Friday, February 23, 2007

The angel of Hudson Street, 30th anniversary (guest post by Uranus)

Recently Janet passed me a link to a short statement about some astrophysicists promoting a theory which states that the physical, material universe we see, the world and all of us, are not really here in this place and time, but are being projected from another location which is very far away in space, and probably time as well. That is as best I could understand it, and I didn't save the link. The snippet didn't say why or how they'd developed the theory, or what it means. I remember getting the very same idea decades ago under hallucinogens, and I've thought about it ever since. That was after the summer of 1968 when my brother and I were treated to a very close encounter with what could only be described as an aircraft of unknown origin. We were on a Honda 90 in a rural area, and this thing was no projection. It followed us and finally when we stopped, it came very close. It was big and scary as hell, made no sound and didn't fly away but simply vanished. Years later he described the experience as distinct in his memory as it had been the next day.

One thing is certain, what we don't know about the laws of physics is far more than what we do know. I have an image of God which is something quite different than the version the Southern Baptist Convention is hocking; but, it's just my opinion, of course, and if God is real I'm sure it's a much different story than what anyone believes. Religion itself is so easily explained as a figment of imagination or collective hysteria, and faith and belief can be no more than opinion or wishful thinking—an anecdote told by who knows who. If so, it's a big fake. But maybe it's a symbolic representation, or projection, if I may, of some other reality that is simply very far away.

Considering the relevance of it in your everyday life, how to exploit it or simply what it means is a game for idiots, in my opinion. There's a better way to look at it, by examining a person of faith, but again it's a way which could be something someone just imagined. After more than two decades of thinking about it, I met a girl I've come to believe is the subject of the story, and through a strange set of circumstances I came to tell it, because it's too good to keep to myself.

The story of the blessed and sacred angel of Hudson Street is the most beautiful story I ever heard, and would make the best movie you could see. I like it far more than the story about the immaculately conceived prodigy who was crucified and resurrected, and as stories go that's a recognized big dog. I began hearing the story 30 years ago, in the summer of 1977 about a real girl and real events.

It was spoken among businessmen, suit types most of whom I would never know, in low tones in office building corridors and elevator landings. It was told in the tiniest possible pieces, and I'd heard it numerous times before I had many details. I was dismissive about it, it was simultaneously too horrible and wonderful. The Union bus station in Oklahoma City is at the corner of Main and Hudson. In the original downtown, it was at the northern boundary of the old Chisholm Trail stockyards which was finally torn down in the 1960s and replaced by Myriad Gardens and the convention center, my father's architectural project originally named The Myriad, now the Cox Business Convention Center. It was a terrible neighborhood from the start with cheap dives and pawn shops. After the stockyards was bulldozed, it remained a gathering place for winos, bums, the sexually extraordinary and prostitutes—probably to this day, I haven't been there lately. In the 1970s it was probably as dangerous a place for a prostitute to work as anywhere in the U.S.

There was a new girl turning tricks, she was only sixteen and really beautiful, and the youngest, most expensive hooker the city had ever seen. From this obscene beginning, the story became surreal, weird, a lot better. A year or so earlier, she and her two siblings became wards of the state following the death of their mother, aged mid-30s, from cancer. Three kids with nothing and no one. They were soon placed in the foster care system, still among the worst in the country and in those days well known for the abuse and murder of children. The spartan horror and weight of this nightmarish picture brought tears to my eyes then as few things did, and does now as few things do.

She was the happiest, prettiest girl anyone had seen, or so the story went on, and her favors were numbered, because she'd made it clear she offered the greatest day of your life for real money, and she'd get those kids out of foster care permanently, and now—and then she'd be done, that's all folks. The acollades were boundless in richness and number, and I never heard men speak with as much respect and affection as they all did when they told about the girl and her mission. Suddenly everyone knew her, and no one knew her. It was said the police were well aware of it but exercised "hands-off," for the obvious reasons and less-obviously as a statement that child prostitution, bad as it was, didn't hold a candle to our state's foster care system.

Then, the money shot. The story continued that this was no ordinary girl. She was more than religious and more than a prophet, cosmopolitan and wise in spite of her formal education's derailment. She was gifted with mystical power, they said, and was an actual angel sent down as one of heaven's favorites into the body of a young woman to demonstrate redemption and salvation. They said she could make things happen, by taking no action but by her word only and indeed had the power of life and death, which distinguished her as an angel. In this instance, she'd made a deal: she got the kids out of foster care, heaven protected her and made her an instrument of salvation.

