This might be one of the most bizarre stories from my days working for Carnival Cruise lines. The year was 1997, and I was performing in the Piano bar. It was a typical crazy night, and I had a crowd of people around me singing along with me as I played. Part of the way into my set, I noticed a small very thin woman “dancing” by herself in the corner as I played.
I put the word”dancing” in quotes because it was the closest word to describe what she was doing.At first she looked inebriated to me, but as I watched her, I noticed that she was definitely repeating certain movements and that there was a pattern to what she did. “She’s not drunk” I thought “She’s just doing some very strange eclectic dance moves..”
As the night went on and I did my schtick, I would look behind the crowd of screaming people to see if she was still there, and sure enough, she was~!
What made the whole thing surreal is that NO one seemed to notice her at all!. Not one person as they walked by her stopped to look at her strange body movements, which combined with her petite size and obvious native american ancestry made her an unusual sight for a piano bar usually filled with young drunk white people.
Finally, as the evening came to an end and the people in the lounge began to clear out, I saw that this little Indian woman was STILL THERE. She wasn’t dancing as intensely as she had been, but she WAS still moving and shifting back n forth from one foot to the next. I decided to go talk to her.
“Hey” I said in a light hearted manner “You’ve been dancin here all night, haven’t you? “
Without making eye contact with me, she replied “I love music. Wanna go outside and talk?”
“Well”, I thought,”This lady doesn’t waste any time!” I felt a current go right up my spine into my head and I seemed to know instinctively that this encounter was going to be one I’d remember for awhile.
“Sure” I said “I know a spot.”
So the two of us left and made towards the top of the ship.As we were walking there, I noticed that she seemed to stagger and sway a little as she walked. “Oh Great” I thought “She IS drunk.” I looked at her to see if I could confirm this, but she avoided making eye contact with me. I pondered just slipping behind her and bolting away—but something told me not to go and to see this little encounter to its conclusion.
When we finally got to the top of the ship, it was actually quite windy, so I went to one of the lifeboats and grabbed a blanket. I wrapped it around her and I as we sat down and looked out at the ocean and the canopy of stars above.
“So” I said “I can tell you’re an Indian. What tribe are you from?”
Now this didn’t shock me, as the cruise we were on went to Cozumel/Cancun Mexico.
Then I asked the question I always asked if I was interacting with a female passenger:
“Did you come with anyone?”
“No “ she said” I’m just here by myself.”
While I expected this answer, it still made me think. What a strange person she was! Here was a tiny little Indian woman, all alone on a cruise ship, dancing by herself in my lounge as I played! And now, here I was seated with her alone on top of the ship in the middle of the night. Where was this going?
“Did you drink a lot tonight?” I asked
“No” she said quickly “I never drink. I just like music.”
OK, I thought, she wasn’t drunk, even tho she kind of looked a bit out of it. I wasn’t sure I believed her,so I started asking her to tell me about herself.
She told me that she loved to travel, and that she was a shaman.
Now, in 2017, I am very open to the idea of shamanism, animal totems etc—but back in 1997, I must admit, I was a little more skeptical, so I began to wonder if this woman “had all her bolts tightened all the way down”.
“Oh, a shaman eh? What does that mean?”
She then told me that she could communicate with animals, and that she talked with spirits etc.
“OH boy” I thought “Well—-she is an Indian. Maybe I’m supposed to learn something here. Lets play along.”
So I asked her about me. “I couldn’t help but notice you were drawn to my lounge and my music.” I said “Did the spirits send you that way?”
“You are a great musician.” She said “Your music has healing abilities when your thoughts are pure.”
“Well thank you!” I said “However, I wasn’t really playing my kind of music tonight. I was playing pop music—-music that people want to sing along to.I didn’t play any of my really good music. I’m amazed you would think I had healing abilities based on what I played tonight.”
She finally looked at me, but with a side long glance(As close to eye contact as I was going to get) and said.
“It is not the notes you play that heal people. Its the intention behind them.Those people were happy. You made them happy.You played the music they wanted to hear.It made me happy too because I felt their happiness”
Well, now I was intigued. That was a very clever answer. “Who is this lady?” I thought
So I decided to push further. “Can you tell the future?” I asked
“No” she said, “But I know what is prophesied to happen.”
“Tell me about that” I said looking at her, hoping to get a more direct connection.
“All I can tell you is that there is not much time left for this world, the world we know. “
WHOA. WOW. That was NOT what I expected to hear.
“How much time is left?” I said
“I do not know how long. But you will know when the end is near when the sky changes.”
“How will the sky change?” I asked
“You will see them in the sky.” she said “The evil ones.They will change the sky. After that, the sky will open,and the old ones will return.“
By now the wind had really begun to blow. It was getting cold, but I wanted to hear more.A few security guards walked by us, but seeing we both had our clothes on , they kept walking.
