Bookmark and Share

Wake-Up Call

Direct Answers - Column for the week of October 7, 2002

In the first half of May, I went through two remarkable changes. One was physical and the other involved emotional recall.

The physical one was what I thought was flu and a heavy dose of it. It was accompanied by a surreal shivering never experienced before or since. The recall was of a family I knew in my school days more than 20 years ago.

I imagined them not during the school years, when I knew them, but much earlier. I got images of all three children as handsome creatures having just come into this world. I saw the hospital, their home, and so forth. It was incredible.

The middle child, a boy, was in my year in secondary school, but only a passing acquaintance. We were mostly in different grades and subjects. I never met either of his sisters, though I knew who they were.

In mid-May, just as I came out of this experience, the boy reappeared in my life. I ran into him in a betting shop, mind you, not in the same town as our school days. We never approached each other. He is shy, and though I am not gregarious either, I saw no percentage in turning back the clock 20 years.

Like me, his face retains youth and a casual appearance at the expense of vocational and social progress. A likeness of his older sister passed me in the street in late May, and in late August I saw an uncanny resemblance of his younger sister in the city center.

What does it all mean? I've never crossed paths with anyone else from my school days. Have I inadvertently led them to the same level of weak-living mediocrity that I always fashioned for myself? Or is it vice versa? And why this nexus with them, of all the possibilities?


Elliot, whenever we have an experience, like tripping over a curb, it is accompanied by thoughts and feelings. In the case of the curb, we might feel clumsy or embarrassed. Our thoughts and emotions are what the experience is all about.

We wouldn't have known you feel unfulfilled if you hadn't told us. That feeling is what your experience is about. You were unwell, so it was natural to think about your mortality, your purpose on the planet, and what you haven't done.

Those feelings have been underlying your life, waiting for a moment to express themselves. You've stood in a line for 20 years, and the line isn't moving. You're being given a chance to acknowledge you don't have to stand in that line.

The only people who don't have a similar crisis are people doing what they know they should be doing with their lives. Those people understand what Thomas Traherne meant when he wrote, "Eternity was manifest in the light of day, and something infinite behind everything appeared."

Wayne & Tamara

The Full Package

On Friday the 13th, my boyfriend said he only loved me 99 percent, and he wanted someone he could love 100 percent. He doesn't know which 1 percent is missing.

However much I talk to him, he sticks to his guns. I'm not angry, just confused as to where he's going to find another woman daft enough to give up everything for him, with the same hopes and ambitions, tastes and friendships.

Do you think he'll come back to me when he feels the need for love and affection again?


Morgan, sometimes 1 percent makes all the difference. A 1 percent difference in functional DNA is all that separates us from the chimpanzees. That tells you that 1 percent can be everything. One percent can be the difference between right and wrong.

Who wants a man who needs to be argued into staying? You want a man who knows you have the 1 percent which makes all the difference to him.

Wayne & Tamara

About The Author

Authors and columnists Wayne and Tamara Mitchell can be reached at

Send letters to: Direct Answers, PO Box 964, Springfield, MO 65801 or email:

© Athifea Distribution LLC - 2013