And, her clients were more than well fucked and saved, something curious happened to one after another. They experienced positive changes in their lives which were described as unbelievable and miraculous, over and over, and these uncommon phenomena they attributed to their contact with her. I never heard who or what happened, and at this point figured we'd fallen into never-never land. Mama taught me people are liars and not to listen to strangers. This was a true case of mass hysteria, I was certain; and, until recent years I'd held that people who believed in angels and read and wrote books about them had been made psychotic by the sacrificial wine.

Someone was taking someone else for a ride, I reasoned, and I got dragged along. I never went by the bus station and figured I'd never see her if she existed, and probably didn't. Then, one day I made a wrong turn leaving work and drove around the corner where the bus station is, a very busy traffic area. I was watching the side streets and alleys and barely noticed a whistle. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a girl who was younger than any girl I'd ever seen there flagging down a shiny Mercedes. She was truly hell on wheels, absolutely stunning and amazing, far more beautiful than any girl I'd ever know, with long, thick, wavy brunette hair, very unique. Light seemed to shine from her, and I knew I'd seen the girl they were talking about. And, despite the fact I saw her for only a fraction of a second and it wasn't a good look, her image was engraved into my memory distinctly. I can still see it. For the next couple days, I was speechless.

Maybe I don't know everything after all. Angel or not, she and those kids walked away from foster care and never went back. I assumed it was the end of a rather strange story, but then an epilogue happened.

After being on the road for years I took some sabbaticals in the late 90s and threw up my hands and retired in 2002. Among things I did to amuse myself was play in internet chat rooms. Eventually I ran across a person who was really interesting and could barely manage a scribble, but had the most fascinating profile picture. I knew I'd seen her somewhere before, but I couldn't place it—all the while avoiding the impossible idea I knew who she was and it had any consequence. In chat rooms she was friendly and unfriendly, told me off for no real good reason a time or two. I won't lie, she was beautiful and I regretted it. Then, I met her one day at a summer park party and we took a shine to each other, all platonic of course, her being happily married for many years.

I don't mean to divulge identifiable information, but I became aware over many months that she may really be that person. She told me she isn't, but I believe she is. If she isn't, she's a nearly identical copy. Her age, family and personal history match precisely. Her first and middle names are the names of my mother and my mother's mother. But the real giveaway is the hair; I never saw hair like that, and she has it. What kind of person is she? Well known as an opinion leader in her rural community of 100,000 plus. She hates crooked cops and fabricates headaches, contacts authorities and insists they be removed. She's animate, religious, has droves of people visiting her at all times. She claims to be functionally illiterate, yet can read and understand complicated documents, and is highly successful as an independent businesswoman. Her husband loves her but can't live with her because the experience is so intense, so she's alone a lot. She claims she's raised six dozen kids, and I believe it. She owns a block of homes in a small town worth a tidy sum. More interestingly, people who make the mistake of stepping on the toes of any of her family's kids meet resounding misfortune. One guy's office burned to ash, completely irrrecoverable, cause indeterminate, not arson. Other people, and more than one, dropped dead, unexpectedly, prematurely, of natural causes.

Maybe she isn't the angel, but she has the angel's power. I had to see it happen a few times before I started to believe. It's a whole lot more to know. Nobody knows, even the people who swear they do. I can write it all off to pure coincidence, and any suggestion it's more than random chance and has a divine origin is myth. I spent time with her, and like everyone she knows I could see there is something which defies description going on with her. And I believe the whole story about the angel of Hudson Street is true, and that this is the same person and she possesses the same marvelous abilities. One of the critters who kicked was a sheriff, an idiot tyrant who ran the jail like a public toilet and sent too many innocent kids to prison. She'd wanted to pull some practical joke on the guy, or shoot him or something, and I'd told her to do nothing but know that vengeance is the Lord's—and maybe I should feel guilty about that one, but I don't.

