Swear to God.
All my life I’ve had intermittent, utterly inexplicable run-ins with things that conventional wisdom brands as kooky paranormal bullshit. I agree that it’s bullshit, and wish it would leave me alone, but I’m not making anything up, and I rather resent the idea that I’m to be taken lightly and dismissed when it comes to the things I’ve experienced. I’m a stand-up guy, you know? I’m not a liar, and I’m (I think) manifestly not a rube who doesn’t know what he’s looking at, yet while most of those closest to me accept my accounts as at least subjectively real, not all do. Not all.
There are probably things more emotionally painful than having people you love and trust dismiss you. Perhaps I should count myself lucky for never having experienced them, whatever they are.
I’ve written about this stuff before, back when this blog was young, and I didn’t have the massive following I enjoy today. This was from way back in May 2017, as time held me green and dying:
The episode described in that post is incredible, ridiculous, and entirely factual. One early Sunday morning, on a deserted Carleton Street in downtown Toronto, I was attacked by someone – something – throwing food at me from all points of the compass, at high velocity, with implausible accuracy. Yes, food. Buns. Sandwiches. Hard-boiled eggs. Food.
That was the first real episode of high strangeness, but maybe my propensity to draw in weird energies was in evidence much earlier. Years before, when I was a teenager back in Halifax, it was routine for street lights to blink out when I walked under them, and immediately light back up once I was a few yards away. Happened all the time. Maybe that was just flukey happenstance.
On the other hand, I’ve had numerous UFO sightings, and a couple of close encounters, and by that I mean close encounters. I’m not claiming to be an abductee or anything, or to have seen grey aliens, but I’ve witnessed an object hovering over my house on a jet black November winter night, blinking a myriad of multi-coloured lights right above me, so low that I felt like I could have hit it with a thrown tennis ball, so big that I could have opened an umbrella and not entirely obscured it from view. Meanwhile, all around me the streets were preternaturally silent and abandoned, impossibly abandoned, no people, no cars, no sound but my own footfalls as I moved to try to get a visual angle on the thing. It was about 8PM. My neighbourhood is buzzing like a beehive at 8PM.
This weird feeling that time has stopped, and that only you are witnessing the event, is a classic element of UFO experiences, if you look it up.
My wife has shared a couple of these UFO sightings with me. No simple delusional break with reality, then. And if you imagine I might not realize I was looking at some sort of airplane, listen, aircraft recognition is not a weak point with me, I can readily distinguish an F-15C from an F-15E, and anyway no sort of fixed wing aircraft, or helicopter, or frigging blimp supposing there was one anywhere in the province, operates in residential neighbourhoods at altitudes of less than 200 feet, much less silently. At night.
The object moved away, rose over an apartment building, and dipped out of view. The High Park bus went by. A guy across the street was walking his dog. There was a car at the intersection. The time-out was over, and it didn’t seem to have anything to do with me.
So sometimes it’s personal, like with the food attack, and sometimes my presence seems incidental to something that needn’t concern me. Lately, to my great discomfort, it’s been more on the personal side.
The latest instances of what might be called a program of paranormal rat-fucking began about eight years ago. I own a lot of electronics, and a lot of AV components that work best in concert with large and complex remotes. Sometimes, a little too frequently, those remotes would go missing. You’ll have to take my word for it that I don’t idly toss these vital devices around and misplace them. They each have a spot in a special caddy where they’re deposited each night. When they went missing, I’d often find them, after looking all over the place, in quite unlikely spots, like way back under the sofa, or back behind some books on a shelf. Sometimes they seemed to show up only after I’d already replaced them. This went on for a while, then stopped. I haven’t lost a remote in years.
I filed it all away in the “Anomaly” cupboard, imagined such tomfoolery was a thing of the past, and anyway readily explicable without resort to the supernatural, but then I was at work, on the phone, when my wedding ring vanished. This was about five, maybe six years ago. I don’t mean I lost the ring. I mean it vanished. See, I reflexively toy with my wedding band, spinning it around my ring finger with my thumb, and while I was doing that idly and talking on the phone I felt it disappear. Truly, I felt it there, solid, and then suddenly it wasn’t there. Well – no dutiful husband wants to lose a wedding ring, right? I searched high and low throughout my own office, up and down halls, in the washroom (including inside the paper towel waste bin), the coffee room, the garbage cans in the coffee room, underneath my office furniture, using my assistant’s iPhone for a flashlight – nowhere. It was gone.
