Theresa Caputo, known to most of the public as the Long Island Medium, showed up at Savannah, Georgia’s Johnny Mercer Theatre last week, and she was met with around 2,500 eager faces. Who might get a reading? Whose relative would come through? Whether you were Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, Jewish, or simply reeking of Jean Nate, you wanted to be chosen. Not by her, just to be clear, but by spirit. They make the selection she said, and then Caputo dropped a bomb shell.
“Your dead relatives aren’t hanging out in the cemetery,” she told Savannahians.
“Excuse me,” one woman said in an outside voice. “They damn sure better be. I got two hundred dollars in ‘Formosa’ azaleas over at Bonaventure, and a ‘Debutante’ camellia I pay a guy to give CPR twice a week. Mama and Daddy sure as shit better be.”
Being dead in Savannah, Georgia is serious business, and lacking a heart beat is not grounds for neglecting your familial responsibility. When a fine person falls in this city, their remains are placed in the right place. As future generations meet their maker, the right place can change. It is a historical fact that deceased at Colonial Park Cemetery have been unearthed to join their descendents who found Bonaventure more suitable. Having one’s plot at Bonaventure is more than being laid to rest. It’s God’s breath gorgeous, and you become an anchor for your living family members. A fly on the wall might hear how Yvonne is the mouth breather of Rotary or how Freddie is the ass end of the Lion’s Club, but a dead loved one at the right cemetery is Bounce to a whore’s reputation. It freshens indiscretions and nothing sticks.
So, there the Long Island Medium stands on church steeple heels offering up what to many was a flatulent revelation indeed. No, your deceased are not in Heaven, Hell, and minding the family stones at the same time. “Well, where in the name of Jesus Christ are they,” a man muttered. His wife shoved a meaty purse into his left arm.
Murmurs came from every direction. Well, it did seem that somebody’s mother was watching over the new baby, and somebody’s father had helped when someone suffered emergency appendicitis. A son from the other side acknowledged that his family had paid homage by displaying his collection of Georgia Bulldog stuff. But, it wasn’t long before another realization made its way through the audience. Our beloved see what we are doing with their stuff?
A lady turns to her sister. “Shiiiiiit, does that mean mama knows about her ring? Does it? Damn it, I mean dang it, mama, I am sorry. I can’t help that the dog, your dog by the way, ate it.”
Everyone in her section was blessed with a story that included a lost piece of heirloom jewelry, a Corgi named Dave, and a Rosalynn Carter cheese ring. The woman confessed it all to the air above her head. To hear Caputo tell it, (and I agree) it is that very guilt that can keep people from being mediums themselves.
Other people in the audience weren’t sure they wanted to hear from their dead loved ones anymore. What might they have to say? What had they seen? What did they know? Lots and lots of folks locked their eyes on their manicures or at a scuff on a shoe. Caputo almost had to give one man a colonoscopy before he admitted to having a dream about his deceased cousin.
“Sir, sir, I’m looking right at you,” she said. Indeed it was his cousin trying to send a message.
Maybe, just maybe the woman who has the books, the television show, and talks to dead people unabashedly isn’t so different from me, some thought. What if her aperture is just opened a little wider? What would that mean?