If I had the ability to exploit the hand of fate, I'd have been very rich for a long time now. I used to have an idea of what I thought of God, angels and demons, and then a thing like the angel of Hudson Street comes along and challenges it. This long story might be all my imagination. But it's also certain there are unknown forces science doesn't exploit, and that only certain people can harness. Janet can hold a wild cat fresh from the trap and make it tame within minutes. That doesn't seem so miraculous, but I can't do it, and don't see how she can. She can't explain how she does it or how someone else can, but it resembles telepathy. That so many people believed the girl by the bus station was an angel was impressive, but not enough to make me believe it. My later experience made me believe, while admittedly I don't and can't know for certain. These things aren't more real than one thinks they are. Is there something more to it? Never think there isn't.


«—U®Anu§—» said...

I hadn't talked with her for months, and while I was writing that she hit me online. It was eery. I didn't tell her what I was doing. I was moved by this legend, and learned to remember during my darkest hours that an angel promises hope and victory, joy and love, the religious junk notwithstanding, and there's nothing scholarly about knowing a living God, and you don't "find God" where you expect.

rimone said...

interesting story. ever read any Edgar Cayce?

«—U®Anu§—» said...

I admit I haven't read Cayce's writing, but was aware of who he was and I've seen television documentaries about him. I've known a few people with extraordinary abilities, but mostly they're people with great mathematical prowess, affability or unbelievable memory. My father is a guy who can't lose in a casino or game of cards. He should be a career gambler, his good fortune is uncanny. He claims it comes from his ability to clearly imagine the result he wants. I disagree, and consider he's just gifted that way. His brain works at the level of Copurnicus, Galileo, Mozart, Archimedes. You can't cultivate that ability, it's something you're born with or not. I don't have a solid explanation for it. As for the girl I know today, what I've seen tells me she can want a blessing or judgment for someone else and it happens. It isn't possible to prove cause and effect, but I sure don't want to get on her shit list.

Don said...

For the record, thank you. I'm not sure what I'll take away from it, and probably won't know until the day I wake up and realize it already clicked in, but it has certainly given me food for thought. There's far more going on in this world than we mere mortals can get our brains around and the most we can hope for on a good day is a moment of clarity, a brief glimpse of the big picture soon lost to conscious memory.

Bringing it full circle, it serves as further testimony to the empty arrogance of those in politics and religion who claim authority, who claim to have all the answers when they've long since forsaken questions, their own and others'. That is why we can't allow them to scheme in the shadows, to lead by obfuscation and deceit. Whatever greater power is out there, it is truth, not lies, that drives it.

And that is why truth must drive us.

«—U®Anu§—» said...

You're welcomed, Don, it's always a pleasure. I only knew of one person like this, and I haven't heard another story like it outside of religious or mythology books. I didn't grasp what I was hearing until I saw the girl on the street; then, it was as if I could see her whole life, and I understood it all. I like the part of the story where they made foster care history. I stopped hearing that the girl was working, and there was no more fanfare than that. The adult woman I know today tells the exact same story but doesn't say how she managed to get the money that got them a place to live and paid their expenses. I'm not the superstitious type, given to religious zeal or life-changing "realizations." If I hadn't seen all this myself, I'd put it off to temporal lesions.

In 1972, while it was still affordable and barely stylish, I learned the transcendental meditation technique. It isn't a religion. It involves meditation which seeks to increase one's level of awareness, described in three levels, the highest being God-consciousness. They tell some very amazing stories. Some people reach the third level quickly. Others practice the technique for years and don't reach the first level. I don't know what level an expert would have thought I'd reached in my heyday, but I developed some strange abilities: I could hear people's thoughts and see things happening elsewhere, accurately; and I could add an extremely long column of numbers of any length instantly and come up with the right answer over and over without closely figuring. I couldn't perform other functions, but I could do that. I stopped practicing the technique because I began falling into a deep sleep for hours from which I couldn't wake, and soon after I stopped, those abilities went away. I continue to enjoy the benefit of lowered blood pressure which the technique imparts.

lukery said...

bravo uranus. great story. i'd love to meet l'angel.

LeeB said...

Great story is right!

I love angel stories better than anything. Contact with an angel forever changes how you see the world.

«—U®Anu§—» said...

I'm glad you liked that. Here is the suspect's picture, not a good one but you get the idea. If you click around you discover she likes the sexually-related. I tried to write last night but Blogger wouldn't let me sign in. I had to reinstall last night. I'm on the 30-day grace program with XP as Microsoft's antipiracy technology evolves. It begins by not allowing any updates. I downloaded the technicians' version of service pack 2 and copied it. After SP2 is installed, the damn thing works.