I phoned Kathy, who was, of course, unperturbed, it was after all just a bauble symbolic of a love that couldn’t fade from the mere absence of a gold band. We’d get another. Of course that was going to be her reaction. Yet it still upset me.
Later that night, we were on the sofa in our comfy clothes, and she had to go off to bed, earlier than me – I’m a night owl – and having tucked her in I returned to the sofa to find the missing ring lying there, at the precise geometric centre of the cushion upon which I’d been sitting. Now look, no, there is no reasonable scenario in which a ring I lost at the office, on the 16th floor of a tower at King and Bay, ends up precisely situated on a spot that was generally underneath my own backside, in my house in High Park, miles away, hours after a clothing change, and repeated comings and goings from that same spot. Nope. Something took it, and something was giving it back.
About a month later, maybe two, I was sitting there on the sofa, rotating the ring under my thumb in my usual way, when it vanished again. It just went away, with that same spooky sensation that it was evaporating beneath my touch. We looked all over, and did everything possible to find a ring which, supposing a conventional explanation, would have dropped maybe a foot and a half on to the hardwood from my dangled hand, and to this day, nothing. It’s gone. I look for it still.
If you drop a dime in my house, it hits the hardwood with a sound about as loud as a 20mm round striking the armour of a tank. It’s actually startling; you take off your pants, a quarter or something falls out, and it’s like hail on a tin roof. Yet my wedding ring slipped off my finger and hit the floor without a sound?
In any case the ring never returned, but just a couple of days later a shiny little key appeared out of nowhere to sit in a prominent place in my home office. Again, you’ll have to trust me, but this was not a key to any desk drawer, lockbox, or cupboard, and its placement in a spot where I couldn’t help but find it was just a little spooky. It had little numbers engraved on it, and Kathy Googled it to discover it was a key for a type of padlock we’ve never owned. One shiny object for another? We’ve kept that little key in a safe place, lest we ever encounter a padlock that it might open.
There was then a lull in all this nonsense. But just about eight weeks ago, as I entered my house, my glasses fell off my face and landed on the tile in the foyer. When I picked them up, the right arm was missing. The glasses had only one arm. They were the frameless type, so losing an arm wouldn’t involve unscrewing anything, just yanking it out of its plug, and those things do have a tendency to work loose but still…if the arm had worked itself out, it would have to have been close at hand. It would have to have fallen out right there. I couldn’t have walked all the way up the street from the subway with the glasses in that state. They just won’t stay on your head. Yet the missing arm was nowhere around the foyer, where the specs had fallen from my face. I looked and I looked, but no joy.
So I replaced them. Jesus, eyeglasses cost an exorbitant amount in this country.
Last week, I was searching for another missing object – a set of Allen keys (you know, the things that you get with Ikea products instead of a screwdriver). We bought a precision set a while back because sometime they’re necessary to tighten the screws on loose faucets. Sorry. Who cares why I wanted them? Anyway, I was looking for them high and low, still another missing thing, and when I’d exhausted all the obvious possibilities I started searching the more improbable locations, one of which was a cupboard drawer in our master bathroom. I didn’t find them. I found the missing arm to my glasses.
The lost arm to my glasses was lying buried under boxes of band-aids and other such stuff in a drawer in the bathroom, a floor away from where the glasses had fallen off my head. Buried, mind you. Hidden.
You tell me what to think. No, I’ll tell you. Something is fucking with me. So far it’s playful. So far.
Tonight, I opened up the fridge door, took out a can of Coke, closed it, and then heard a strange commotion inside. Like things were being rearranged on the shelves. Huh? I reopened the door and a plastic quart container of yogurt pretty much jumped out and landed on my right foot, splattering all over and leaving the better part of the kitchen about an eighth of an inch deep in the stuff. Here’s what I’m telling myself: the yogurt, previously placed way back on the shelf, had been shifted forward during the day when we foraged around for other things, and then when I shut the door the vibration caused it to fall within the fridge, coming to rest wedged up against the door, just waiting to tumble out on the first unlucky sap to open it. Pure fluke. Easily explained.
That’s what I’m telling myself.