A Secret Grave 5: Gharith Pendragon Is a Real Person

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Here’s what I found when I turned my easel around this morning.

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To the uninitiated eye it might look quite beautiful, even almost finished, but I know better. The paint on the right side of the face has sunk in to such an extent that it looks like a mask and I will have to work very hard to integrate the two sides to the point where they have a realistic human effect. That will involve hours of blending with various brushes and mediums, hours of worry over whether the surface has become too slick, or did I perhaps go a shade too light just at the bridge of the nose?

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You see how obsessive I become. Far better to write about Dr. Victor Goodlove whose remains might be buried in concrete under the floor where my easel stands. Since you probably think the whole notion is preposterous, I’d like to introduce Gharith Pendragon, the psychic who saw the remains of a dead body in the first place.

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Gharith

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To start with, he is a real person – I didn’t make him up – and his name really is Gharith Pendragon, which to me sounds like a neon-lit stage name for a psychic, perhaps in Vegas on the marquee of one of those ginormous hotels. I first heard of Gharith in 2004 through someone in the dance community. Since I had questions about a number of things going on in my life, I went to see him. He lived in an unprepossessing apartment off Burnet Road and the moment he opened the door and ushered me in, a feeling of peacefulness and calm swept over me. “Hello, welcome,” he said in a voice like a singer’s that could move fluidly from high octaves to low. He was in his fifties, a large, sweet-faced man with a tiny birthmark that reminded me of a bullet wound on his forehead. At first, perhaps because of the slow and ruminative way he moved his head from side to side, I thought he was blind. But it turned out he could see just fine and over the years I developed the theory that he lived in another dimension and was always looking inward to check images floating across a movie screen deep in his head. He motioned me onto a couch next to a coffee table holding a tape recorder and two glasses of water. Before we began he told me a little about himself – that he had possessed his psychic gift since childhood, that he worked with the police, lectured at a number of schools and universities, and had the endorsement of more than a few highly regarded doctors, professors and politicians. Even without the hype, I was sold. “How do you keep from being bombarded by information all the time?” I asked.

“Oh easy,” he said. “When I’m finished with my work, I say ‘sunset’ and everything closes down. When I’m ready to begin, as I am now, I say ‘sunrise.” He cleared his throat and pushed the on button of his tape recorder.

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To be continued…

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