I looked again at my Indian friend. “I want you to see something”
I moved my blanket and took off my jacket.”People tell me this is just a double jointed thing, but I wonder what you will think” I then gripped the floor of the ship and pushed my wing bones up.
Now, this is a trick I have done since I was a kid, when I first discovered it. Its always been a good way to freak people out.
(I often used to do it in Jr High and High School and “pretend to be in pain” just to freak people out.On the ship, some of the island guys called me “Da Wingman” because of my ability to do this)
Anyways, I wanted to see what my Indian friend would think, and if I could get a rise out of her. What she did next surprised me. She looked at me curiously and then put her hands right on my back,right under my wing bones. She kept them there for awhile and moved them around a bit.Then, she pulled them away and looked down.
“So” I asked her “What is it? Does this mean anything? Or not?”
She then looked at me sadly. “You have suffered a lot—and you are going to suffer much more.”
UGH. I thought. That’s just great. Way to kill my buzz Indian shaman lady!.
“But” she continued,”You will survive this suffering and be stronger than you are now . You will become a great teacher and a leader in the new world after the sky changes.”
(I swear this is what she said!)
“OK” I said hesitantly “Any idea how long this —SUFFERING is going to last? “
“It will last many years” she said “You will want to give up. But you must not.”
She then hugged me and began to hum. I wasn’t familiar with the melody, so I guessed it was some ancient Mayan/Indian song. As I hugged her, I was impressed by how frail she was, how thin. In fact,she was so thin that I felt I could’ve snapped her in two if I squeezed her too hard!
“Well” I said getting up and pulling her up with me “We should probably get in .”
She said nothing and walked back with me to the elevator. As I said goodbye to her, I was struck by the way I felt. I had just heard some very bad & good news about myself, and of course, my first thought was to laugh it off.
The next day, I woke up and laughed again.
“Wow Brian, you are truly a psycho magnet!” I thought. I felt a little bit like Mulder from the Tv show “The X-Files”(a show I had been watching a lot of around that time)
Later that day,I went up top to have my morning stroll and “do the walk of shame.”(I’ll leave you to guess what that is )
As I walked around surveying the scenery, I started thinking about my little Indian “gal pal” and looked around to see if she was around——–but she was nowhere to be found!
In fact, I never saw this little Indian woman again on that cruise.Not once.
Now ——–HERE is where the story gets weird.
About 10 years later, I was spending sometime with one of my best friends. He was telling me about his recent trip to Northern Idaho when his wife jumped in and said:
“Kris, tell Brian about that weird indian woman you met!”
(HAHAH. You can see where this is going, right? )
As I sat back with baited anticipation, I listened to my friend describe EXACTLY the same woman I had seen 10 years earlier on the cruise ship!
“Was she really short?” I asked “YES!” he said, looking at me strangely.
“Was she really thin—like super thin?” I asked “Yeah!” He said. He was now staring at me intently.
“OK” I asked.“Was she kind of pacing back n forth, almost like she was drunk?”
“YEAAAH!” My friend yelled at me. “She wouldnt look me in the eye either.”
Kris’s wife then jumped in “She WAS drunk——-and she was annoying!”
Kris looked over his shoulder and immediately retorted ” No hun, she wasn’t drunk—” He then looked at me seriously.
“YES I did Kris” I said, “But I saw her 10 years ago——on a cruise ship in the Caribbean!! “
I then proceeded to tell him the story I just related to all of you above. When I got to the “sky changing/end of the world” part, he jumped up in a most agitated manner.
“No WAY Brian! Thats what she was saying to me! That the sky would change, and—”
“And the old ones would return—” (We both said this together and instantly started laughing)
“What the hell? “ I said looking at Kris with astonishment “This is crazy! Did you ever see her again?”
“No”, he said “Never. I come up here all the time, and that was the only time I’ve ever seen her”
We then both sat back and just looked at each other.
Kris shook his head. “Brian, that’s weird” he said
Naturally, Kris’s wife,the”voice of reason” again re entered the room and said with a feminine sureness that can destroy any mans fantastic ruminations:
“Oh you guys! It probably wasn’t the same person. A lot of Indian women look like that.”
But I KNEW it was the same person. Or was it a person?(Cue spooky music)And you know what? Her predictions had been proven correct. The sky HAS been changing,(If you don’t believe this, LOOK UP!) and I DID go thru some terrible suffering (Some day I’ll tell you all about it) —and yes—-I felt like giving up—–and yes, I am stronger now than I’ve ever been.
(I still have yet to see “the old ones” come out of the sky—but who knows?There’s still time.)
MORAL OF THE STORY: If you see a little Indian woman dancing and staggering around, and she talks to you? LISTEN TO HER.
She might be—-(Looks around nervously and whispers) “Onnnnne of the olllllllllllld ones”