Monday, January 2, 2012

A Little Fact; A Little Fiction: Holiday Spirits

Yes, I am aware that the holidays are over. No, I am not trying to stretch them out.

What inspired this post is more the "spirit" than the "holiday."

Now that I am on Winter Break, I have the luxury to lolly-gag in the morning and then to park myself in front of my laptop and write away--my version of paradise.

But, with the addition of two new kittens to my household last month, the lolly-gagging is extending into wallowing.  This particular morning, the kittens were even more playful and cuddly, so I spent quite a bit of time on my couch indulging in cuteness while casting furtive glances at my laptop resting patiently on the coffee table in front of me. Gotta update the blog. Gotta finish revisions on my query letter. Shit, gotta finish revisions on the novel.

I'm not sure if it was the kittens or my self-imposed, Herculean writing "to do" list that kept me on my couch longer than normal this morning, but what's even more mysterious is what snapped me out of playtime.

I suddenly remembered that before going to bed the previous night, I had taken my computer into my office and plugged it in.

I don't sleepwalk. I don't drink (well, not enough to black out). And even though my memory is going the way of the dodo (too many drugs in high school), I am not suffering from Alzheimer's.

Sure, a midnight kitten WWF match might of unplugged my computer, but it was in a different location. A different room.

Going to my office, I saw the power cord still plugged in and draped across my desk. A bit of the silver prongs peeked out from the light socket, as if someone had yanked the computer to break its connection to power strip.

Did someone break in, saw that I had three cats and no money, and then decided to use my computer to find another victim a little more rich and a little less like the crazy, cat lady? Probably not. I am a very light sleeper and would have heard him.

That leaves me curious, but not perplexed. This is not the first time I've experienced such mysteries. Such unexplained phenomena.

Once in college, I found my bed unmade in the middle of the afternoon. I make my bed every morning. Every morning. Even before that first cup of coffee. I wouldn't flee my burning apartment with rumpled sheets. What was even more strange was that it looked as if someone had wormed him or herself under the sheets--as if in attempt to keep them tucked in on all three sides-- leaving a long, cylindrical "hump" where a body (or some other entity) had been. And trust me, Goldilocks isn't going to find anything "just right" in my apartment.

I've come home to every cupboard and drawer in my apartment left open, and it's not the result of a burglary. It's more a lost scene from Poltergeist.  I've yet to find anything missing.

Occasionally, I've found my jewelry has been moved. Not hidden; just moved. I am very organized: necklaces hang from hooks in the walls of my closet, family heirlooms are in the Victorian jewelry box on the top closet shelf, rings in the small silver box on my dresser.  I have found rings on the hooks in the closet and necklaces in shoes I have left by my front door. Not only do I remember putting the jewelry where it belongs, but the pieces I find misplaced are not pieces I had worn recently.

Last August I lost my cat, Ramses, to diabetic shock. He used to sleep with me every night. He'd jump up at the end of the bed, walk the length of my body and curl up right above my shoulder. Since he's died, there have been a few nights where I have felt his feet gingerly skipping over my legs as he makes him way up to my head. I scoot over to make room for him at the corner of my bed. But, when I reach out to pet him, he's (of course) not there. I'll open my eyes, expecting to see his surviving sister, Cleo, has taken up the sleep-around-mom's-head mantle, but she isn't there.

There is a lamp in my living room that switches on and off on its own. I don't turn this light on often, not because it scares me, but because I hardly ever sit in the chair it illuminates. While my mother stayed with me for a couple of days this holiday season, she needed the light so she could knit at night. I think it clicked on and off twice before Mom asked me about it.  My answer of "it always does that" and my shrug left her quite confused. And questioning my sanity.

When the unexplained pops into my life, I don't process it as such in the moment. The strangeness of discovering my unmade bed, of feeling the steps of my deceased cat on my back, of my light clicking on and off on its own occurs to me hours later. It doesn't freak me out; it just gives me pause. Neither am I running for a Ouija Board or an exorcist.

A lot of people, for different reasons, want to believe in the supernatural. We are titillated by fear, drawn in by mystery. Children love to tell ghost stories at slumber parties and around camp fires. Do Even Animal Planet has it's version of ghost hunting.

Why do we seem to want the unexplained to have no explanation? We didn't hang on to X-files for ten years because Scully always proved Mulder wrong. Is it about wanting answers to what happens to us after death? Is it about finally having knowing where our deceased loved ones have gone? Or is the human ego always in search of way to define itself as more unique and even more interesting than others?

In my case, those that know me would say my paranormal experiences are a result of ego. And that is too far from the truth. But again, note the title: "A Little Fact; A Little Fiction." Anyone wanna take a stab at which is which? Do so in the comments.


  1. Oh, I think the light is true but the open cupboards are false. Great read.

  2. I once found strands of uncooked linguine in front of my fireplace. Lord knows I don't cook, so whoever / whatever placed them there was barking up the wrong tree if it wanted to get my attention. Now, move my bottles of wine and that's a different story. "Ghost hunter" would take on a whole new meaning if that ever happened.

    And, I'm with Min - I'm guessing the opened cupboards never happened (although, that has happened to Todd and Yael... supposedly.)

  3. Holly, this was an entertaining read----I wouldn't hazard any guesses! :D


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