky puppet master little fucker. So, thank you very much.