June 2007


Little Kid started preschool this year.

What I initially feared as boring, staring into space, what am I going to do with myself while waiting for her two and a half hour class to end? time has become a much-anticipated, most promising, two and a half hours daily routine for me.

At first I worried about all the work I could have accomplished within that time, but then it struck me: Little Kid’s preschool is in UP. How can you be bored in UP?

Early this year I have been secretly complaining about not having enough time for myself, for my personal pursuits. And then this opportunity came and I almost didn’t recognize it. Now I could choose from:

  • getting a lot of reading done
  • exercise (walk, jog or swim)
  • watch movies on our portable dvd player
  • do volunteer work
  • meet up with friends who wouldn’t mind meeting up that early or friends who don’t have to be at work that early.

Lately, it even seems that time is too short. During the first week of school, I decided to go to the nearest library. I had almost forgotten the experience of reading the newspaper (from reading it online most of the time) along with the accompanying smell of newsprint. These are little things that I’m glad I have the time once again to be reacquainted with.

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ghosts.jpg

Image from www.2dvalley.com/gallery/My-Snapz/ghosts

My sister has been working graveyard shifts – as call centers are known to operate – and just recently experienced what the witching hour truly meant.

During their break, my sister along with another co-worker trudged to their quarters (where bunk beds are provided for employees) to catch some much needed rest from their call center duties. Her companion almost instantly fell asleep as soon as she hit one of the beds. My sister, however, said she spent a few more minutes just sitting on the bed while exchanging text messages with her husband. She finally decided to lie on her side and catch some sleep. And that was when the nightmare began.

She remembers, as soon as her head touched her pillow something dark covered her like a blanket thrown over. The shroud-like darkness was bearing down on her making it difficult to move. She was shouting but no sound came from her mouth, she was struggling to move but it seemed like she had gone stiff all over. She started to pray, first the Our Father, and when it did not seem to work, she prayed the Apostles Creed. Through her struggle she could only hear the sound of laughter from many voices. It was taunting and jeering, like a group of bullies having their kind of fun on a helpless victim.

As she struggled and prayed, part of the darkness that covered her seemed to be pulled down, offering her a view of the room as if she was wide awake. What she saw were other employees sleeping soundly, but on the top of the bunk bed across her was a girl, dark as a silhouette, playing with a stuffed toy as dark as her – both of them faceless. My sister just continued to shout, pray and struggle and suddenly in a whoosh that seemed like it was pulled away from her gut, the dark veil disappeared, the laughter stopped.

My sister sat up, looked around, exhausted. Everyone in the room was fast asleep. Moments later she fell into a deep sleep. Her co-workers said it took them a good ten minutes of shaking her hard before she woke up.

She would learn later that her companion had experienced the very same thing, saw the very same girl, heard the very same laughter. In fact their story was no different from a bunch of others. Even at the male employee’s own quarters. The exact same story.

We hear a lot of tales like these – ghost sightings, lost souls, poltergeist, demons, malevolent spirits, elementals from our local folklore like the dwende (tiny men, dwarf-like) – that almost always prod us to recount our own experience with the supernatural.

I have several of my own and hope no more will be added to it.

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