Sunday, March 26, 2017

The Light

When I moved into my apartment on Exposition Ave, one of the first things I did was install a motion-sensing light bulb in the stairwell to the washer/dryer in the basement. That way I could carry baskets up and down without having to fumble for the light switch. This worked great.

I lived in this apartment for a year and a half before my son killed himself. During that year and a half, the light never came on by itself.

The first time it came on by itself was about a month after he died. The back stairwell is behind the bedroom, and the door to the stairwell had a window. I pulled the curtain aside and looked, wondering if a burglar had entered the back door to the porch. There was nothing to be seen. I looked down for mice, but nothing was there. No moths were flying around.

The next day, I went to Ace Hardware and bought some mouse traps and baited them with peanut-butter. The traps never caught anything, and the bait dried up.

Another month and it came on again.
The light seemed to skip a month. It didn't seem to come on very consistently, certainly not often, randomly.

I was pretty out-of-it, not able to pay close attention to much the first six months after. Unlike some people who get to take a leave of absence, I had to keep going to work. My company gave me a grand-total of 2 days off.
Maybe its a white-guy thing, never complain, man-up, don't show any feelings, nobody wants to hear what ails you. There were some, though, who couldn't believe I was actually getting counseling - because guys NEVER seek counseling! Then they wonder why they can't handle it years later. Maybe I can't handle it, but it won't be because I didn't try everything. I'm a resourceful kind of guy. I tend to be thorough, open-minded, methodical, tenacious.

There were times I thought words to Scott, all in my head. It seemed he was completely unaware of my thoughts or feelings.
Then one time I was on the phone and made a disparaging comment about how he couldn't deal with simple hardships, with a perfect life. My parents beat the ever living crap out of me. I was injured for 10yrs straight, never being without marks on my body, blamed for everything my brothers and sister did, beat for what they did, then beat for lying that it wasn't me. I was hated, in my family, growing up. Scott knew he was loved, and he was never beaten. He was dished out mild punishments - not getting allowed to watch TV, or something like that. As soon as I had said that, it was as if I could feel Scott's rage. It was really weird. It was as if he couldn't read my mind, but I could read his! And the light stopped coming on. I continued to feel anger from him, until I didn't feel him coming around anymore. Months went by.

I wasn't always aware when it was a monthly anniversary - the 4th. Sometimes I noticed that the light came on about that time of the month. I started to pay more attention when it seemed odd that, yeah, it kind of was about the 4th of a month when it came on. Sometimes it was very late on the 3rd, sometimes very early on the 5th, but usually on the 4th. For a light that never malfunctioned before, then was turning on by itself on or next-to the 4th, that was a statistical anomaly.
A few times, I would say out loud, "Hey Scott, I really miss you. Would be great if you'd say 'hi'." And the light would come on - sometimes within the hour, sometimes before morning. Then not again for weeks, or until the next 4th.
I wish I had kept records of the date and time when the light came on, but I didn't.

My brother, who is Catholic, told me that during exorcisms, the priest usually warns people that demons can't read their minds. Demons can hear only what you say out loud.
Hmmm, maybe not just demons? Maybe this is true of any spirit?
So I did some research. Lots of kooks out there on the subject of ghosts, spirits, aliens, supernatural, so I had to sift through. I found some agnostic scientific types who took notes and made lots of observations and posted it online.
Ghosts have been known to figure out how to turn on lights before they've figured out any other type of manipulation in the physical world.
Spirits do hear what you say out loud, if they're around. (Wait - "around" infers both space and time. I thought space and time were only of this physical world, but in the afterlife, we were supposed to rise to a different state?)
They might not hear everything you say, because they aren't listening, but they never hear what you think - unless they've been dead long enough, and a bond between them and you is strong enough and long enough (after death) for them to figure out how to get inside your head. Even then, you would have to whole-heartedly let them into your mind.
So I started talking to Scott out loud.

Then, after three months of not coming on, the light finally came on again. The light woke up my girlfriend and I, and she asked me who it was. I told her it was Scott, which she thought was crazy, but whatever.
The next day, someone came to me desperately seeking help with their suicidal son. This led to a crazy week afterward. It was almost as if my son was trying to warn me what was coming. It was hard for me to deal with my own grief, and also deal with someone who is a heroin addict and about to kill themselves. Not my problem? Yet if I could make a difference, maybe it would be worth it.

After all of that, the light started coming on regularly again, nearly always on the 4th.

I'm extremely agnostic - my religion is doubt. Atheists have faith, that there is no god. Agnostic means you believe in not believing one way or another. To an agnostic, blind-faith is a fool's errand. I worship doubt. To 'believe' is to close your mind to other possibilities. The truth could walk by right in front of your face, and you'd never recognize it.

My last therapy session, I told my therapist about the light. I told him how agnostic I am, that pretty much anyone else would firmly believe it's their son turning on the light, but not me. Still, it seemed statistically impossible for the light to keep lighting up on the 4th, or within hours of the 4th, when the motion sensor was a cheap sensor with no calendar or time feature, and there are 28-31 days in a month.
He suggested I was imagining the light coming on, but I told him, "Then my girlfriend is imagining it, too - along with the day of the month."

Well, the next night, it felt like someone shook me awake from REM sleep. Ever had that happen? Disoriented? You don't just pop out of bed from REM. There was barely any light in the room, but I tried to see if someone was there, because it seemed like someone had grabbed me by both arms and had shouted at me and shook me. No one was there. I sat up. No sirens could be heard, nothing unusual could be heard. So I said, "Scott?" Not even a second later, the light came on.

Wow, if Scott had heard me tell my therapist about me being agnostic and still not being able to believe for certain, and wanted to prove it to me beyond a doubt, this would be about the only way to do it. Yet I'm still very agnostic. I didn't imagine anything, so that's no explanation. Maybe the statistically impossible is possible and this had nothing to do with Scott? Being agnostic, I don't 'believe' it had nothing to do with Scott.

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