Today reminded me of something I use to do when I was in school. We were in a corporate meeting. I’m bored out of my mind and I finished chewing the pen cap into a knotted piece of plastic. I hate crowds and I always seem to choose a seat in the right back corner area. that’s the right side if you’re facing the front.
I started doing this around the 8th grade, when my neighborhood friends decided they didn’t want me in their crowd any more. I found out I could say their name in my mind, concentrating and staring at them. It never failed, they would turn and look directly at me as I just stared them down until they looked away. Except today, I made a coworker look back at me. Instead of staring her down I raise my eyebrows and made a “what?” face. She looked away like I was a creep. It was cool I could still do that…
I go grocery shopping early on Sunday mornings. There’s no crowd to deal with. Nothing I hate more than a crowd. The only people around are the stockers. They don’t want to talk, they’re working. I see the same ones every week. I don’t talk, they don’t acknowledge me. My perfect world.
Going about my business of looking at everything, I get to the bread aisle. A lot of activity starts. Air is moving with sounds and color. I’m getting closer to the corner and a guy steps out. He moves the skids out of my path and I said, “Thanks, man”. He comes back, “Alright, Mike”. I’ve never seen him before, he doesn’t look at me like the others. “How do you know my name? Avoiding eye contact as he worked he said “we’ll meet”…
Email by John G.
I grew up in a small town west of Columbus, Ohio. We made a lot of trips to Columbus for food, clothing and entertainment. It seemed I always came across the same kid everywhere we went. We crossed paths a lot growing up. Our parents even bowled in the same league. We never mentioned our unique meetings; instead we just got along like we were best friends.
For a long time we never saw each other until one night at 3C Drive-In Theatre. I was walking out of the concession stand and there he was, walking in. We shook hands and spoke for a moment. We were both there with our girlfriends and parked two cars away from each other. A few years later, around 1989, The Who held a concert in the old Cleveland Stadium. There he is again; we didn’t even know each other’s name up to this point. Once again in 1992, Genesis held a concert in Columbus at the Ohio Stadium. We met up once again walking into the stadium. At the same time, we both extended to shake hands and simultaneously said, “My name is John”. It was an eerie but funny moment. We told everyone with us about our friendship since childhood. They were all pretty freak out about it.
As I got older I needed to see the doctors more often. My family physician sent me to a specialist. I didn’t pay any attention to the name; I just followed the doctor’s instructions. In the waiting room a few weeks later, I fill out the forms and get called in. The nurse took my vitals and all of my information. I sat on the table waiting. Who walks in? My old friend John! He’s now a Doctor. All we could do was laugh at how our lives have intermingled. We were both married and have 3 children. We both drive white cars, and the list goes on about how identical our lives have been. This was the last time I saw him. I leave his office, as I start up the car what’s on the radio? The Who – Won’t Get Fooled Again …
I know I’m odd and try to act as normal as possible. I keep a distance from people and I don’t let them get close to me. I will talk to you if it will get you to leave me alone. This is the strange behavior picked up by the curiosity of knowing I can see things others can’t. I try not to draw attention to myself in public. I don’t like attention and I especially hate crowds and anything loud. While I am out in public, sometimes I get the feeling someone knows about me. They’re watching and I can feel it. This use to be disturbing to until a girl in my neighborhood came up while I was sitting out.
I was having a Black and Mild cigar on my patio and didn’t want to stink my house up. The girl was with her brother, they looked alike so I’m making it her brother. They stop at my walk. The little boy continued to play with his truck but the girl stood there with her hands shading her eyes from the sun and stared at me. I said hi to her and she kept staring. I asked if she was O.K. and she said, “I seen a ghost in our house”. As fast as she told me that, I said “I see them all the time”. Without hesitation she replied, “Yeah, I know”. She turned to her brother and said “lets go home now, c’mon”.
I’ll look around in crowds. Once in a while a Gifted one is there among the colors. We just look and acknowledge that we both know. There’s no words, very little if any. We act the same, quiet with an anxious tranquility. That’s the best way to describe it. If you see one of us, keep watching. You might see something you can’t explain.
It was trash day in the little town I grew up in. Everyone would put their trash out at the curb. That included bulk items. The neighborhood was quiet and middle class. It was a sunny morning. Very still, no wind. I took a walk towards the park. Suddenly my stride stopped and the trash pile beside me caught my attention. The lid was off one of the over flowing cans. There were what looked like the pieces of a couch lying there in the grass. I looked at the open can on the right. Fixating on the brown papers at the top, I just stared. One piece, the third one from the top, slid out from under the stack and laid on the edge of the broken couch frame. It seemed like it wanted to be there to say hello to me that morning.