Saturday Morning Musing

I have a tendency to get distracted while I’m doing things and then see something move out of the corner of my eye. This happens to a lot of people, usually as the result of some small shift in something our brain chooses to ignore, like a hair that’s out-of-place or a shadow in the background somewhere. It’s super creepy. Countless horror stories have been written about creatures that lurk just outside the scope of our vision; something that can only be glimpsed out of the corner of our eye when we aren’t looking for it. I  know of only a few examples of positive things with similar abilities and most of these are more purposely ridiculous than positive.

After I graduated college, while I was still working the area, I stopped having this rather common occurrence and started seeing something in front of my eyes as well as off to the sides. I spent a lot of time talking it over with my friends, both skeptics and believers, and even started called it “The Apparition” because it was consistently the same thing. The more I talked about it, the more detail I was able to notice about it, and and the longer it would stick around. I was under a lot of stress at the time and my imagination was at its most active, so I’m not sure if I even really believe what I think I saw. Despite being so positive this was happening four years ago, looking back on it now makes me doubt it ever really happened.

I don’t really have any proof that ghosts are real, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they are. Science can only be used to explain what we can perceive and make educated guesses about what we can’t, so it is entirely possible ghosts are real and we just don’t have the means of detecting them yet. It’s also possible that what we call “ghosts” are just the result of some easily explained phenomenon that escapes us simply because we haven’t figured out how to perceive things correctly. There’s a lot of support for them in the general population, in part as a vague interest and sometimes as a serious belief, which includes a number of people you wouldn’t expect. One of my mother’s church friends claimed to be able to see or feel spirits and also firmly believed that a number of my anxiety, OCD, and depression problems were actually qualities of this spirit that had attached itself to me. According to her, it was likely my great-grandfather. Which is super creepy to think about. Who tells a twelve-year-old that they’ve got a ghost attached to them?

There are, of course, the countless rumors of buildings or places being haunted. After seeing some of the stuff I did in the theater I worked in most days, along with the stuff I felt, I find it hard to believe that there wasn’t something there. Maybe it was a figment of my imagination, maybe it wasn’t. The further I get in life, the harder it is to maintain anything more than a perfunctory skepticism about a lot of things. Maybe I am haunted by the ghost of a deceased relative. Maybe I’ve got some kind of otherworldly being who hung out around me for a while. Maybe they’re the same thing and my spirit’s brief appearance in my vision was a mark of my transition to full adulthood. Maybe they’re not real at all and I’ve got an imagination that just wants to tell stories, even if only to itself.

Who knows? I don’t think it really matters, either way. Sure, it could change some of the way I live my life, but only the micro details. Nothing major. All I know is that thinking about something like this is like lighting a fire in my mind. Open-ended questions that require me to build stories just to think about them are a lot of fun. As a result of these mental exercises, I think I can see where stories for things like Cthulhu or Mind Flayers came from. Additionally, seeing unknown things out of the corner of your eye has given me an idea for a story I would like to write. It would be different from any of the variants I’ve encountered and the prologue I’ve written so far, to solidify the idea, makes use of a few characters who had been homeless for a long while now.

Now, hopefully I haven’t creeped myself out too much to be able to go into my basement to do some laundry. All those memories and thoughts of the stuff I encountered at the theater have given me the heebie-jeebies. I’m going to go spend some time in a well-lit room with many light sources so as to minimize the amount of darkness and shadows near me.

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