Strangers Among Us
By Nomar Knight
He’s back. You know; the unexpected visitor. At first I thought it was a moving shadow that was the result of the changing screens on the television. One dark scene changed to a lighter one. My lights are usually turned off when I watch the boob tube. But when the shadow moves and then it becomes distinctively clear and I realize shadows don’t behave like that, my mind is forced to deal with a strange kind of reality.
In the old days I’d be afraid to admit this stuff. I recall younger days when I attended the old parochial school. I hated being alone in the back stage area. A mean bald guy would yell at me. “You’re ready to go on in one minute!”
I’d answer dumbly, “Go on where?”
“To perform on stage, dummy!”
Then one of my classmates would tap my shoulder and my heart would shift from my chest all the way up to my mouth and back again. Soon I would hear my friend ask, “Who are you talking to?”
“The loudmouth bald guy,” then I’d point at the mean guy whose eyes would make me feel as if my life’s essence were in danger.
“What are you talking about? There’s no one else here but us.”
Yep, old places weren’t always fun places for me to visit. Hospitals were bad on account of all the sadness lingering in certain wards, like the ICU. I could feel death roam the halls and soon after, the weeping would begin.
To get back to my visitor, I watched him, awed by how he hadn’t changed much. He was a young 22 year old who got shot in his leg and bled to death. He had an affinity for a certain married relative of mine. He haunted her dreams, begged her to kill herself so they’d be together. I challenged him on his selfish desire. It went something like this:
Me: Why do you want her to kill herself?
Ghost: Because we should be together forever. I was too young to die.
Me: It’s not for you to determine when you die. She has plenty of time left.
Ghost: So I’ll wait till she comes to her senses. I love her.
Me: You only love yourself. If you really loved her, you’d let her live her life.
The ghost stared at me as if I had stabbed him with a sharp instrument. I guess the truth hurts more when you refuse to see it, even after your time expires.
Ghost: But it’s not fair!
Me: I agree, but it’s how it’s supposed to be. Do us all a favor, say goodbye and step into the light.
Ghost: But it’s not fair. We were supposed to be together.
I wanted to pat his shoulder and console him. His defiant eyes gave way to awareness, then remorse.
Ghost: It’s so hard.
Me: I know, but she needs to live a normal life.
He said goodbye to me. It took him another month before he said farewell to her in a dream.
Even as I type these words, I’m aware of other visitors who stop by. Some are constantly observing, others reminisce about the life they used to live. I wish I could shut the door on these events though some of my friends don’t know why I want to do that. I guess I want some semblance of normalcy, whatever that is. On most nights I can keep the door closed. However, tonight, the ghosts want attention. One opened the kitchen cabinets and left them that way. Another knocks on wooden furniture.
So I say these magic words, which sometimes help me seal off the other side. “When I close this laptop, the spiritual door shuts with it for in my case, ignorance is bliss.”
Have you experienced these type of unwanted visitors? If so, how do you cope with it?
See you on the dark side.
© Copyright Nomar Knight 2011. All rights reserved.
A Knight Chills presentation.