I was in my old house, the one I lived in as an alienated teenager in a small, rural Pennsylvania town. It was the middle of the night, and I was up wandering the house, when I saw a cougar in our living room. I was scared as hell, and got my stepfather's rifle. (This is strange, because we haven't lived in that house since they were married, so we wouldn't have ever had a rifle there; my mother hates guns.) I checked to see if it was loaded, and slowly approached the cougar, which was on the staircase. My mother told me not to shoot it, but to approach it like a cat, with my hand out and no threat of violence. So, I did. I petted the cougar, and lured it into the basement; my plan was to kick it out the back door. But once I got it into the basement, it suddenly transformed into a young man about my age, wearing jeans and a white shirt, with sandy hair, like the color of the cougar. He said he was traveling the country, all over, from California to New York, and all over in between. He said I ought to join him, come with him.

Before I could, I suddenly found myself at an English boarding school. I think it was a boarding school--I had to wear a uniform, kinda like my Catholic school uniform. I was pretty damned excited, too, since it was England and all.