Precog: Okay, here goes…When I was about 21, I took my car off road to paint Plein Aire. It was a side road, off a fairly busy main road, leading into Worcester, Mass., where I was living at the time. I was a huge fan of the Impressionists and was thinking about them as I was setting up my easel to paint. I remember someone telling me, (or did I read this?) that you should try and conjure the spirit of your inspiration as you worked. So I started to think about Van Gogh, asking him to help guide me, etc. I painted a landscape rather quickly. A young kid, maybe around 11 years old, came by and said, “Good job.” He kept walking and I didn’t think anything of it. Then a while later, I realized I had overworked the painting and it was losing some of its charm. The kid came back by and looked at the painting and said, “You overworked it.” It thought it odd that he would know this. But he kept walking.

As I started to pack up my oils, I got a notion that my car was in jeopardy. Perhaps being stolen. I packed up my easel and the painting and quickly started up the hill toward my car. As I walked, I had a vision of a couple of kids in white T-shirts trying to steal my car. In my vision, I picked up a rock and threw it at them.

When I caught sight of my actual car, about a hundred yards away, I was relieved it appeared unmolested. Then I saw a kid in a white T shirt on the passenger side of my car. The door was open. I yelled, “Hey!” And picked up a rock and threw it at them, even though it was way too far to reach. As I threw the rock, I realized it was exactly like I’d envisioned. Then I saw the other kid on the driver’s side door, also in a white T. They saw me and ran. As I approached the car, I envisioned the cops coming, and as I put the painting in my trunk, the cop saying, “Hey, that’s pretty good, how much do you get for one of those?”

When I got to the car, I realized they had jammed the collar where the key goes with a dent puller, and had emptied my glove box. Papers were strewn all over my front seat and the ground. I ran across the street to call the cops at a store. When they arrived, and as I was explaining what had happened, I opened the trunk to place the painting in, and the cop said, “Hey, that’s pretty good, how much do you get for one of those?”

Of course, it hit me as this was happening that it was all as I had envisioned it. And I always wondered if the trance-like state I achieved while painting, the strange kid who knew how to paint, had something to do with it. Was he a young Van Gogh in spirit, come back young and happy, before all his problems, or was I just being imaginative? Either way, the kid was very strange, indeed.

That was my one big precognitive experience.

I have also had precognitive dreams that have come true, exactly as I’d dreamt them. I dreamed the New England Patriots were going to beat the Steelers in the playoffs back in 1999. Tom Brady would injure his ankle, and Drew Bledsoe would come in at quarterback and win the game. And that’s exactly what happened. They went on to win the Super Bowl, as I knew they would. I wish I had put money on that game, but I didn’t pursue it, as gambling is illegal in CA. Much like August, I shy away from the occult, so I never tried to pursue it further. If it happens it happens. I haven’t had a strong one in a while, which is actually the way I prefer it.

Anyway, these episodes, in particular, gave me the ideas and inspiration for Dream State, my first published novel.

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